When comparing cmder vs Docker, the Slant community recommends cmder for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for Windows?” cmder is ranked 5th while Docker is ranked 19th. The most important reason people chose cmder is:
Cmder builds on [ConEmu](https://code.google.com/p/conemu-maximus5) console emulator, by adding enhancements from [clink](http://mridgers.github.io/clink/) (such as bash-style completion in cmd.exe and PowerTab in powershell.exe) and optionally extending it with [msysgit](http://msysgit.github.io), that brings Unix tools to Windows.
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Pro Minimal and portable version available
There is a portable version of cmder available which is just 10 MB in size. It can be put on an external device, like a USB stick, and run off it. There's no installation required.
Pro Monokai color scheme
Cmder pretties up the default look of ConEmu using Monokai color scheme out of the box and allows flexible color and transparency schemes, including custom out-of-focus opacity.
Pro Has built-in Quake style drop-down mode
This is an extremely useful mode whereby the console hides and shows on ctrl+~ similarly to a gaming console.
This feature is inherited from ConEmu.
Pro File explorer integration
Cmder can be added to the right-click menu, allowing the user to start a terminal session from the selected directory with a "Cmder Here" command. The functionality can be enabled by opening up a terminal with administrator privileges, navigating to the Cmder folder and executing
.\cmder.exe /REGISTER ALL.
Pro Works nicely with command line applications
Such applications include CMD, Powershell, and MinTTY.
Pro Integrates with graphical applications
Portable GUI applications can be integrated directly into the interface of the terminal emulator.
For example, it's possible to integrate ST3 with cmder by moving the portable version of ST3 to
/cmder/vendor/ and editing alias file in
/cmder/config/aliases to include
subl="%CMDER_ROOT%\vendor\Sublime Text 3\sublime_text.exe" $1 -new_console:s75V. Now writing
subl in the command line will open ST3. The alias of subl can be changed to whatever's needed and similarly, the
-new_console option's parameters can be changed to alter how the text editor integrates with the terminal emulator. It can be horizontal or vertical splits of varying sizes or tabs, etc.
Pro Highly flexible
Pro Allows for portable application deployment
Docker creates a single object, containing an application with its dependencies, that can be moved between any docker-enabled machines, guaranteeing the same environment for application execution.
Pro Git-like capabilities
Docker tracks changes in systems. It allows for commits and rollbacks and for quick deployment due to having to deploy only the updated code.
Pro Allows re-using components
Docker essentially allows creating boilerplate systems (a LAMP stack, for example) that can be used as a starting point on multiple projects. And you can find multiple such containers already created by people in their public registry.
Pro Automatic build
Allows automatically assembling a container from its source code.
Pro Provides easy sharing and installation of containers through a public registry
Docker allows easily pushing and pulling containers to and from their public index.docker.io registry. Additionally, dotCloud maintains a list of official repositories of the more popular containers.
Pro Works in virtualized environments
You can set up Docker within an already virtualized environment such as a virtual machine. This allows you to run Docker on Mac and Windows, among other use-cases.
Pro Low overhead
Pro Supports a wide range of isolation tools
Docker can be used with OpenVZ, systemd-nspawn, libvirt-lxc, libvirt-sandbox, qemu/kvm, BSD Jails, Solaris Zones, and chroot.
Pro Tool ecosystem
Con Issues with non-unicode characters
'ls' command can have issues with non-unicode characters such as cyrillic. As of 1.1.2, 'dir' can be used as a substitute that will properly display non-unicode characters. Unfortunately, it's an issue with msysgit that isn't being officially addressed (a workaround is available) thus no official ETA on the bugfix is available.
Con Not as portable as advertised
Even though cmder is advertised as a "portable terminal emulator for Windows", it's not adequately minimalistic to be considered truly portable. In fact, one of the dependencies required to use it is the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015.
Con very very slow
Con Slower than ConEmu
Con The portable (mini) version does not have UNIX commands
UNIX command support is only available for the full version.