Docker FAQs

Updated Docker Subscription and Licensing Questions

Why is Docker changing the Docker Desktop terms?
At Docker we are committed to continuing to provide an easy-to-use, free experience for individual developers, open source projects, education, and small businesses. All businesses benefit from their developers’ use of Docker Desktop -- faster delivery of secure applications deployable to any cloud or on-prem infrastructure. Docker Pro, Docker Team, and Docker Business subscriptions provide organizations with additional value in Docker Desktop with capabilities for managing secure software supply chains, centralizing policy visibility and control, and managing users and access. The updated subscription terms for Docker Desktop reflect our need to scale our business sustainably and enable us to continue providing value in all Docker subscriptions.
What is Docker Desktop?
Docker Desktop enables developers to locally build, share, and run containerized applications and microservices. Docker Desktop includes Docker Engine, Docker CLI client, Docker Build/BuildKit, Docker Compose, Docker Content Trust, Kubernetes, Docker Scan, and Credential Helper. Docker Desktop is for Mac and Windows and includes the Docker Dashboard for working with local and remote container images, Dev Environments and more new features are being delivered every month such as Volume Management.
Do I need to pay to continue to use Docker Desktop?
Docker Desktop is licensed as part of a free (Personal) or paid Docker subscription (Pro, Team or Business). Docker Desktop may be used for free as part of a Docker Personal subscription for:
  • Small companies (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue)
  • Personal use
  • Education and learning (as a student or an instructor, either in an academic or professional environment)
  • Non-commercial open source projects
Docker Desktop requires a per user paid Pro, Team or Business subscription for professional use in larger companies with subscriptions available for as little as $5 per user, per month.
The updated terms for Docker Desktop are effective as of August 31, 2021, but there is a grace period until January 31, 2022 for those that need to transition from a free to a paid subscription to use Docker Desktop. We encourage you to begin planning to upgrade to a paid subscription prior to January 31, 2022 so you can continue to use Docker Desktop after the grace period ends.
I already have a subscription to Docker Pro or Docker Team: does this license change affect me?
As a Docker Pro or Docker Team subscriber you now get commercial use of Docker Desktop as part of your existing subscription. You may need to evaluate if you need to add additional users to your subscription to account for their use of Docker Desktop if your organization is greater than 250 employees OR has more than $10 million in annual revenue. Please share our blog post and our solution brief with your manager.
What is Docker Business?
Docker Business is a new product subscription tier for organizations that require enhanced manageability, security, and scale features like Image Access Management, SSO, secure software supply chain management, and more. Docker Business subscriptions begin at $21 per seat, per month. More information is available on the Docker Pricing Page.
What are the differences between Docker Pro, Docker Team and Docker Business subscription tiers?
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 subscription includes tools for individual developers who want to accelerate their productivity. Monthly 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. Monthly 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. Monthly subscriptions start at $21 per user.
More details about the subscription levels and features are available on the Docker Pricing page.
I currently use Docker Desktop as part of a large organization, what should I do next?
We have produced an overview document for people to share with the rest of their organization to explain the value they get from Docker and the options that Docker provides for large organizations. You can download it from here.
How will Docker enforce the new subscription terms for Docker Desktop?
Docker trusts our customers to be in compliance by January 31, 2022. Docker Desktop will continue to function normally after January 31st but unpaid commercial use by companies over 250 employees OR $10 million in annual revenue will be in violation of the Docker Subscription Service Agreement.
How do I know how many people are using Docker Desktop in my organization?
If your organization uses a Software Asset Management tool, you may be able to use this to determine how many users have Docker Desktop installed. If your organization does not use such software, you can run an internal survey to find out who is using Docker Desktop. Contact sales for assistance. Finally, it may be useful to start by creating an organization and getting your Docker users added to this to assess how many are in your organization.
How is Docker Personal different from Docker Free?
Docker Personal is the new name of the Docker Free subscription. With its focus on open source communities, individual developers, education, and small businesses, Docker Personal continues to allow free use of Docker-- including Docker CLI, Docker Compose, Docker Engine, Docker Desktop, Docker Hub, Kubernetes, Docker Build/BuildKit, Docker Official Images, Docker Scan, and more. Full feature details for Docker Personal, Pro, Team and Business subscriptions are available on the Docker Pricing Page.
When do the updated terms for Docker Desktop take effect?
The updated terms for Docker Desktop are effective as of August 31, 2021, but there is a grace period until January 31, 2022 for those that need to transition from a free to a paid subscription to use Docker Desktop.
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.
Can I just install the Docker CLI instead of using Docker Desktop?
If you use a Mac, you can install Docker CLI and Engine inside a virtual machine, using VirtualBox or VMware Fusion for example, which may require purchasing a license for VirtualBox or VMware Fusion. On Windows you could install and run Docker CLI and Engine inside WSL2. If you use a Linux machine you can easily use the Docker CLI and Docker Engine, See the documentation on installing Docker Engine for instructions. Docker Desktop is not yet available for Linux.
