Your Docker Business Questions Answered

In our recent live webinar, Management & Security at Scale with Docker Business (check out the webinar recording here) Docker Senior Product Marketing Manager Cat Siemer and Head of Dev Rel and Community Peter McKee discussed our new product subscription tier, Docker Business and how it addresses the challenges faced by large organizations that require enhanced and scalable management and security features. 

During the webinar, Cat and Peter answered live Q&As but weren’t able to get to everyone’s questions so we took note of some of the questions that have been coming up again and again and are answering them below:

Do I need to pay to continue to use Docker Desktop?

The short answer is that it depends on how you’re currently using Docker Desktop. Docker Desktop can be used for free as part of a Docker Personal subscription for:

  • Small companies. We define small companies as having fewer than 250 employees and making less than $10 million in annual revenue.
  • Personal use and non-commercial open source projects.
  • Education and learning (for students or instructors, either in an academic or professional environment).

Our developers don’t use the Docker Desktop UI, do they still need a subscription?

Yes. Docker Desktop is more than just the UI: it also includes the mechanism to run Linux containers on Windows or Mac. So even if you prefer to use the command line, Docker Desktop requires a paid Pro, Team, or Business subscription per user. Learn more about the full value of Docker Desktop and compare the difference between Docker Desktop vs do-it-yourself with Docker Engine.

How will Docker enforce the new subscription terms for Docker Desktop in January 2022?

Unpaid commercial use by companies over 250 employees or $10 million in annual revenue will be in violation of the Docker Subscription Service Agreement. There is a grace period until January 31, 2022 for those that need time to transition from a free to a paid Docker subscription.

We trust our customers to be in compliance and Docker Desktop will continue to function normally after January 31st. We encourage our commercial customers to begin planning for an upgrade to a paid subscription prior to January 31, 2022 to continue using Docker Desktop after the grace period ends.

My team is currently using Docker Desktop as part of a large organization. What are the next steps for us to make sure we’re in compliance by January 31st?

We’ve put together an overview document for people to share with their organization that explains the value they get from Docker, the options that Docker provides for large organizations, and the next steps for purchasing a Docker paid subscription. Download the solution brief here.

Do I need one subscription per user or per machine with Docker Desktop installed in my organization?

Docker subscriptions are per user. This means that if a user has multiple machines, they will only require one license to use Docker Desktop on all of their machines.

Does Docker provide SSO for account management?

Docker Business will support Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) for single sign-on (SSO). This will allow Docker Business users to set up SSO and have their users authenticate with their provider of choice for their domain, for example, Azure AD.

How do we decide which Docker subscription is right for our team?

Docker Pro, Docker Team and Docker Business provide differentiated features and pricing for individuals and teams who use Docker to build software in a commercial organization.

  • Docker Pro includes tools for individual developers who want to accelerate their productivity. Subscriptions start at $5 per user.
  • Docker Team is designed for workgroups and small development teams and includes capabilities for enhanced collaboration, productivity and security. Subscriptions start at $7 per user.
  • Docker Business is designed for the needs of medium and large businesses who need centralized management and advanced security capabilities. Subscriptions start at $21 per user (billed annually).

More details about our subscription tiers and features are available on the Docker pricing page and on our Docker subscription cheat sheet.

Do you offer a free trial of Docker Business so we can evaluate if it’s right for our organization?

Software evaluation is allowed under the education and learning use case for the Docker Personal subscription. We do not provide evaluation licenses for Docker Business however, you can start small and scale up as you see fit. We allow a minimum purchase of 5 seats for Docker Business, which can be paid via credit card. Visit our pricing page for more information.

Is there an API for integrations with other tools or for user management?

We do not yet have a Docker team management API. Docker maintains a public roadmap so subscribers can see which new features are in development, as well as request and upvote new capabilities.


Thank you for your questions and for joining our webinar, if you weren’t able to attend live you can watch the webinar recording here. Learn more about Docker Business on our website and find answers to other frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.


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