DC/OS is a platform for running distributed containerized software, like apps, jobs, and services. As a platform, DC/OS is distinct from and agnostic to the infrastructure layer. This means that the infrastructure may consist of virtual or physical hardware as long as it provides compute, storage, and networking.

Software Layer

At the software layer, DC/OS provides package management and a package repository to easily install and manage multiple types of services: databases, message queues, stream processors, artifact repositories, monitoring solutions, continuous integration tools, source control management, log aggregators, etc. In addition to these packaged apps and services, the user may install their own custom apps, services, and scheduled jobs.

For more information, see Task Types.

Platform Layer

At the platform layer there are dozens of components grouped into the following categories:

  • Cluster Management
  • Container Orchestration
  • Container Runtimes
  • Logging and Metrics
  • Networking
  • Package Management
  • IAM and Security
  • Storage

These components are divided across multiple node types:

  • Master Nodes
  • Private Agent Nodes
  • Public Agent Nodes

For DC/OS to be installed, each node must already be provisioned with one of the supported host operating systems.

For more information, see Components, Node Types, and Host Operating System.

Infrastructure Layer

At the infrastructure layer, DC/OS can be installed on public clouds, private clouds, or on-premises hardware. Some of these install targets have automated provisioning tools, but almost any infrastructure can be used, as long as it includes multiple x86 machines on a shared IPv4 network.

For more information, see Installing.

External Components

In addition to the software that runs in the datacenter, DC/OS includes and integrates with several external components: the GUI, CLI, package repository, and container registry.

Node Types

A DC/OS node is a virtual or physical machine on which DC/OS components run. DC/OS nodes are networked together to form a DC/OS cluster. A DC/OS cluster is composed of three types ...

Task Types

DC/OS can run many different kinds of workloads, which are composed of tasks. DC/OS tasks are Mesos tasks that have been scheduled by either a DC/OS built-in scheduler or a schedul...


DC/OS is composed of many open source microservice components meticulously tuned and configured to work together. Mesosphere Enterprise DC/OS includes most of the open source DC/OS...

Distributed Process Management

This section describes the management of processes in a DC/OS cluster, from the resource allocation to the execution of a process. At a high level, this interaction takes place bet...

Boot Sequence

During installation, the DC/OS component services are all started in parallel but initialize and become responsive in a relatively consistent sequence because of interdependencies....