Docker has released its first update for 2023 for the Docker Desktop product, version 4.16. The most significant improvement in this release is the introduction of Docker Extensions to general availability, and the release also offers a number of performance improvements.

In this release, Docker Extensions transitions from beta to GA. The Docker Extensions feature connects the Docker toolchain to application development and deployment workflows. To make it easier to use Docker Extensions, the ability to search, install, and uninstall extensions directly from the search bar has been added.

With Docker Desktop 4.16, Docker Extensions and the Docker Extensions SDK are now generally available to all platforms and users.

The Docker Extensions feature allows you to extend Docker Desktop with debugging, testing, security, networking and much more. You can also create custom add-ons using the Extensions SDK.

Since its launch, Marketplace Extensions has expanded from 15 initial extensions to over 30, with more to come.

Here’s more information about extensions and enhancements on Docker:

  • Improved discoverability through search, categories, list of number of installed extensions, and more.
  • Addition of an Extensions Marketplace in Docker Hub to make it easier to search for extensions and images.
  • Create a tab for extensions in Docker Desktop.
  • Made it easier to share new extensions with a Share button.

Docker now enables analyzing an image for vulnerabilities to be up to 4 times faster – and use up to 76% less memory. These performance improvements, which will be introduced as part of Docker Desktop 4.16, can be of great value when working with larger (over 5 GB) images.

To perform the analysis, you must select an image in the Images tab. An analysis will automatically run so that the user can be alerted to vulnerabilities in underlying images and dependencies.

Additional changes are described in the release notes. Many Docker Desktop dependencies have also been updated in this release, in particular Docker Compose is now version 2.15.1, Containerd is version 1.6.14, and Docker Engine has been updated to version 20.10.22. A number of bug fixes have also been made.

Docker Desktop 4.16 is now available. Docker Desktop is free for small businesses, but requires a paid subscription for larger organizations.

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