Docker Desktop No Longer Free For Large Companies

Docker will restrict use of the free version of its Docker Desktop utility to individuals or small businesses, and has introduced a new more expensive subscription, as it searches for a sustainable business model. The Register reports: The company has renamed its Free plan to “Personal” and now requires that businesses with 250 or more employees, or higher than $10m in annual revenue, must use a paid subscription if they require Docker Desktop. There are no changes to the command-line Docker Engine. The $5/month Pro and $7/month Teams subscriptions continue as before, but a new $21/month Business subscription adds features including centralized management, single sign-on, and enhanced security.

The Docker platform has a number of components, of which Docker Desktop is just one part. Docker images define the contents of containers. Docker containers are runnable instances of images. The Docker daemon is a background application that manages and runs Docker images and containers. The Docker client is a command-line utility that calls the API of the Docker daemon. Docker registries contain images, and the Docker Hub is a widely used public registry. Much of Docker (but not Desktop) is open source under the Apache v2 license. Docker Desktop is a GUI tool for managing various Docker components and functions, including containers, images, volumes (storage attached to containers), local Kubernetes, development environments within containers, and more. Whereas most Docker components are available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and despite the fact that most Docker containers run on Linux, Desktop is only available for Windows and Mac.

Docker CEO Scott Johnston says the changes will help the company address security challenges with the software supply chain. It’ll also help create a viable business model.

“We continue to see growth in the developer market. The latest stat we have is that by 2030 there’s going to be 45 million global developers, up from 18-some million today… that requires us to have a business that is sustainably scalable,” Johnston told The Register.