Docker recently announced Community and Enterprise editions of docker and gave a matrix of the differences in each. It shows that "Integrated secrets management" is not available for community and enterprise basic editions. We are using secrets in our current Docker setup (pre CE/EE).

Does this mean that we will need to upgrade to EE in order not to loose this feature or is "Integrated secrets management" a new more robust version of the existing secrets management that we are used to in the pre CE/EE era? This somehow feels like a bait-and-switch move on the part of Docker, if we now have to pay for something that was free before.

Since this is a recent announcement I can't seem to find any documentation on the specific differences other than the matrix, which would make it clear what features, if any, the free edition is losing. I installed Docker on a machine yesterday and I see the documentation for the installation process is already updated to have people install either CE or EE

  • You probably should contact them or wait for the release/a pre-release to check it out. As it's their product they can do pretty much whatever they want to do with it. – Seth Mar 3 '17 at 18:16
  • I am hoping that a more knowledgable person may already know of existing online documentation or some other press release that provides more information. I don't expect an answer from them since we are not EE customers. I did find this article which seems to confirm that its vanilla "secrets management" that has been yanked from the free offering. – StartupGuy Mar 3 '17 at 18:26
  • You have access to the same documentation we do, if you can't find it, one would need to be a Docker programmer to know – Ramhound Mar 3 '17 at 19:55

I was confused by this as well. I spoke to a developer at Docker and they stated the following:

The 'secrets mgmt' listed isn't 'secrets' itself. secrets is part of the open source project and definitely part of CE. The pricing page will be revised, sorry for the confusion.

So it looks like secrets will stay around and the EE version will have a more robust version.

Hope this helps.

  • Great. Hopefully we will see clarification soon. Since I work with a few start-ups that are strapped for cash, these little details are quite important. – StartupGuy Mar 9 '17 at 0:17

There are now three ways that Docker CE supports secrets.

Docker Engine 18.09 supports BuildKit, which supports secrets.

Build-time secrets: Integrate secrets in your Dockerfile and pass them along in a safe way. These secrets do not end up stored in the final image nor are they included in the build cache calculations to avoid anyone from using the cache metadata to reconstruct the secret. - Docker Blog


Docker Compose and Docker Swarm also support secrets.

I wrote a blog post that discusses Docker secrets here.

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