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Install Docker on Raspberry Pi Installing Docker and Docker Compose on the Raspberry Pi in 5 Simple Steps

Rohan Sawant
Hi! I'm Rohan, a Full Stack Software Engineer, with a background of working with Deep Learning and AI, who loves to use his skills to create products that are at the intersection of all of these!
Updated on ・1 min read

You know what Docker is. You know what a Raspberry Pi is. Let me make sure they hit it off together. 😎🤝🏽

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest ways to get Docker and Docker Compose running on the Raspberry Pi.
(Tested with Raspberry Pi B+ Rev 1.2 and Raspberry Pi 4)

After searching the Inter-Webs for hours and having several things not work for me, I decided something needed to be done about it.

Steps

1. Install Docker

curl -sSL https://get.docker.com | sh

2. Add permission to Pi User to run Docker Commands

sudo usermod -aG docker pi

Reboot here or run the next commands with a sudo

3. Test Docker installation

docker run hello-world

4. IMPORTANT! Install proper dependencies

sudo apt-get install -y libffi-dev libssl-dev

sudo apt-get install -y python3 python3-pip

sudo apt-get remove python-configparser

5. Install Docker Compose

sudo pip3 -v install docker-compose

Boom! 🔥 It's done!

Important Notice about Docker on the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pis use the ARM architecture, and as a result, won't be compatible with all containers out of the box. Images will need to be built from an ARM base image. But, most of these images can easily be found on Docker Hub

Discussion (63)

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thedynomike profile image
TheDynomike

This works on

PRETTY_NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)"

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cmrn profile image
Cameron

Thanks so much! Worked on Raspberry Pi 4

sudo apt-get -y install libffi-dev libssl-dev python3-dev python3 python3-pip
sudo pip3 -v install docker-compose
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After a fresh install, firmware and distro upgrade, docker-compose seemed to take quite a while to finish. Added the -v verbose flag to make sure the install wasn't stuck.

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Ah, thanks, man! I am glad it worked!

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klo2k profile image
klo2k

On Ubuntu 20.04 raspberrypi, this also works:

apt install --yes python3-paramiko
pip3 install docker-compose
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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Ah, thanks! 👍🏽 🙂

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vegasbrianc profile image
Brian Christner

It seems a problem with the docker python client. After running docker-compose for the first time. You get the error ImportError: No module named ssl_match_hostname on init

The fix is cp -r /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/backports/ssl_match_hostname/ /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/backports

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dbrosy profile image
dbrosy

this might be a better option.

sudo apt-get remove python-configparser
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After removing configparser docker-compose starts as expected.
I removed after installing compose via pip but noted an error related to configparser at end of install so this might be better run after dependencies but before compose. This part I haven't tried

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Rohan Sawant Author • Edited

Hmm, this is weird did you try to install it with Python 3?

Python 2 support ends next year.

Update, in the next few weeks, I'll rewrite this and try again on a fresh installation that should help me find the errors.

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vegasbrianc profile image
Brian Christner

I was just using the standard installers as listed in your instructions (which are great BTW). Everything from first glance still uses Python2.

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Yeah, you are correct, I just re-read my own post and yep everything seems to be using Python 3 😅

Please disregard my last comment.

I'll update the post and fix the remaining issues soon, that should help with my confusion.

Just out of curiosity how did you manage to fix the problem? By copying the dependency? I haven't seen this solution ever before.

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vegasbrianc profile image
Brian Christner

This is specific to ARM Docker deployments. The Ubuntu deployments in the Cloud don't seem to have this issue.

I found people having the similar issue after installing docker-compose - github.com/docker/docker-py/issues...

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fredc1 profile image
fred-c1 • Edited

Thanks.
Tested today.
Raspberry pi 3B+ with Raspbian Buster Lite

I had to switch to python3/pip3 to install docker compose.
The message just before the error was:
setuptools requires Python '>=3.5' but the running Python is 2.7.16

Solution:
1 = make python3 the default python => search google
2 = sudo apt-get install -y python3-pip "3" !!!
3 = sudo pip3 install docker-compose "3" !!!

