Docker: Installation

Installing Docker is very easy. Whether on any desktop environment(like Windows, Linux, or macOS) or on a server environment, then installation is simple.

Here we are discussing the installation of docker on desktops and servers. We are discussing the installation process to the point so that you don’t have to go through a long document for the installation.

Docker Desktop

For using Docker in a desktop environment, there is “Docker Desktop” available. This is provided by Docker inc.

This is the standard way of using and managing docker.
Provides a nice UI for viewing the docker resources/objects.
Docker CLI is included with the Docker desktop. So we can use the Docker commands after the “Docker Desktop” installation.


Docker desktop is available for download from the link below-

Docker Desktop on Windows

On our Windows system, we are using the WSL(Windows Sub-System for Linux) for installing and using Docker.

Enable “WSL” on Windows. We need the Windows Sub-System for Linux for this installation.
Download “Docker Desktop” from the Docker website. You will easily find the native Windows installer for Docker.
The installation process is simple. Just double-click the installer and follow the instructions (click on the next button).
After installation, we can open the desktop application, and also can use the Docker commands from command line(CLI).

After installation start the Docker Desktop application. It will look like the one below(we have a few containers running here).

Docker Desktop
Docker Desktop


One important setting, that we should enable after installing the Docker Desktop on Windows is the “WSL integration“.

Go to the Settings > Resources > WSL integration

and check the “Enable integration with my default WSL distro“.

This will enable us to use the same docker system from the Linux Sub-system on Windows.

Enable WSL integration for Docker in Windows
Enable WSL integration for Docker in Windows

Docker Desktop on Linux

Download the appropriate version for your Linux distribution. There are .dev or .rpm installation files available for distribution like “Ubuntu”, “Debina”, “Fedora” etc.
Install the package. The installation process is standard and simple. For installation on our Ubuntu desktop we have used the following command-
sudo dpkg -i docker-desktop-4.28.0-amd64.deb
Run Docker desktop and you will find a screen like below. This will install the GUI and docker engine for use in the terminal.

Docker Desktop on macOS

Download the “dmg” file for installation.
Make sure to download the correct version, as there are separate “dmg” installer for “Mac Intel chip” and “Mac Apple chip“.
Follow the standard process for installing the “dmg” file. Double-click on the installer and follow the instructions.
After installation, we can open the desktop application, and also can use the Docker commands from the terminal(CLI).
Docker Desktop macOS
Docker Desktop macOS

Docker Engine on Linux(Ubuntu) Server

Use the following steps to manage docker engine installation and management on your Ubuntu server-

Install Docker Engine on Linux(Ubuntu) Server

Let’s install the Docker engine on our Ubuntu server-

Step #1: Download the GPG key

Use the following command-

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ca-certificates curl
sudo install -m 0755 -d /etc/apt/keyrings
sudo curl -fsSL -o /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc
sudo chmod a+r /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc

Here are what the above commands do-

Updates the package index.
Installs ca-certificates (for SSL verification) and curl (for data transfer).
Creates the /etc/apt/keyrings directory with appropriate permissions.
Downloads Docker’s GPG key and saves it to /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc.
Makes the downloaded GPG key readable by all users.

Step #2: Add Docker repository

Use the following command to add the docker repository to the Apt source list-

# Add the repository to Apt sources:
echo \
  "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc] \
  $(. /etc/os-release && echo "$VERSION_CODENAME") stable" | \
  sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

Step #3: Update Ubuntu package index

Update Ubuntu package indexes-

sudo apt-get update

Step #4: Install Docker and related packages

Use the following command to install docker and related packages-

sudo apt install docker-ce docker-ce-cli docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin

Here are the purposes of the above packages-

docker-ce: main Docker package(CE=Community Edition)
docker-ce-cli: Docker command-line interface container runtime
docker-buildx-plugin: plugin for building Docker images using the Buildx tool
docker-compose-plugin: plugin for Docker Compose, for defining and managing multi-container Docker applications

Step #5: Check docker

Check if docker is installed properly or not, by ckecking the docker version-

bigboxcode@ubuntu-server-1:~$ sudo docker version

Client: Docker Engine - Community
 Version:           25.0.3
 API version:       1.44
 Go version:        go1.21.6
 Git commit:        4debf41
 Built:             Tue Feb  6 21:13:09 2024
 OS/Arch:           linux/amd64
 Context:           default

Server: Docker Engine - Community
  Version:          25.0.3
  API version:      1.44 (minimum version 1.24)
  Go version:       go1.21.6
  Git commit:       f417435
  Built:            Tue Feb  6 21:13:09 2024
  OS/Arch:          linux/amd64
  Experimental:     false
  Version:          1.6.28
  GitCommit:        ae07eda36dd25f8a1b98dfbf587313b99c0190bb
  Version:          1.1.12
  GitCommit:        v1.1.12-0-g51d5e94
  Version:          0.19.0
  GitCommit:        de40ad0

Check information of the docker installation-

bigboxcode@ubuntu-server-1:~$ sudo docker info

Client: Docker Engine - Community
 Version:    25.0.3
 Context:    default
 Debug Mode: false
  buildx: Docker Buildx (Docker Inc.)
    Version:  v0.12.1
    Path:     /usr/libexec/docker/cli-plugins/docker-buildx
  compose: Docker Compose (Docker Inc.)
    Version:  v2.24.6
    Path:     /usr/libexec/docker/cli-plugins/docker-compose

 Containers: 1
  Running: 0
  Paused: 0
  Stopped: 1
 Images: 1
 Server Version: 25.0.3
 Storage Driver: overlay2
  Backing Filesystem: extfs
  Supports d_type: true
  Using metacopy: false
  Native Overlay Diff: true
  userxattr: false
 Logging Driver: json-file
 Cgroup Driver: systemd
 Cgroup Version: 2
  Volume: local
  Network: bridge host ipvlan macvlan null overlay
  Log: awslogs fluentd gcplogs gelf journald json-file local splunk syslog
 Swarm: inactive
 Runtimes: io.containerd.runc.v2 runc
 Default Runtime: runc
 Init Binary: docker-init
 containerd version: ae07eda36dd25f8a1b98dfbf587313b99c0190bb
 runc version: v1.1.12-0-g51d5e94
 init version: de40ad0
 Security Options:
   Profile: builtin
 Kernel Version: 5.15.0-97-generic
 Operating System: Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS
 OSType: linux
 Architecture: x86_64
 CPUs: 4
 Total Memory: 1.917GiB
 Name: ubuntu-server-1
 ID: a78a1bfe-65a1-43eb-8d1f-98c8809b88be
 Docker Root Dir: /var/lib/docker
 Debug Mode: false
 Experimental: false
 Insecure Registries:
 Live Restore Enabled: false

Uninstall Docker Engine from Linux(Ubuntu) Server

Use the following command to remove the Docker engine and related packages from your Ubuntu server-

sudo apt purge docker-ce docker-ce-cli docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin docker-ce-rootless-extras

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