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 formatDescription
DockerfileDefines the contents and startup behavior of a single container
Compose fileDefines a multi-container application
Docker Cloud Stack fileDefines a multi-container application for Docker Cloud

Command-line interfaces (CLIs)

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

Application programming interfaces (APIs)

Cloud APIEnables programmatic management of your Docker application running on a cloud provider
Docker ID accounts APIAn API for accessing and updating Docker ID accounts
Engine APIThe main API for Docker, provides programmatic access to a daemon
Registry APIFacilitates distribution of images to the engine
Trusted Registry APIProvides programmatic access to a trusted registry

Drivers and specifications

Image specificationDescribes the various components of a Docker image
Machine driversEnables support for given cloud providers when provisioning resources with Machine
Registry token authenticationOutlines the Docker registry authentication scheme
Registry storage driversEnables support for given cloud providers when storing images with Registry