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Marcel Zuidwijk  • Edited

Yep, got this error too and that indeed was the solution. The strange part is that it did worked, till about one or two weeks ago. Now I use this:

$ curl -sSL get.docker.com | sh
$ sudo usermod -aG docker pi
$ sudo apt-get install libffi-dev libssl-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y python3 python3-pip
$ sudo apt-get remove python-configparser (apparently this isn't installed by using my commands on a clean install)
$ sudo pip3 install docker-compose

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Updated the post to reflect this. Thanks!

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wmbell65 profile image
William Bell • Edited

Hi everyone,
I am trying to duplicate this on a set of PI 2B (v1.1) and a Pi 3B. I am completely new to Docker and thought this would be a good way to get started. I am setting up the Pi 3B as the masternode and 8 PI 2Bs as nodes for a docker swarm. I am running all nodes with the latest Raspian OS freshly installed on SD cards. I am running into an issue with the very first step.. it looks like there is an error in the source script, so am looking to see if this can be broken apart.. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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wmbell65 profile image
William Bell

Hi everyone,
I managed to get things sort of sorted out:
1) I ran 'sudo apt-get remove docker*' on all nodes.
2) I then removed /etc/docker /var/lib/docker /etc/init.d/docker /run/docker on each node.
3) I ran 'sudo apt-get clean' on all nodes
4) rebooted all nodes

Starting from scratch I downloaded the get-docker.sh and copied it to each node and ran the following:
sudo sh get-docker.sh
sudo usermod -aG docker pi
sudo systemctl start docker.service
sudo systemctl enable docker.service
docker info
docker run hello-world

The next step was to run 'docker init swarm' on one of the nodes to create the manager node. This looks to have completed properly as I got 'swarm initialized....'

At this point, the responsiveness of the node fell through the floor.. top shows CPU 98% idle but keystrokes etc are delayed by 30-40 seconds. I am thinking maybe memory?? but am not sure what the next step would be after this...

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Robert Bernstein

Thank you, @william bell! That did the trick!

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robertbernstein profile image
Robert Bernstein

I may have spoken to soon. It finished running sudo sh get-docker.sh, which it hadn't before, but it still fails to start Docker Application Container Engine.

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wmbell65 profile image
William Bell

I switched over to Ubuntu and not only did Docker install, I got Kubernetes installed and working as well.. I had to try a couple of minor things, but mostly missing packages

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pachangadad profile image
Birger Luecht

Thanks for the outline of step by step commands. This worked for me also on RPI3

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wmbell65 profile image
William Bell

As an FYI.. the whole issue of the master node hanging went away when I switched from Raspberry Pi OS to Ubuntu 20 server.. I even managed to get kubernetes installed..
What made this interesting was that the master is a Pi 3b with an ARM7 V4 while the rest are Pi 2B+ with ARM7 v5..

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Rick Broberg

If you amend step 2 to include

newgrp docker

then you don't need to reboot or use 'sudo docker' while you're in that shell.

Also, if you amend step 4 to include '-y' in your 'apt-get install' lines it is more friendly to copy/paste. Everybody is going to answer 'y to the installation question anyway.

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icloudphil profile image
Phil Chen

Tested on RetroPi 4, I was originally getting sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1) right after installing docker using the curl -sSL https://get.docker.com | sh after a whole bunch of the google search, I landed. Just want to share the error I got was simply resolved by

  1. continue to follow those 5 simple steps
  2. skip docker run hello-world would give you error message about the access deny
  3. restart your raspberry pi 4
  4. come back and continue with the hello-world steps and the rest!
  5. it simply just worked!

Thanks Rohan for this awesome guide!

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Ah, thanks man. I'll add a note to restart the device if you see any errors. It's people like you who help keep this guide updated!!

