Run docker on Raspberry Pi

Install docker on Raspberry Pi and and configure to run as non-root.

Why docker

A docker container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.

A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries and settings.

Comparing Containers and Virtual Machines

Containers and virtual machines have similar resource isolation and allocation benefits, but function differently because containers virtualize the operating system instead of hardware. Containers are more portable and efficient.

Install docker on Raspberry Pi

Docker official add support to install Docker on Raspberry Pi since raspbian/jessie.

To install docker on Raspberry Pi in a single shell command:

$ curl -sSL | sh
# Executing docker install script, commit: 442e66405c304fa92af8aadaa1d9b31bf4b0ad94
+ sudo -E sh -c apt-get update -qq >/dev/null
+ sudo -E sh -c DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get install -y -qq apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl >/dev/null
+ sudo -E sh -c curl -fsSL "" | apt-key add -qq - >/dev/null
Warning: apt-key output should not be parsed (stdout is not a terminal)
+ sudo -E sh -c echo "deb [arch=armhf] buster stable" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list
+ sudo -E sh -c apt-get update -qq >/dev/null
+ [ -n  ]
+ sudo -E sh -c apt-get install -y -qq --no-install-recommends docker-ce >/dev/null
+ sudo -E sh -c docker version
Client: Docker Engine - Community
 Version:           19.03.8
 API version:       1.40
 Go version:        go1.12.17
 Git commit:        afacb8b
 Built:             Wed Mar 11 01:35:24 2020
 OS/Arch:           linux/arm
 Experimental:      false

Server: Docker Engine - Community
  Version:          19.03.8
  API version:      1.40 (minimum version 1.12)
  Go version:       go1.12.17
  Git commit:       afacb8b
  Built:            Wed Mar 11 01:29:22 2020
  OS/Arch:          linux/arm
  Experimental:     false
  Version:          1.2.13
  GitCommit:        7ad184331fa3e55e52b890ea95e65ba581ae3429
  Version:          1.0.0-rc10
  GitCommit:        dc9208a3303feef5b3839f4323d9beb36df0a9dd
  Version:          0.18.0
  GitCommit:        fec3683
If you would like to use Docker as a non-root user, you should now consider
adding your user to the "docker" group with something like:

  sudo usermod -aG docker pi

Remember that you will have to log out and back in for this to take effect!

WARNING: Adding a user to the "docker" group will grant the ability to run
         containers which can be used to obtain root privileges on the
         docker host.
         Refer to
         for more information.

Run docker, you need use sudo by default:

$ sudo docker run -it --rm alpine

If you donot use sudo, you will get permission denied error:

$ docker run -it --rm alpine
docker: Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock: Post http://%2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/v1.40/containers/create: dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: connect: permission denied.
See 'docker run --help'.

To solve this issue, add current user to docker group:

$ sudo usermod -aG docker pi

Logout and re-login pi to let pi use docker without sudo:

$ docker run -it --rm alpine
/ # uname -a
Linux d551a4afa4e1 4.19.97-v7+ #1294 SMP Thu Jan 30 13:15:58 GMT 2020 armv7l Linux