Docker Desktop "smells" commercial (requires accepting Subscription Service Agreement). Did I look at the wrong implementation?

I am very new to Docker and I was under the impression that Docker is a standard with both open source and commercial implementations.

When looking for tutorials and the implementation to use it seemed that Docker Desktop was the public organization’s recommended implementation. But after installing and launching I got a “Docker Subscription Service Agreement” that requires accepting to progress. I was looking at it for personal use, so according to “today’s” EULA it seems to be free, but knowing how EULAs can be changed without even notifying us, it feels to risky to even try the product.


  1. And I correct in the assumption that Docker Desktop is a commercial product (even though right now it is free for private individuals)?

  2. What non-commercial implementations of Docker are available, or at least where should I look for it besides the misleading google searches?

  3. I’ve seen a mention of a setup using VirtualBox + Ubuntu Linux + Dockstarter. Is it safe to assume that one is fully free and non-commercial?

Did you actually check the pricing? Pricing | Docker

For private use, you can use the free Personal subscription.
For commercial use, following constraints determine whether you need a subscription or not:

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).

Sine you specifically ask for Docker, the answer is Docker CE. It is only available for Linux. See for supported distributions/architectures:

You can run Docker CE in a Linux vm or a WSL2 distribution, as long as the distribution/architecture is supported.

What misleading google searches? Can you provide some examples?

Virtualbox is free of charge. In commercial use the extension pack requires a subscription, which is not required in private use.

What is Dockstarter?

Note: If WSL2 is installed, Virtualbox will be slow (the same is true for VMware Workstation)

Thanks, I fully uninstalled DockerDesktop and WSL2. I understand that Docker Desktop is “free to use” in my scenario, but it still requires to hit Accept to the subscription agreement… which I didn’t feel comfortable doing.

With the caviat that I only know what I’ve found in Google and Youtube, Dockstarter is one of the more recommended tools to use for Docker if you are working in Linux (maybe predates and I suspect it is not as easy to use as Docker Desktop?).

So, I am going to fall back in what seems to be a fully open stack with no commitments or subscriptions :slight_smile: , VirtualBox running a native and fully vanilla distribution from the Ubuntu website (no WSL2), which in turn runs Dockstarter to manage the containers. A bit overly nested but it should work for me. And I’ll keep in mind the option of running Docker CE in that Ubuntu distro as well.

Thanks for the clarifications.