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unfor19 profile image
Meir Gabay

Tested on

Model: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GBRAM
MicroSD: Sandisk 32GB
OS: Raspbian Buster with desktop
Flashed OS App: Balena Etcher

Thank you Rohan

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Hans Bakker

Out of curiosity, why did you choose to install from scratch, rather than using a Raspberry Pi image from Hypriot?
What are the pros / cons?
What is more reliable / maintainable?

You can read something about Hyrpiot OS on blog.hypriot.com/getting-started-w...

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Huh? Honestly. I instinctively googled "how to install docker on the Raspberry Pi" and most of the other guides mentioned some iteration of the steps in this article but many of them didn't work.
So, when I thought of creating a simple guide that actually worked, those were the steps that I chose to follow.

But, if you know you want to run Docker right from the beginning, maybe Hyrpiot is a better option. :) I already had other projects running on the Pi and I was too lazy to reflash.

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devsaumyadip profile image
Saumyadip Biswas • Edited

curl -sSL get.docker.com | sh , This curl will not work with ubuntu 20.04 server running on pi
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
$ curl -sSL get.docker.com | sh
$ sudo usermod -aG docker pi
$ sudo apt install libffi-dev libssl-dev python3 python3-pip

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Oh, I had tested everything with Raspbian.

Btw, How is the Ubuntu support on the RPi? Is it worth moving to Ubuntu from Raspbian? 🤔

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devsaumyadip profile image
Saumyadip Biswas

ubuntu.com/download/raspberry-pi
this is ubuntu server version for RPi, yea definitely worth it more stable more support and I have attached some images also attached my pi server image with some text blurred.

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svanzon profile image
svanzon • Edited

Hi, thanks for you post.

I'm starting to work with Docker and Docker-compose but can't install the docker-compose.

My configuration is:

  • RaspberryPi 3+
  • Raspbian Full Stretch and Buster (tried both with a clean install)

The hello-world docker runs without errors. So docker is installed.

But with the last command "sudo pip install docker-compose" There is an error end I don't know how too solve it. Looked around at the internet and trying Stretch and Buster version of Raspbian. Can you help me.

setuptools requires Python '>=3.5' but the running Python is 2.7.16

Command "/usr/bin/python -m pip install --ignore-installed --no-user --prefix /tmp/pip-build-env-1XaNDC --no-warn-script-location --no-binary :none: --only-binary :none: -i https://pypi.org/simple --extra-index-url https://www.piwheels.org/simple -- setuptools>=40.8.0 wheel "cffi>=1.1; python_implementation != 'PyPy'"" failed with error code 1 in None
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Andy Raddatz

Thanks for this, but I also had to install libssl-dev before the final sudo pip install docker-compose worked

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Rohan Sawant Author

I'll update the post to include this as well! Thanks! 👍🏽

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Boom! It's done. Anything more? 😇

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tanakornp profile image
tanakornp • Edited

Thx for your article.
I wasted a full day try to get docker-compose up and running on my Pi4 while it took me only few minutes to get it works on Ubuntu VM.
In Ubuntu VM, "apt-get install docker-compose" did the job but some how for Pi it did not :\

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Rohan Sawant Author

I just tested everything on a fresh Raspbian Buster build on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and it indeed needed a few changes.

sudo apt-get remove python-configparser

Thanks to @dbrosy and @vegasbrianc for pointing it out.

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Ben Mitchinson • Edited

Worked on first try as of March 2020 Rasp Buster Lite, thank you!

Also, the build step for bdist_wheel to run setup.py takes a pi 3 b+ like 12 minutes, so know that it's not broken if that's taking a while. CPU gets pretty hot, recommend rebooting and letting it cool for a while.

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Pavel Burgr

Hi, thanks for nice post. In case you want to get Raspi image with preinstalled docker in one step, check this out: device.farm. Beside the Linux image, you can also simply manage your docker over internet or access your container's services from internet.

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Rohan Sawant Author

Oh! Wow this is sooo good!!

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Erik Neff • Edited

Thx for this post, Rohan! One possible thing to add - when I ran the command: sudo pip install docker-compose on my Raspberry Pi 4 running Ubuntu 19.10, I got the error:

ERROR: Cannot uninstall 'PyYAML'. It is a distutils installed project and thus we cannot accurately determine which files belong to it which would lead to only a partial uninstall.