Do the new terms apply to my existing installation of Docker Desktop prior to Docker Desktop 4.0?
No, the new terms do not apply to Docker Desktop that you downloaded prior to August 31, 2021 from Docker.
I use Docker Desktop for my own personal commercial projects, but I don’t make more than $10 million per year. Under the new license terms, do I need a paid subscription to continue using Docker Desktop?
No. Because you don’t make more than $10 million in annual revenue, you may continue to use Docker Desktop for free with the Docker Personal subscription.
I am a student and use Docker Desktop for building apps for one of my classes; do I need to purchase a Pro, Team, or Business subscription to use Docker Desktop?
No. As a student you may use Docker Desktop for free with a Docker Personal subscription.
I am a teacher and have my students using Docker Desktop for my class; do I or they need to purchase a Pro, Team, or Business subscription to use Docker Desktop?
No. Your class may use Docker Desktop for free with a Docker Personal subscription.
I am a researcher at a university (or another not-for-profit institution); do I or my research assistants need to purchase a Pro, Team, or Business subscription to use Docker Desktop?
No. You and your assistants may use Docker Desktop for free with a Docker Personal subscription.
I work at a large company (5,000 employees, $2 billion annual revenue) and have been using Docker Desktop for free. Under the new subscription terms, do I need a paid subscription to continue using Docker Desktop?
Yes. Commercial use of Docker Desktop at a company of more than 250 employees OR more than $10 million in annual revenue requires a paid subscription (Pro, Team, or Business) to use Docker Desktop. While the updated terms for Docker Desktop are effective as of August 31, 2021 there is a grace period until January 31, 2022 for those that need to transition from a free to a paid subscription to use Docker Desktop.
My company has greater than $10 million annual revenue, but fewer than 250 employees. Do I need paid Docker Subscriptions for my developers?
Yes. Because your company has more than $10 million in annual revenue, all developers that use Docker Desktop will need to have a paid subscription (Pro, Team, or Business). To get all the details on our subscriptions, please visit the Docker Pricing page.
I work for a large company (5000 employees, $2 billion annual revenue). Can I continue to use Docker Desktop with the Personal tier for free until January 31, 2022?
Yes. After January 31, 2022, each developer at your company using Docker Desktop will need a subscription to Docker Pro, Team or Business. We encourage you to begin planning to upgrade to a paid subscription prior to January 31, 2022 so you can continue to use Docker Desktop after the grace period ends.
I work for a government agency, do I need paid Docker Subscriptions for my developers?
Yes. After January 31, 2022, each developer at your agency using Docker Desktop will need a subscription to Docker Pro, Team or Business. You are encouraged to begin planning to upgrade to a paid subscription prior to January 31, 2022 so you can continue to use Docker Desktop after the grace period ends.
Are the license terms for Docker open source projects changing?
No. The licensing and distribution terms for Docker and Moby open source projects, such as Docker Engine, are not changing.
If I use Docker Desktop to contribute to any open source project (commercial or non-commercial) in my individual capacity, do I need a paid Docker subscription?
No. You do not need a paid Docker subscription for using Docker Desktop to contribute to any open source project in your own individual capacity. You may use Docker Desktop for free with a Docker Personal subscription.
I use Docker Desktop to contribute to open source projects that are free as part of my full time role at a company with 1000 employees. Do I need a Docker subscription?
Yes. Developers who are employed to work on an OSS project are expected to have a Docker subscription if their company exceeds 250 employees OR $10 million annual revenue.
What do you mean by non-commercial open source?
  • It meets the Open Source definition.
  • Does not provide paid versions of open source software or any commercial services around the Open Source project (e.g. paid support, consulting, etc).
  • Is not funded by commercial companies or organizations (NGO, educational, research, or governmental).
Developers who are employed to work on any OSS project are not expected to have a Docker subscription if their company has fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million annual revenue.
I work in a manufacturing company with 500 employees, but only 5 software developers. Do I need a Docker subscription to use Docker Desktop to develop applications?
Yes, because your company has more than 250 employees.
Our company wants to evaluate Docker Desktop. Is there a trial period?
Software evaluation is allowed under the education and learning use case for the Docker Personal subscription.
Do contractors count as employees for the purpose of the subscription terms?
Yes. Companies must have a paid subscription to cover the number of employees in a company using Docker Desktop, no matter the status of the employee.
My company made just over $10 million last financial year, but we don't expect to do the same this year. Do I need a Docker subscription?
Yes. Companies with over 250 employees OR $10 million in annual revenue during their last fiscal year need a paid Docker subscription for all of their developers.
My company has 50 employees, but is a subsidiary of a company with 1000 employees. Do I need to pay?
Yes. As part of a larger company you will need a paid Docker Pro, Team, or Business tier subscription.
I thought Docker Desktop was Open Source Software? How was Docker Desktop licensed?
Docker Desktop has open source components but it has never been a fully open source product. Prior to August 31, 2021, it has been licensed under terms which are consistent with the Docker End User License Agreement. With the August 31, 2021 announcement, Docker Desktop is now subject to the Docker Subscription Service Agreement.

