Programming and Deployment GUI Tools for Containers

Docker continues to be a highly favored choice of users of container systems. This is largely due to Docker’s exceptional ease of use, in comparison to other solutions. With just a single command, users can both deploy and maintain their containers, even to a Docker Swarm cluster.

Gaining familiarity with the Docker CLI can be straightforward, however, some developers may find a graphical user interface (GUI) more convenient. Utilizing a GUI can be beneficial to productivity. For collaborative projects, a GUI can aid communication and cooperation between team members. The complexity of container deployments may make a GUI a useful aid.

It is essential that your engineers have a good knowledge of the Docker command line and its use for container deployment. This is a key skill that will enable them to deploy and manage containers, even when a graphical user interface (GUI) is not available, and help them to gain a deeper understanding of how their deployments work (for example, on a server without a GUI).

So, let’s take a look at the top GUI tools that may simplify and speed up your developer’s time spent working with containers.


Portainer is a graphical user interface (GUI) which simplifies the deployment, maintenance, and setup of Docker containers. It enables developers to quickly adopt container technology, streamlines the management and automation of their deployments, and strengthens the security of container infrastructure. Furthermore, Portainer’s administrative capabilities for Docker extend to Docker Swarm management on multiple servers.

Portainer’s deployment as a container is an exciting prospect, as it can be used on any infrastructure that supports Docker. Once it is operational, the graphical user interface (GUI) offers a range of sophisticated features, including authentication, multi-cluster (endpoints) management, template support, resource viewing and container operations (such as connecting to manager nodes, linking to a container shell, inspecting a container and viewing logs). Furthermore, administrators can adjust the ownership settings of stacks, Docker services and containers (administrator, restricted, public).

It costs nothing to instal or use Portainer, and you may even buy add-ons to increase its functionality.


Rancher provides a comprehensive software stack to help developers adopt containers. It offers the advantage of allowing developers to start with Docker and transition to Docker Swarm or Kubernetes as their deployment requirements evolve.

Managing multiple Docker Swarm and Kubernetes clusters across any type of infrastructure can be a challenging task. However, Rancher provides an easy solution to this problem. Furthermore, Rancher is an ideal choice for organizations wanting to implement DevOps practices and incorporate a range of technologies.

Rancher provides an intuitive user interface enabling users to deploy applications to bare metal, private clouds, public clouds, or VMware vSphere. To facilitate the deployment and maintenance of applications across all environments, Rancher integrates with the Rancher App Catalog and Helm (Kubernetes package management).

Furthermore, there is backing for edge deployments, hybrid and multi-cloud setups, swift DevOps adoption, and a consistent security policy and compliance.

Rancher, unlike some of the alternatives here, does cost money.

Docker for Desktop

Docker Desktop is one of the most widely used graphical user interface (GUI) tools for working with Docker. It is free for individual developers, educational institutions, open-source communities, and small enterprises and is compatible with macOS and Windows. For those needing access to more advanced capabilities, there are subscription solutions available for individuals, development teams, and corporations. Further information can be found in the price-features matrix.

Docker Desktop’s integrated volume management is a particularly beneficial feature. The inclusion of a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing mapped volumes (e.g. for persistent storage) is a major asset when installing containers.

Docker Desktop streamlines the process of creating consistent development environments across the organization. It places a strong focus on security, providing vulnerability scanning and image analysis with actionable recommendations. This ensures your deployments are reliable and secure.


DockStation is a graphical user interface (GUI) designed for Docker which is compatible with multiple platforms. It provides a user-friendly way to manage Docker containers and services both locally and remotely, as well as creating and monitoring projects with minimal effort. DockStation also includes a parser, the ability to drag and drop images into projects and more.

DockStation, a Docker user interface available on Linux, macOS, and Windows, is highly regarded in its field. The docker-compose.yml files generated by DockStation are always clearly presented and concise, allowing them to be used outside the app in contexts such as with the docker-compose command.

DockStation provides monitoring of CPU, memory, network I/O, block I/O, and open ports. Furthermore, DockerHub can be easily integrated with this approach. Additionally, projects are organized in a manner that facilitates efficient control over rollouts.


Tracking Docker deployments doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Providing your engineers with a user-friendly graphical interface, instead of relying solely on the command line, will help them become familiar with Docker more quickly. This also makes controlling rollouts much simpler and more reliable.

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