After reading this thread - stackoverflow.com/questions/499115... - I was able to install docker-compose by adding the ignore-installed flag like this:

sudo pip install docker-compose --ignore-installed PyYAML

Note that during the install, I did see these 2 errors:
ERROR: launchpadlib 1.10.7 requires testresources, which is not installed.
ERROR: docker-compose 1.25.0 has requirement PyYAML<5,>=3.10, but you'll have pyyaml 5.1.2 which is incompatible.

but that didn't stop docker-compose from installing successfully, and now I have:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ docker-compose --version
docker-compose version 1.25.0, build b42d419

and I just manually ran sudo pip install testresources after. Hope this helps!

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Rohan Sawant Author

Oh, on Ubuntu 19?

I had not thought it would work with that. Cool that you manage to get it working!

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Laura Seidler

On a Raspberry Pi 4, with Raspbian Lite, just running apt install docker-compose after installing docker worked just fine for me

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h98aaron

Thanks,
also install python-dev / python3-dev

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Rohan Sawant Author

Ah, I had this already installed, so missed it. 😅

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Rob van Kampen • Edited

Hi Rohan,

after step 1 i got the message back: status = stable.
When i enter step 2 ... i got back: usermod: group 'docker' doesnt exist

Please can you help me?

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descansodj profile image
Nazareno DeFrancesco

This helped me solving this problem: raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.p...

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant Author

Hey Rob,

That is super weird. I just tried this with a fresh installation and I did not have any issues.

Does rebooting after installing docker help?

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Alkin Tezuysal

My docker-compose step fails as follows;
Exception: Version mismatch: this is the 'cffi' package version 1.13.2, located in '/tmp/pip-build-mJ6FCD/pynacl/cffi-1.13.2-py2.7-linux-armv7l.egg/cffi/api.pyc'. When we import the top-level '_cffi_backend' extension module, we get version 1.9.1, located in '/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/_cffi_backend.arm-linux-gnueabihf.so'. The two versions should be equal; check your installation.

Any help appreciated.

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Alkin Tezuysal

sudo pip3 install cffi==1.13.2 solved but there are other dependencies.

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muyangren1880

Hi , I'm shepherd ,
I used the "2019-09-26-raspbian-buster-full.img" raspberry pie image(3B+).When I used this image last year, I could install docker normally.Today, I reinstalled the system and encountered a problem while installing docker.
First:
1.sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
No problem
2.curl -fsSL get.docker.com -o get-docker.sh
No problem
3.sudo sh get-docker.sh
error:Essential packages were removed and -y was used without --allow-remove-essential.
I've updated Python to 3.6;
The problem has always been. I don't know what happened
I hope you can help me.

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Rohan Sawant Author

Hmm, so this is what I can do. This weekend, I'll try the Docker installation on a fresh newest version of Raspbian and see if it's still working out of the box.

That should help you 🤔

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TeeSo di Carlo Oldani

tested on raspberry A+ with raspbian os lite aarch64 ... works truly fine ...

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Rohan Sawant Author

A+ too? Could not have expected that! Thanks for reading, mate!

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Thordur Thordarson

Finally a solution that works for me after looking everywhere. Thank you, sir!

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Bobby Iliev

Great tutorial!

I actually have a short video on how to do that as well:

youtube.com/watch?v=zvs-7GRKN38

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Andreas Heil

Thanks for this hint! I literally tried each and every approach I found. Installing the dependencies fixed my issue with docker-compose 1.25 on Raspberry Pi 4 and Ubuntu Server on it!

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Andrés Gutiérrez

Thanks for the post

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reedcons profile image
reedcons

Hi,
if you add

su - pi

after

sudo usermod -aG docker pi

you dont need reboot

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Brian Scott

Make sure you scan any images coming from Docker Hub, Reports find that 49% of the images have critical vulnerabilities. Use something like Clair to scan first.