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What’s the difference between docker compose and kubernetes?

By James Kolean on Jan 20, 2020
Dev OpsDocker

Stack Overflow has a concise post on this at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/47536536/whats-the-difference-between-docker-compose-and-kubernetes

It says:


  • Docker is the container technology that allows you to containerize your applications.
  • Docker is the core for using other technologies.

Docker Compose

  • Docker Compose allows configuring and starting multiple Docker containers.
  • Docker Compose is mostly used as a helper when you want to start multiple Docker containers and doesn’t want to start each one separately using docker run ...
  • Docker Compose is used for starting containers on the same host.
  • Docker Compose is used instead of all optional parameters when building and running a single docker container.

Docker Swarm

  • Docker swarm is for running and connecting containers on multiple hosts.
  • Docker swarm is a container cluster management and orchestration tool.
  • It manages containers running on multiple hosts and does things like scaling, starting a new container when one crashes, networking containers …
  • Docker swarm is docker in production.
    It is the native docker orchestration tool that is embedded in the Docker Engine.
  • The docker swarm file named stack file is very similar to a Docker compose file.


  • Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool developed by Google.
  • Kubernete’s goal is very similar to that for Docker swarm.

Docker Cloud

  • A paid enterprise docker service that allows you to build and run containers on cloud servers or local servers.
  • It provides a Web UI and a central control panel to run and manage containers while providing all the docker features in a user-friendly Web interface.
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