How to Install Docker and Run Docker Containers in Ubuntu

Docker is an open source and popular operating system-level virtualization (commonly known as “containerization”) technology that primarily runs on Linux and Windows. Docker makes it easier to create, deploy, and run applications by using containers.

With containers, developers (and system administrators) can package up an application with everything needed to run the application – the code, a run-time, libraries, environment variables, and configuration files, and ship it all out as one package. Yes, it’s that great!

In this article, we will show you how to install Docker CE (Community Edition), create and run Docker containers on Ubuntu distribution.

Installing Docker CE (Community Edition) in Ubuntu

1. To install Docker CE, first, you need to remove older versions of Docker were called docker,, or docker-engine from the system using the following command.

$ sudo apt-get remove docker docker-engine containerd runc

2. Next, you need to set up the Docker repository to install and update Docker from the repository using following commands.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable"

3. Update the apt package index and install the latest version of Docker CE using following commands.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli
Installing Docker CE in Ubuntu
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  aufs-tools cgroupfs-mount pigz
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  aufs-tools cgroupfs-mount docker-ce docker-ce-cli pigz
0 upgraded, 6 newly installed, 0 to remove and 167 not upgraded.
Need to get 50.7 MB of archives.
After this operation, 243 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 bionic/universe amd64 pigz amd64 2.4-1 [57.4 kB]
Get:2 bionic/stable amd64 amd64 1.2.4-1 [19.9 MB]
Get:3 bionic/universe amd64 aufs-tools amd64 1:4.9+20170918-1ubuntu1 [104 kB]
Get:4 bionic/universe amd64 cgroupfs-mount all 1.4 [6,320 B]
Get:5 bionic/stable amd64 docker-ce-cli amd64 5:18.09.3~3-0~ubuntu-bionic [13.1 MB]
Get:6 bionic/stable amd64 docker-ce amd64 5:18.09.3~3-0~ubuntu-bionic [17.4 MB]
Fetched 50.7 MB in 7s (7,779 kB/s)                                     

4. After successfully installing the Docker CE package, the service should be auto-started and auto-enabled to start at system boot, you can check its status using the following command.

$ sudo systemctl status docker 
Checking Docker CE Status
● docker.service - Docker Application Container Engine
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/docker.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2019-03-06 08:06:42 UTC; 2min 18s ago
 Main PID: 5274 (dockerd)
    Tasks: 8
   CGroup: /system.slice/docker.service
           └─5274 /usr/bin/dockerd -H fd:// --containerd=/run/containerd/containerd.sock

Mar 06 08:06:41 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:41.562587408Z" level=warning msg="Your kernel does not support cgroup rt runtime"
Mar 06 08:06:41 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:41.562767803Z" level=warning msg="Your kernel does not support cgroup blkio weight"
Mar 06 08:06:41 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:41.562966844Z" level=warning msg="Your kernel does not support cgroup blkio weight_device"
Mar 06 08:06:41 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:41.565298457Z" level=info msg="Loading containers: start."
Mar 06 08:06:41 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:41.950942467Z" level=info msg="Default bridge (docker0) is assigned with an IP address Daemon option --bip can be used to set a prefer
Mar 06 08:06:42 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:42.036964493Z" level=info msg="Loading containers: done."
Mar 06 08:06:42 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:42.156279378Z" level=info msg="Docker daemon" commit=774a1f4 graphdriver(s)=overlay2 version=18.09.3
Mar 06 08:06:42 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:42.157145045Z" level=info msg="Daemon has completed initialization"
Mar 06 08:06:42 tecmint systemd[1]: Started Docker Application Container Engine.
Mar 06 08:06:42 tecmint dockerd[5274]: time="2019-03-06T08:06:42.224229999Z" level=info msg="API listen on /var/run/docker.sock"

5. Finally, verify that Docker CE is installed properly by running the hello-world image.

$ sudo docker run hello-world
Verify Docker CE Installation
Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
 1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
 2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
 3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
    executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
 4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
    to your terminal.

