Announcing Docker Enterprise Edition

Mar 02 2017

Today we are announcing Docker Enterprise Edition (EE), a new version of the Docker platform optimized for business-critical deployments. Docker EE is supported by Docker Inc., is available on certified operating systems and cloud providers and runs certified Containers and Plugins from Docker Store. Docker EE is available in three tiers: Basic comes with the Docker platform, support and certification, and Standard and Advanced tiers add advanced container management (Docker Datacenter) and Docker Security Scanning.

For consistency, we are also renaming the free Docker products to Docker Community Edition (CE) and adopting a new lifecycle and time-based versioning scheme for both Docker EE and CE. Today’s Docker CE and EE 17.03 release is the first to use the new scheme.

Docker CE and EE are released quarterly, and CE also has a monthly “Edge” option. Each Docker EE release is supported and maintained for one year and receives security and critical bugfixes during that period. We are also improving Docker CE maintainability by maintaining each quarterly CE release for 4 months. That gets Docker CE users a new 1-month window to update from one version to the next.

Both Docker CE and EE are available on a wide range of popular operating systems and cloud infrastructure. This gives developers, devops teams and enterprises the freedom to run Docker and Docker apps on their favorite infrastructure without risk of lock-in.

To download free Docker CE and to try or buy Docker EE, head over to Docker Store. Also check out the companion blog post on the Docker Certified Program. Or read on for details on Docker CE and EE and the new versioning and lifecycle improvements.

Docker Enterprise Edition

Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) is an integrated, supported and certified container platform for CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Oracle Linux, and Windows Server 2016, as well as for cloud providers AWS and Azure. In addition to certifying Docker EE on the underlying infrastructure, we are introducing the Docker Certification Program which includes technology from our ecosystem partners: ISV containers that run on top of Docker and networking and storage and networking plugins that extend the Docker platform.

Docker and Docker partners provide cooperative support for Certified Containers and Plugins so customers can confidently use these products in production. Sign up here if you’re interested in partnering to certify software for the Docker platform.

Docker EE is available in three tiers: Basic, Standard and Advanced.

  • Basic: The Docker platform for certified infrastructure, with support from Docker Inc. and certified Containers and Plugins from Docker Store
  • Standard: Adds advanced image and container management, LDAP/AD user integration, and role-based access control (Docker Datacenter)
  • Advanced: Adds Docker Security Scanning and continuous vulnerability monitoring

Docker EE is available as a free trial and for purchase from Docker Sales, online via Docker Store, and is supported by Alibaba, Canonical, HPE, IBM, Microsoft and by a network of regional partners.

Docker Community Edition and Lifecycle Improvements

Docker Community Edition (CE) is the new name for the free Docker products. Docker CE runs on Mac and Windows 10, on AWS and Azure, and on CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu and is available from Docker Store. Docker CE includes the full Docker platform and is great for developers and DIY ops teams starting to build container apps.

The launch of Docker CE and EE brings big enhancements to the lifecycle, maintainability and upgradability of Docker. Starting with today’s release, version 17.03, Docker is moving to time-based releases and a YY.MM versioning scheme, similar to the scheme used by Canonical for Ubuntu.

The Docker CE experience can be enhanced with free and paid add-ons from Docker Cloud, a set of cloud-based managed services that include automated builds, continuous integration, public and private Docker image repos, and security scanning.

Docker CE comes in two variants:

  • Edge is for users wanting a drop of the latest and greatest features every month
  • Stable is released quarterly and is for users that want an easier-to-maintain release pace

Edge releases only get security and bug-fixes during the month they are current. Quarterly stable releases receive patches for critical bug fixes and security issues for 4 months after initial release. This gives users of the quarterly releases a 1-month upgrade window between each release where it’s possible to stay on an old version while still getting fixes. This is an improvement over the previous lifecycle, which dropped maintenance for a release as soon as a new one became available.

Docker EE is released quarterly and each release is supported and maintained for a full year. Security patches and bugfixes are backported to all supported versions. This extended support window, together with certification and support, gives Docker EE subscribers the confidence they need to run business critical apps on Docker.

