Programming and Deployment GUI Tools for Containers

Docker remains a popular option for users of container systems, primarily due to its unparalleled user-friendliness compared to other solutions. By executing a single command, users can deploy and upkeep their containers with ease, including to a Docker Swarm cluster.

While gaining proficiency with the Docker CLI may be simple, some developers may prefer the convenience of a graphical user interface (GUI). A graphical interface can increase productivity, particularly for collaborative projects as it can improve communication and cooperation among team members. Given the complexity of container deployments, a GUI can prove to be a valuable aid.

It is imperative for your engineers to possess a robust understanding of the Docker command line and its application in container deployment. This fundamental skill empowers them to deploy and maintain containers, even in the absence of a graphical user interface (GUI), and provides a better comprehension of their deployments’ functionality (such as on a GUI-less server).

Allow us to showcase the premier GUI tools that can enhance and streamline your developers’ container-related workflows.


Portainer is a graphical user interface (GUI) that eases the setup, maintenance, and deployment of Docker containers. It enables developers to efficiently adopt container technology, helping them streamline their deployment automation and management while ensuring container infrastructure security. Moreover, Portainer provides administrative capabilities for Docker, such as Docker Swarm management on multiple servers.

Portainer’s container-based deployment is an exhilarating possibility, as it can operate on any infrastructure that supports Docker. Following its activation, the graphical user interface (GUI) provides access to an array of advanced features, including authentication, multi-cluster (endpoints) management, template support, resource viewing, and container operations (such as linking to a container shell, connecting to manager nodes, inspecting containers, and viewing logs). Additionally, administrators may modify the ownership settings of stacks, Docker services, and containers (restricted, public, administrator).

Installing and using Portainer is entirely free, and you have the option to purchase add-ons to extend its functionality.


Rancher delivers a holistic software stack that aids developers in adopting containers. Its distinguishing feature is the ability of developers to start with Docker and seamlessly transition to Docker Swarm or Kubernetes as their deployment needs evolve.

Managing numerous Docker Swarm and Kubernetes clusters across any infrastructure can be an arduous responsibility. Fortunately, Rancher offers a simple solution to this challenge. Additionally, for organizations seeking to implement DevOps processes and integrate various technologies, Rancher is an excellent choice.

Rancher offers an instinctual user interface that allows users to deploy applications to bare metal, private clouds, public clouds, or VMware vSphere. Moreover, to simplify the deployment and maintenance of applications across all environments, Rancher integrates with Rancher App Catalog and Helm (Kubernetes package management).

In addition, Rancher supports edge deployments, hybrid and multi-cloud configurations, rapid DevOps adoption, and a uniform security policy and compliance.

Rancher has a cost associated with it, unlike some of the other options mentioned here.

Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop is among the most commonly utilised graphical user interface (GUI) tools for container work using Docker. It is free for individual developers, educational institutions, and small businesses and is compatible with both macOS and Windows. Subscription solutions are also available for individuals, development teams, and corporations that require access to additional advanced functionalities. For more information, consult the price-features chart.

Docker Desktop’s integrated volume management is an especially beneficial feature. The inclusion of a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing mapped volumes (such as persistent storage) is a valuable asset while installing containers.

Docker Desktop simplifies the creation of consistent development environments throughout the organisation. It puts a strong emphasis on security, which encompasses vulnerability scanning and image analysis with actionable recommendations. This guarantees that your deployments are dependable and secure.


DockStation is a Docker-compatible graphical user interface (GUI) that supports use on multiple platforms. It offers a user-friendly approach to managing Docker containers and services both locally and remotely. Additionally, it allows for effortless project creation and monitoring. DockStation is inclusive of a parser, drag-and-drop image integration with projects, and other helpful features.

DockStation, a user interface for Docker is available on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and is held in high esteem in the industry. The docker-compose.yml files created by DockStation are always clean and succinct, enabling them to be used beyond the application in scenarios like with the docker-compose command.

DockStation facilitates monitoring of CPU, memory, network I/O, block I/O, and open ports. Additionally, integration with DockerHub is simple with this solution. DockStation also organizes projects in a way that enables effective control over rollouts.


Keeping track of Docker deployments doesn’t have to be an intimidating endeavor. Offering your engineers a user-friendly graphical interface, as opposed to solely depending on the command line, will help expedite their familiarity with Docker. It additionally simplifies and increases the reliability of managing rollouts.

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