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Docker Machine takes you from zero-to-Docker in seconds with a single command.
Before Docker Machine, a developer would need to log in to the host and follow installation and configuration instructions specifically for that host and its OS. With Docker Machine, whether provisioning the Docker daemon on a new laptop, on virtual machines in the data center, or on a public cloud instance, the same, single command …
% machine create -d [infrastructure provider] [provider options] [machine name]
… gets the target host ready to run Docker containers. Then, from the same interface, you can manage multiple Docker hosts regardless of their location and run any Docker command on them.
Furthermore, the pluggable backend of Docker Machine allows users to take full advantage of ecosystem partners providing Docker-ready infrastructure, while still accessing everything through the same interface. This driver API works for provisioning Docker on a local machine, on a virtual machine in the data center, or on a public cloud instance. In this Alpha release, Docker Machine ships with drivers for provisioning Docker locally with Virtualbox as well as remotely on Digital Ocean instances; more drivers are in the works for AWS, Azure, VMware, and other infrastructure.
Note that Docker Machine is a separate project from the Docker Engine. To try out the Alpha build and contribute to Docker Machine and its drivers, go to its repository.