Docker Enterprise Edition

The Docker API version continues to be independent of the Docker platform version and the API version does not change from Docker 1.13.1 to Docker 17.03. Even with the faster release pace, Docker will continue to maintain careful API backwards compatibility and deprecate APIs and features only slowly and conservatively. And in Docker 1.13 introduced improved interoperability between clients and servers using different API versions, including dynamic feature negotiation.

In addition to clarifying and improving the Docker release life-cycle for users, the new deterministic release train also benefits the Docker project. Maintainers and partners who want to ship new features in Docker are now guaranteed that new features will be in the hands of Edge users within a month of being merged.


Get Started Today

Docker CE and EE are an evolution of the Docker Platform designed to meet the needs of developers, ops and enterprise IT teams. No matter the operating system or cloud infrastructure, Docker CE and EE lets you install, upgrade, and maintain Docker with the support and assurances required for your particular workload.

Here are additional resources:


Is this a breaking change to Docker?

No. Docker carefully maintains backwards API compatibility, and only removes features after deprecating them for a period of 3 stable releases. Docker 17.03 uses the same API version as Docker 1.13.1.

What do I need to do to upgrade?

Docker CE for Mac and Windows users will get an automatic upgrade notification. Docker for AWS and Azure users can refer to the release notes for upgrade instructions. Legacy docker-engine package users can upgrade using their distro package manager or upgrade to the new docker-ce package.

Why is Docker adopting a new versioning scheme?

To improve the predictability and cadence of Docker releases, we’re adopting a monthly and quarterly release pattern. This will benefit the project overall: Instead of waiting an indeterminate period of time after a PR is merged for a feature to be released, contributors will see improvements in the hands of users within a month.

A time-based version is a good way to underscore the change, and to signify the time-based release cadence.

I’m a Docker DDC or CS Engine customer. Do I have to upgrade to Docker EE to continue to get support?

No. Docker will continue to support customers with valid subscriptions whether the subscription covers Docker EE or Commercially Supported Docker. Customers can choose to stay with their current deployed version or upgrade to the latest Docker EE 17.03. For more details, see the Scope of Coverage and Maintenance Lifecycle at


17 thoughts on “Announcing Docker Enterprise Edition

  1. Avatar for Michael Friis

    Simon Detheridge

    I can't see Server 2016 on the list of platforms that CE runs on. Hoping that this is an accidental omission?

  2. Avatar for Michael Friis

    Galen Johnson

    RHEL is not in the CE release matrix. Was this an oversight or is docker in RHEL going to be included the same way as Windows Docker?

    • Michael Friis

      Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a commercial Linux distribution so we elected to only make Docker Enterprise Edition available for RHEL. The same is the case for SLES. Docker CE is freely available for Fedora and CentOS.

      For details, please contact Docker Sales:

  3. Avatar for Michael Friis

    Sjaak Spiegels

    How about the a Red Hat Docker CE version? In production we use Red Hat Enterprise. In development we use Red Hat developers edition. Is there a community edition available for Red Hat we can use in development or are we fully charged for our development environment?

  4. Avatar for Michael Friis

    Costas Simatos

    I have a set of RHEL 7.3 boxes and only need CE as this is for a development environment. Previously docker could run on RHEL. Is a paid subscription needed now?

    Note I don't need any certification or support for my docker installation.

  5. Is there anyway to install Docker CE in RHEL 7.x?

  6. We're using Docker 1.12 (Swarm mode) in production on RHEL 7 servers. Will it be possible to upgrade to Docker EE (since CE is not supported) without rebuilding the whole cluster?

    • Hi Andreas

      It's generally best to update only one version at a time, eg. 1.12.X -> 1.13.X -> 17.03.X, but 1.13 and 17.03 share the same lineage so upgrading from 1.12.X to 17.03.X should be safe.

      Feel free to reach out to Docker support for assistance planning the upgrade.

  7. I am going to install Docker EE on my RHEL but just want to understand what will happen when my 1 month trial ends? I don't plan to purchase the license or certified product.

    Appreciate your quick response.

    • Technically, nothing will happen when the trial runs out and Docker will continue to work. Legally, however, you will be running commercial software without a license. For that reason, you must either stop using Docker once the trial ends or purchase a license to keep using it.

  8. How to specify the default private registry?

  9. So basically Docker EE and Docker CE use the same Docker engine?

  10. Docker CE for SLES ? 🙁

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