To try something more ambitious, you can run an Ubuntu container with:
 $ docker run -it ubuntu bash

Share images, automate workflows, and more with a free Docker ID:

For more examples and ideas, visit:

Learn Basic Docker Commands in Ubuntu

6. To get information about Docker, run the following command.

$ sudo docker info

Kernel Version: 5.0.0-050000-generic
Operating System: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS
OSType: linux
Architecture: x86_64
CPUs: 1
Total Memory: 1.452GiB
Name: tecmint
Docker Root Dir: /var/lib/docker
Debug Mode (client): false
Debug Mode (server): false
Experimental: false
Insecure Registries:
Live Restore Enabled: false
Product License: Community Engine

7. To get information about Docker version, run the following command.

$ sudo docker version

 Version:           18.09.3
 API version:       1.39
 Go version:        go1.10.8
 Git commit:        774a1f4
 Built:             Thu Feb 28 06:53:11 2019
 OS/Arch:           linux/amd64
 Experimental:      false

Server: Docker Engine - Community
  Version:          18.09.3
  API version:      1.39 (minimum version 1.12)
  Go version:       go1.10.8
  Git commit:       774a1f4
  Built:            Thu Feb 28 05:59:55 2019
  OS/Arch:          linux/amd64
  Experimental:     false

8. To get a list of all available Docker commands run docker on your terminal.

$ docker

Usage:	docker [OPTIONS] COMMAND

A self-sufficient runtime for containers

      --config string      Location of client config files (default "/home/tecmint/.docker")
  -D, --debug              Enable debug mode
  -H, --host list          Daemon socket(s) to connect to
  -l, --log-level string   Set the logging level ("debug"|"info"|"warn"|"error"|"fatal") (default "info")
      --tls                Use TLS; implied by --tlsverify
      --tlscacert string   Trust certs signed only by this CA (default "/home/tecmint/.docker/ca.pem")
      --tlscert string     Path to TLS certificate file (default "/home/tecmint/.docker/cert.pem")
      --tlskey string      Path to TLS key file (default "/home/tecmint/.docker/key.pem")
      --tlsverify          Use TLS and verify the remote
  -v, --version            Print version information and quit

Management Commands:
  builder     Manage builds
  config      Manage Docker configs
  container   Manage containers
  engine      Manage the docker engine
  image       Manage images
  network     Manage networks
  node        Manage Swarm nodes
  plugin      Manage plugins
  secret      Manage Docker secrets
  service     Manage services
  stack       Manage Docker stacks
  swarm       Manage Swarm
  system      Manage Docker
  trust       Manage trust on Docker images
  volume      Manage volumes

Download a Docker Image in Ubuntu

9. To run a Docker container, first, you need to download an image from Docker Hub – provides free images from its repositories.

For example, to download a Docker image called CentOS 7, issue the following command.

$ sudo docker search centos

NAME                               DESCRIPTION                                     STARS               OFFICIAL            AUTOMATED
centos                             The official build of CentOS.                   5227                [OK]                
ansible/centos7-ansible            Ansible on Centos7                              120                                     [OK]
jdeathe/centos-ssh                 CentOS-6 6.10 x86_64 / CentOS-7 7.5.1804 x86…   107                                     [OK]
consol/centos-xfce-vnc             Centos container with "headless" VNC session…   81                                      [OK]
imagine10255/centos6-lnmp-php56    centos6-lnmp-php56                              50                                      [OK]
centos/mysql-57-centos7            MySQL 5.7 SQL database server                   47                                      
tutum/centos                       Simple CentOS docker image with SSH access      43                                      
gluster/gluster-centos             Official GlusterFS Image [ CentOS-7 +  Glust…   40                                      [OK]
openshift/base-centos7             A Centos7 derived base image for Source-To-I…   39                                      
centos/postgresql-96-centos7       PostgreSQL is an advanced Object-Relational …   37                                      
centos/python-35-centos7           Platform for building and running Python 3.5…   33                                      
kinogmt/centos-ssh                 CentOS with SSH                                 26                                      [OK]
openshift/jenkins-2-centos7        A Centos7 based Jenkins v2.x image for use w…   20                                      
centos/php-56-centos7              Platform for building and running PHP 5.6 ap…   19                                      
pivotaldata/centos-gpdb-dev        CentOS image for GPDB development. Tag names…   10                                      
openshift/wildfly-101-centos7      A Centos7 based WildFly v10.1 image for use …   6                                       
openshift/jenkins-1-centos7        DEPRECATED: A Centos7 based Jenkins v1.x ima…   4                                       
darksheer/centos                   Base Centos Image -- Updated hourly             3                                       [OK]
pivotaldata/centos                 Base centos, freshened up a little with a Do…   2                                       
pivotaldata/centos-mingw           Using the mingw toolchain to cross-compile t…   2                                       
pivotaldata/centos-gcc-toolchain   CentOS with a toolchain, but unaffiliated wi…   1                                       
openshift/wildfly-81-centos7       A Centos7 based WildFly v8.1 image for use w…   1                                       
blacklabelops/centos               CentOS Base Image! Built and Updates Daily!     1                                       [OK]
smartentry/centos                  centos with smartentry                          0                                       [OK]
jameseckersall/sonarr-centos       Sonarr on CentOS 7                              0                                       [OK]