Docker Pricing Questions

How much does Docker Business cost?
Docker Business subscriptions begin at $21 per user, per month. You can find more information on the Docker Pricing Page.
How many seats do I need for my organization if we have greater than 250 employees OR $10 million in annual revenue and we plan to subscribe to Docker Team or Docker Business?
Your organization’s number of paid subscriptions must equal the number of users that are using Docker Desktop.
Can I pay for my subscription with an invoice?
Companies can use invoices to purchase Docker Business subscriptions larger than 50 seats. Please contact sales for more information and to purchase.
I would like to buy subscriptions in bulk, what kind of discount can I get?
Docker offers volume pricing for Docker Business subscriptions starting at 100 seats. Please contact sales for more information and to purchase.
Does Docker offer academic pricing for non-classroom or research purposes?
Docker Personal is free for educational use. Please contact sales for more information regarding Docker Pro, Team, Business."
Do you offer support for Docker Business subscriptions?
All Docker subscribers (free and paid) have access to community support in our community forums, community slack, and Docker Docs. All Docker Pro, Team and Business subscribers receive email support for their subscription. For Docker Business subscribers who need it, we offer premium support programs as an add-on. Please contact sales for more information about our premium support programs.

Renewals, Expansion and Account Change Questions

I have an existing invoiced subscription with Docker, how do these changes affect me?
Existing customers with Docker Pro or Docker Team subscriptions will have Docker Desktop licensing included in their current subscriptions. Customers may want to add additional seats or consider upgrading to Docker Business: for more information about this please contact sales.
Do I need to do anything at the end of my subscription term?
No. All monthly and annual subscriptions are automatically renewed at the end of the term using the original form of payment.
What happens if I pay for an annual subscription and add more seats later?
When you add seats to your subscription in the middle of your billing cycle, a prorated amount will be charged for the additional seats.
How do I add a member to a team in my organization?
For information on how to add a member to a team, see add a member to a team.
What happens when I downgrade a Docker Pro subscription?
You may downgrade your Docker Pro subscription at any time prior to the renewal date. The subscription will NOT be downgraded until the last day of the billing cycle. You will continue to have access to your Docker ID on a Docker Personal subscription.
What happens when I downgrade a Docker Team or Business subscription?
You may downgrade your Docker Team or Business subscription at any time prior to the renewal date. The subscription will NOT be downgraded until the last day of the billing cycle. All seats will continue to have access to their Docker ID on a Docker Personal subscription.

Docker Verified Publisher and Software Distribution Questions

I’m an existing Docker Verified Publisher, how do these changes affect me?
Docker Business allows companies to allow or restrict image usage based on publisher type. As a Docker Verified Publisher, your images will be available to Docker Business users who apply image control policies on their developers without requiring additional configuration. Visit the Docker Verified Publisher page for more information.
How can I ensure my customers can pull my software images without hitting rate limits?
The Docker Verified Publisher program allows ISVs’ and software publishers’ images to be pulled by developers without encountering rate limits. Visit the Docker Verified Publisher page for more information.
How do I become a Docker Verified Publisher?
Visit the Docker Verified Publisher page for more information and to start the process.
How can I use Docker Hub as a private repository to distribute software to my customers?
Through the Docker Verified Publisher program, ISVs can use Docker Hub to deliver images to their customers through a private repository as well. Accounts are seat-based, and allow a software vendor to restrict access to customers or other verified developers, while ensuring they can consume images without encountering rate limits. Please contact sales for more information.

Additional Questions

What is a Docker ID? How do I get one?
A Docker ID is the core of a Docker subscription. You can get one for free at Docker Hub.
How do I know what new features are in planning for my Docker subscription?
Docker maintains a public roadmap so subscribers can see what new features are in development, as well as request new capabilities. New premium features will be available to you automatically as part of your migrated Docker subscription.
Does Docker provide SSO for account management?
The Docker Business subscription tier will add support for SAML SSO later in 2021.
Do I need a paid subscription to use the images on Docker Hub for commercial use?
No, you do not. You can continue to access and use the content from Docker Hub under the Personal Subscription for commercial use. If you are doing this from Docker Desktop for commercial use, you will need to have a subscription for the use of Docker Desktop. You can find out more about our subscriptions here.
What are the Docker Hub image pull rate limits for Docker Personal subscriptions?
Anonymous and Docker Personal subscription usage of Docker Hub are subject to rate limits on image pull requests. You can get more information at the Rate Limiting Information page.
I want to run an automated agent that makes container requests on behalf of my organization. Which license do I need?
Automated agents or service accounts that make container image requests of Docker Hub must be licensed under a Docker Team subscription.
What is a concurrent build?
Concurrent builds refer to the number of builds executing in parallel when using the Docker Hub Autobuild service, where you configure Hub to watch a github repo and rebuild images when changes are made.
We have a number of agents, users, and seats and it’s difficult to track and manage the accounts. Can we get our organization IP addresses enabled for access instead?
We offer IP exclusions and allow listing as an add-on to Docker Business subscriptions to allow for large organizations to use Docker platform services in diverse environments (developer laptops, CI systems, production systems, etc). Please contact sales for more information.