Docker FAQs

General FAQ

What’s Docker Desktop?

Docker Desktop is an easy-to-install application for your Mac, Linux, or Windows environment that lets you build and share containerized applications and microservices. Learn more in our Docker Desktop documentation.

How can I find out what’s coming next from Docker?

You can see what’s coming, or make new requests in our public roadmap. Our Community All-Hands is also a great way to stay informed.

Docker Subscription and Licensing Questions

Where can I learn more about how Docker Desktop is licensed?

You can learn more about how Docker Desktop is licensed in our Docker Subscription Service Agreement and Docker Terms of Service.


Who’s required to pay for Docker Desktop?

Docker Desktop requires a paid, per-user subscription for organizations with more than 250 employees or more than $10 million in annual revenue per our terms of service.

Organizations can purchase Team, or Business subscriptions to stay compliant with our terms. Examples that require licensure include:

  • Companies with more than $10 million in annual revenue but less than 250 employees
  • Companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue but more than 250 employees (including contractors)
  • Government entities (See our Subscription Service Agreement for our definition of “Government Entities”)
  • Individuals that contribute to open source projects on behalf of a company with more than $10 million in annual revenue OR more than 250 employees
  • Companies with more than 250 employees, even if only 5 of them are software developers
  • Companies making more than $10 million in the last financial year, even if they don’t expect to do the same this year
  • Companies with less than 250 employees that are subsidiaries of companies with more than 250 employees total
  • Companies with more than $10 million in annual revenue OR more than 250 employees where developers only use Docker Desktop for internal tooling

Docker Desktop may be used for free as part of a Docker Personal subscription for:

  • Small companies (less than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue)
  • Personal use
  • Education and learning (as a student or instructor, either in an academic or professional environment)
  • Non-commercial open source projects

Examples of freely permitted usage include:

  • Personal projects with less than $10 million revenue per year
  • Students and teachers (whether in an educational or professional setting)
  • Research at not-for-profit institutions
  • Personal contributions to non-commercial open source projects

Non-commercial open source project(s) and contributions must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the Open Source definition
  • Doesn’t provide paid versions of open source software or any commercial services around the open source project (e.g. paid support, consulting, etc)
  • Isn’t funded by commercial companies or organizations (NGO, educational, research, or governmental)

What are the differences between the Docker Pro, Docker Team, and Docker Business subscription tiers?

Details about the subscription levels and features are available on our Docker Pricing page.

How does Docker enforce the Docker Desktop subscription terms?

Docker trusts our customers are compliant as of January 31, 2022. Docker Desktop will continue to function normally for non-compliant accounts. However, unpaid commercial use by companies with over 250 employees OR over $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 could use it to find out how many users have Docker Desktop installed. If your organization doesn’t use this 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.

If we require a paid subscription, how are licenses managed?

Licenses can be managed in Docker Hub using Teams and Organizations. Managing users in Docker Hub isn’t required, but we strongly encourage it so you can take full advantage of the additional capabilities and features available with Docker Team and Docker Business.

When did the updated terms for Docker Desktop take effect?

The updated terms for Docker Desktop were effective August 31, 2021, with a grace period until January 31, 2022.

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

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

Our developers don’t actually use the Docker Desktop UI. Do they still need a subscription?

Yes. The user interface is one of many components that make up Docker Desktop. Even if you prefer to use the command line, Docker Desktop requires a paid, per-user subscription such as Pro, Team, or Business for professional use in larger companies. Learn more about the components that make up Docker Desktop in our Docker Desktop documentation.

I want to evaluate Docker Business. How can I do that?

To evaluate the developer experience, no paid account is necessary. Docker Desktop provides the same developer experience regardless of subscription tier. To evaluate the administrative features of Docker Business, visit our pricing page or contact our sales team.

We want to use Docker Desktop to run automated processes. Does this require a paid subscription?

Service Accounts can be used for automation. A Service Account is a Docker ID used for automated management of container images or containerized applications. Service Accounts are typically used in automated workflows and don’t share Docker IDs with other members of your organization. Learn more in our Service Account documentation.

My organization has purchased Docker subscriptions to cover our use of Docker Desktop. Do our employees need to sign in when using Docker Desktop to prove we’re compliant?