10. After you determined on what image you want to run based on your requirements, download it locally by running the below command (in this case a CentOS image is downloaded and used).

$ docker pull centos

Using default tag: latest
latest: Pulling from library/centos
a02a4930cb5d: Pull complete 
Digest: sha256:184e5f35598e333bfa7de10d8fb1cebb5ee4df5bc0f970bf2b1e7c7345136426
Status: Downloaded newer image for centos:latest

11. To list all the available Docker images on your host run the following command.

$ sudo docker images

REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
hello-world         latest              fce289e99eb9        2 months ago        1.84kB
centos              latest              1e1148e4cc2c        3 months ago        202MB

12. If you don’t want a Docker image anymore and you can remove it using the following command.

$ sudo docker rmi centos

Untagged: centos:latest
Untagged: centos@sha256:184e5f35598e333bfa7de10d8fb1cebb5ee4df5bc0f970bf2b1e7c7345136426
Deleted: sha256:1e1148e4cc2c148c6890a18e3b2d2dde41a6745ceb4e5fe94a923d811bf82ddb
Deleted: sha256:071d8bd765171080d01682844524be57ac9883e53079b6ac66707e192ea25956

Run a Docker Container in Ubuntu

13. In order to create and run a Docker container, first you need to run a command into a downloaded CentOS image, so a basic command would be to check the distribution version file inside the container using cat command, as shown.

$ docker run centos cat /etc/issue

14. To run the containers again, first you need to get the Container ID or Name by running the following command, which will display a list of the running and stopped containers:

$ sudo docker ps -l

CONTAINER ID        IMAGE               COMMAND             CREATED              STATUS                          PORTS               NAMES
0ddfa81c5779        centos              "cat /etc/issue"    About a minute ago   Exited (0) About a minute ago                       elastic_shirley

15. Once the Container ID or Name has been acquired, you can start the container using the following command:

$ sudo docker start 0ddfa81c5779
$ sudo docker start elastic_shirley

Here, the string 0ddfa81c5779 represents the container ID and elastic_shirley represents the container Name.

16. To stop the running container run docker stop command by specifying the Container ID or Name.

$ sudo docker stop 0ddfa81c5779
$ sudo docker stop elastic_shirley

17. A more better way, so that you don’t have to remember the container ID would be to define a unique name for each container you create by using the --name option as shown.

$ docker run --name myname centos cat /etc/issue

18. In order to connect and run Linux commands into a container issue the following command.

$ docker run -it centos bash

[root@6213ec547863 /]# uname -a
Linux 6213ec547863 5.0.0-050000-generic #201903032031 SMP Mon Mar 4 01:33:18 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
[root@6213ec547863 /]# cat /etc/redhat-release 
CentOS Linux release 7.6.1810 (Core) 

19. To quit and back to host from the running container session you must type exit command as shown.

$ exit

That’s all for basic container manipulation. If you have any questions or comments about this article, use the feedback form below to reach us.

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1 Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. Hello Mate,

    I think you forget one component: “docker-engine” to reinstall completely and get the job done!

    $ sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli



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