Reference documentation

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This section includes the reference documentation for the Docker platform’s various APIs, CLIs, and file formats.

File formats

File format Description
Dockerfile Defines the contents and startup behavior of a single container
Compose file Defines a multi-container application
Docker Cloud Stack file Defines a multi-container application for Docker Cloud

Command-line interfaces (CLIs)

CLI Description
Engine CLI The main CLI for Docker, includes all docker and dockerd commands
Compose CLI The CLI for Docker Compose, which allows you to build and run multi-container applications
Machine CLI Manages virtual machines that are pre-configured to run Docker
UCP CLI Manages a Universal Control Plane instance
DTR CLI Manages a trusted registry

Application programming interfaces (APIs)

API Description
Cloud API Enables programmatic management of your Docker application running on a cloud provider
Engine API The main API for Docker, provides programmatic access to a daemon
Registry API Facilitates distribution of images to the engine
Trusted Registry API Provides programmatic access to a trusted registry
UCP API Provides programmatic access to a Universal Control Plane instance

Drivers and specifications

Driver Description
Image specification Describes the various components of a Docker image
Machine drivers Enables support for given cloud providers when provisioning resources with Machine
Registry token authentication Outlines the Docker registry authentication scheme
Registry storage drivers Enables support for given cloud providers when storing images with Registry