No, your employees don’t need to sign in when using Docker Desktop to prove your organization is compliant. We trust our customers to purchase the correct number of subscriptions to cover their use of Docker Desktop if their organization has more than 250 employees OR more than $10 million in annual revenue. See our Docker Subscription Service Agreement for more details.

How do we track our number of paid users?

The Billing tab in your Docker Hub account shows the number of seats you’re using.

We have lot of number of agents, users, and seats and it’s difficult to track and manage the accounts. Can we enable our organization IP addresses  for access instead?

We offer IP exclusions and allow listing as an add-on to Docker Business subscriptions. This lets large organizations use Docker platform services in diverse environments (developer laptops, CI systems, production systems, etc). Please contact sales for more information.

Docker Pricing and Billing Questions

How much does Docker Business cost?

Docker Business subscriptions start at $120 for the first 5 users and $24 per additional user, per month on an annual basis. You can find more information on our Docker Pricing Page.

Can I pay for my subscription with an invoice?

Companies can use invoices to purchase Docker Business subscriptions starting at 25 seats. Please contact sales for more information and to purchase.

I’d 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.

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 Documentation. All Docker Pro, Team, and Business subscribers receive email support for their subscriptions.

Can I purchase Docker through a distributor or a reseller?

Yes. Docker partners with Nuaware & Exclusive Networks to give our customers access to a worldwide ecosystem of local resellers where Docker Business can be purchased. Customers may also purchase Docker Business via AWS and its ecosystem of worldwide partners.

Can a distributor or a reseller purchase Docker with a credit card and transfer the licenses to the customer later?

No. Resellers aren’t allowed to purchase via credit card on the Docker website. When purchasing via credit card, the purchaser agrees to specific license terms that don’t allow them transfer that license to any 3rd party. This means it won’t allow a reseller to purchase and then transfer or redistribute the license. We do accept purchase orders for Docker Business for 25 users or more and offer volume discounts via our distribution partner Nuaware. All reseller purchases must be completed through an authorized Docker Distributor.

Renewals, Expansion and Account Change Questions

How do I upgrade from Docker Team to Docker Business?

You can upgrade by logging into Docker Hub. Your current subscription will be credited for your remaining term on Docker Team to the cost of Docker Business, and a new subscription period will be set.

What happens if we need to add more users to our Docker Business subscription?

  • If you purchased a Docker Business subscription via Purchase Order (PO), you can purchase additional seats in quantities of 10 or more by contacting sales.
  • If you purchase Docker Business online, you can purchase additional seats at any time.

Do I need to do anything at the end of my subscription term?

All credit card purchases are automatically renewed at the end of the term. Customers purchasing with an invoice or with resellers will be contacted directly.

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 our documentation on adding members to a team.

What happens when I downgrade a subscription?

When you downgrade your subscription, access to paid features is available until the next billing cycle. The downgrade takes effect on the next billing cycle. See our documentation on downgrading subscriptions.

Docker Verified Publisher and Software Distribution Questions

How can I make sure my customers pull my software images without hitting rate limits?

The Docker Verified Publisher program lets developers pull ISV and software publisher images without hitting rate limits. Visit our Docker Verified Publisher page for more information.

How do I become a Docker Verified Publisher?

Visit our Docker Verified Publisher page for more information and to start the process.

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 share images with their customers through a private repository. Accounts are seat-based and let software vendors restrict access to customers or other verified developers without image pull rate limits. Please contact sales for more information.

Additional Questions

What’s a Docker ID? How do I get one?

A Docker ID is like a username, and it’s the core of a Docker subscription. You can get one for free on Docker Hub.

Do I need a paid subscription to use the images on Docker Hub for commercial use?

Images on Docker Hub can be used for commercial use, as long as Docker Desktop is properly licensed. Paid subscriptions are needed for commercial use of Docker Desktop at organizations with more than $10 million annual revenue OR more than 250 employees.

What are the Docker Hub image pull rate limits for Docker Personal subscriptions?

Anonymous and Docker Personal users using Docker Hub will experience rate limits on image pull requests. Get more information from our Rate Limiting Information docs.

Does Docker retain any Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?

For information on how personal data is handled at Docker, refer to the “Data Privacy and Security” section in our Security and Privacy Guidelines.