How to install and configure Docker-CE on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

The Docker container system brings instant value to organizations by reducing the infrastructure and maintenance costs of maintaining apps portfolio. This tutorial provides you fully tested step-by-step guide on installation the Docker on your Ubuntu system.

Docker is a containerization technology designed to create, deploy, and run applications by using containers —from hybrid cloud to the edge.

Docker is available in three tiers:

  • Docker Engine – Community
  • Docker Engine – Enterprise
  • Docker Enterprise

Docker Engine – Community: It is ideal for individual developers and small teams looking to get started with Docker and experimenting with container-based apps.

Docker Engine – Enterprise: It is designed for enterprise development of a container runtime with security and an enterprise-grade SLA in mind.

Docker Enterprise: It is designed for teams who build, ship and run business-critical applications in production at scale.

Docker can be run on any distribution running version 3.10+ of the Linux kernel. There are quite a few ways to install docker.

Docker installation methods

  • Install using the repository
  • Install from a package
  • Install using the convenience script

In this guide, we are going to install it from the docker repository. We shall execute commands using the root user for docker configurations.

1. Check Kernel Version

Before installing Docker, we should check the Linux kernel version. So run following command to get kernel information.

uname -a
Kernel Information
Kernel Information

Before installing Docker engine, we need to configure the docker repository.

Docker Engine – Community: It has three types of update channels, stable, test, and nightly:

  • Stable gives you the latest releases for general availability
  • Test gives pre-releases that are ready for testing before general availability
  • Nightly gives you the latest builds of work in progress for the next major release

Generally, Docker package is available in Ubuntu repositories, but here we are going to use docker repositories and install the latest version of docker.

2. Update Repositories

Let’s start with updating the system repositories. Launch the Terminal and enter the following command:

apt-get update

3. Install Dependencies

You need to install below packages. Then apt can access the Docker repositories over HTTPS.

apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg-agent software-properties-common
Install Needed Packages
Install Needed Packages

Purpose of each command can be classified as follows.

apt-transport-https: Transfer files and data over https
ca-certificates: Allows the system to check security certificates
curl: Tool for transferring data
gnupg-agent: Gpg-agent is a program that runs in the background (a daemon) and stores GPG secret keys in memory
software-properties-common: Adds scripts for managing software

Add Docker’s official GPG key:

curl -fsSL | apt-key add -
Add GPG Key
Add GPG Key

4. Setup Repository

Setup a stable Docker repository:

add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable"

The $(lsb_release –cs) sub-command below returns codename of Ubuntu installation

Add Repository
Add Repository

Update repositories.

 apt-get update
Update Repositories
Update Repositories

5. Install Docker-CE

Install the latest version of the Docker Engine – Community.

apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli
Install Latest Docker
Install Latest Docker

List the versions available in the repo.

apt-cache policy docker-ce
List Available Docker Versions
List Available Docker Versions

6. Install Specific Version

If you need to install a specific version run below command. Here I selected “18.03.1~ce~3-0~ubuntu.

apt-get install docker-ce={Version}


apt-get install docker-ce=18.03.1~ce~3-0~ubuntu

You can check the docker-engine status using the following command

systemctl status docker
Docker Engine Status
Docker Engine Status

7. Docker as a non-root user

First, let’s create a new user and add them to the docker group.

adduser dockeruser
usermod -aG docker dockeruser

Change user:

su - dockeruser
Create New User
Create New User

Verify that you can run docker commands

docker run hello-world

The above command downloads a test image and runs it in a container. When the container executes, it prints an informational message and exits.

Test Docker User

8. Configure Docker to start on System boot

systemctl enable docker
Docker On Boot
Docker On Boot

9. Remove Docker

If you want to remove docker, you can run following commands

apt-get purge docker-ce
apt-get autoremove

Images, containers, etc. are not automatically removed. To delete all images, containers, and volumes run below command:

rm -rf /var/lib/docker

10. Docker CLI

To list all available commands run docker command in docker user.

List Docker Commands
List Docker Commands

Run ‘docker COMMAND –help’ for more information on a command.


docker image --help
Command Help
Command Help

That’s it. You have now successfully installed docker on your Ubuntu system. In our upcoming articles, we will see how to work with docker effectively.


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