HomeBlogDevOpsDocker License Changes in 2024

Docker License Changes in 2024

11th Jun, 2024
view count loader
Read it in
6 Mins
In this article
    Docker License Changes in 2024

    Docker is an open-source container platform that enables developers to assemble their applications into different packages. It executes the components using various libraries, source code, and operating systems. The containers also include all the dependencies essential to run the code in a specific environment. If you are unfamiliar with containerization, you must use the docker tool to pack your software application into a single unit. Containers are used to separate the applications. Every software has its environment with essential libraries and dependencies. 

    We have recently discovered the docker desktop license changes and will share every small detail with you. Docker is a part of the container ecosystem, which holds all the large projects to manage efficiently.

    Also, for all the beginners who haven’t tried docker earlier, we have the best guide curated for you. You can check out the training on docker guide to learn more about docker and its use. 

    What Are Docker Subscription and Licensing?

    The docker desktop tool has the subscription service license agreement. You are asked to agree to its terms and license when you download the tool on your device. So, let’s discuss the updated terms and conditions. 

    • As per the license agreement, the docker is free for small business owners and non-commercial projects. 
    • The docker desktop is a one-stop application for both Mac and Windows.
    • It is a way to use Linux so the Docker engine can work on your system. 

    Docker License Changes

    Docker has also introduced various docker license changes that include its subscription tier. The users are required to select the appropriate plan as per their usage.

    You can get your hands on DevOps certification course to learn new technologies and master the tool. Docker products are portable, isolated, scalable, and automated to make your tasks easier.

    Docker Personal

    Docker Personal is a version available for the users working on a Docker desktop for personal use. It is available for free and has no inbuilt charges for its usage. The application is now renamed Docker personal, which justifies its use and benefits. This version focuses more on open-source communities, educational purposes, small enterprises, and individual developers.

    Out of all the Docker users, almost half of them own small enterprises. This makes it easier for them to roll out their work efficiently. The Docker personal allows the user to access some basic features of Docker such as Docker CLI, Docker Hub, Docker Desktop, Docker Compose, Docker Build/BuildKit, Docker Engine, and Docker Official Images. 

    Docker Business 

    Docker business is one of the most used versions for commercial purposes. This version enables the organizations to manage their containers and provide security on a large scale. The Docker business plan can manage the containers and observe the docker environment to boost the supply chain process.

    The Docker pro and the Docker team subscriptions have various inbuilt facilities. In addition to it, the docker business is capable of controlling the container images that the docker hub users can access. This ensures that the docker teams are built securely with all the trusted features and content. Alongside, the docker business will provide the facility to determine the access control of the registry's developers.

    This version was developed to help large business owners to overcome various challenges coming their way.

    Here are some of the following points to be considered while using the docker desktop.

    1. Gaining visibility and control over the content 
    2. Managing the resources and accessing the external services 
    3. Managing docker development environment at a large scale 

    Get to know more about docker vs container

    Docker Desktop License Changes

    The docker desktop is licensed under the service agreement of the docker subscription tiers.

    Docker business is a new addition to the tool kit. It is used to scale the organizations with many features such as the SSO (single sign-on), secure supply chain, management tools, etc.

    The Docker subscription has the below docker desktop license changes. They are as follows- 

    • The docker desktop is free for personal use and small business. 
    • Enterprises working on a large scale require a paid subscription with three different plans (pro, team, business). It starts from $5 and goes to $21 per month. 
    • The changes are granted till January 31, 2024.
    • All three subscription plans include the commercial use of the docker tool. 
    • The Docker free plan has been renamed to the docker personal. 

    What Are the Differences Between Docker Pro, Docker Team, and Docker Business Subscription Tiers?

    As per the Docker desktop license changes, the Docker tool has three subscription plans out of which the users can select the most appropriate one to go with. All of them have their benefits and excel in their respective fields. Each may have different features and functionalities depending upon the user’s needs and demands. So, let us discuss each of them in detail.

    Docker Pro- Docker Pro is the tool's first and the cheapest subscription tool. It enables the users to get full access to develop their environment and provides an interactive user interface. It reduces the time that the users spend performing repetitive tasks. Instead, they can utilize their time to develop new ideas.

    The Docker pro avails all the basic functionalities of the Docker Personal subscription with some additional features. It includes public and private repositories to collect the data and costs around $5 a month. 

    Docker Team- This subscription plan is associated with collaborating, increasing productivity, and providing various security measures for the organizations. It provides complete access for the developers to collaborate and share all the essential security features.

    Docker Team includes all the features of Docker Personal and Docker Pro. Additionally, it has an auto-build feature with 15 concurrency building options, advanced management tools, and a role-based access control facility. It costs around $7 per month per user. A team can have a maximum of 5 members. 

    Docker Business- Docker Business is the last and the most expensive subscription package of the tool. It is used by large enterprises to enhance their organization’s security and manageability and to use features such as image access management. It is a complete package for organizations to increase their productivity. The Docker Business costs around $21 per user per month. 

    What Has Changed in the Docker Licensing Policy?

    The company has introduced several changes in the docker license policy that reflect the changes in the docker desktop subscription terms. It is the ultimate docker solution with maximum efficiency. The changes were launched on August 31, 2021. The users can get this version latest by 31st January 2024. During this period, the users can select their subscription plan to continue with the docker desktop license. And if not, then the users would need to switch to the alternatives of the docker desktop, which will undoubtedly lack some features.

    The developers claim that the updated features are vital to improving the efficiency of the docker desktop to scale their business.

    So, talking about the docker license change, the personal subscription has a free plan. The personal subscription is valid for organizations having less than 250 employees. In contrast, the ones with 250+ organizations need to use their paid version.


    Docker containers provide an easy way to manage and store all your images and other activities. It is a tool that lets you design and manages your projects effectively. No professional help is required to use it. Docker has all the salient features necessary to optimize your enterprise's overall performance.

    It can quickly solve all your problems and queries, and can help you organize your projects effectively. You can check out the best course for Docker and Kubernetes to learn the usage of Docker and its components. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Do I need a license for Docker?

    Docker is a licensed tool for both free and paid versions. 

    2Is the Docker CLI still free?

    The docker personnel offers a free version for the developers working remotely. It is even available for educational and open source communities. 

    3Is Docker paid now?

    Docker is still running its paid version but has some changes. Docker has launched a subscription service agreement for organizations with 250+ employees. It charges around $5 per month for a user. 

    4Is Docker CE free for commercial use?

    The Docker CE does not charge anything from the smaller enterprises, education, personal use, and non-commercial sources. It only charges a fee from all the commercial enterprises running at a large scale. 

    5What is the difference between Docker CE and EE?

    Ans. Docker CE is a free and open-source version available for users. The Docker EE is a paid version with additional features available to manage the container efficiently. 

    6What is the difference between Docker and Docker CE?

    Ans. Docker is an open-source platform for automating and designing various applications individually. On the other hand, the Docker CE is a community edition used for commercial purposes.

    7What is the difference between Docker IO and Docker CE?

    Ans. Docker IO is the package installed in the Linux OS. It is the deb package name used by Ubuntu. At the same time, Docker CE is the containerization platform used by developers. 


    Mayank Modi

    Blog Author

    Mayank Modi is a Red Hat Certified Architect with expertise in DevOps and Hybrid Cloud solutions. With a passion for technology and a keen interest in Linux/Unix systems, CISCO, and Network Security, Mayank has established himself as a skilled professional in the industry. As a DevOps and Corporate trainer, he has been instrumental in providing training and guidance to individuals and organizations. With over eight years of experience, Mayank is dedicated to achieving success both personally and professionally, making significant contributions to the field of technology.

    Share This Article
    Ready to Master the Skills that Drive Your Career?

    Avail your free 1:1 mentorship session.

    Your Message (Optional)

    Upcoming DevOps Batches & Dates

    NameDateFeeKnow more
    Course advisor icon
    Course Advisor
    Whatsapp/Chat icon