How to Install Docker on Ubuntu: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you looking to harness the power of Docker on your Ubuntu system? Docker, the leading containerization platform, allows you to package and distribute applications along with their dependencies, ensuring seamless deployment across different environments. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of installing Docker on Ubuntu, one of the most popular operating systems for Docker installations.

Understanding Docker

Before we delve into the installation process, let’s take a moment to understand what Docker is and why it has become an essential tool for developers and system administrators. Docker is an open-source platform that enables you to build, package, and distribute applications in lightweight, isolated containers. These containers encapsulate all the necessary components and libraries required for the application to run consistently across different systems, eliminating the dreaded “it works on my machine” scenario. With Docker, you can achieve scalability, flexibility, and portability, ultimately streamlining the development and deployment process.

Prerequisites for Docker Installation

To ensure a smooth Docker installation on your Ubuntu system, there are a few prerequisites that need to be met. Let’s go through them:

1. Ensure Ubuntu is up to date

Before proceeding with Docker installation, it’s crucial to ensure that your Ubuntu system is up to date. This can be achieved by running the following commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

2. Verify system requirements

Docker has specific hardware requirements that need to be met for optimal performance. Ensure that your system meets these requirements, including a 64-bit version of Ubuntu, at least 2GB of RAM, and adequate disk space.

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3. Install necessary dependencies

To install Docker on Ubuntu, you need to have a few dependencies in place. These dependencies can be installed by running the following command:

sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common

Step-by-Step Guide to Install Docker on Ubuntu

Now that we have covered the prerequisites, let’s dive into the installation process. There are multiple methods to install Docker on Ubuntu, and we will explore three of the most popular ones.

Method 1: Installation via official Docker repository

The official Docker repository provides the latest stable version of Docker Engine. Follow these steps to install Docker using this method:

1. Add Docker repository to Ubuntu’s package sources

To add the Docker repository, run the following command:

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

2. Update the package database

Before installing Docker, update the package database with the newly added Docker repository:

sudo apt update

3. Install Docker Engine

To install Docker Engine, use the following command:

sudo apt install docker-ce

4. Start and enable Docker service

After the installation is complete, start the Docker service and enable it to start on system boot:

sudo systemctl start docker
sudo systemctl enable docker

Method 2: Installation using the convenience script

If you prefer a more straightforward installation process, Docker provides a convenience script. Follow these steps to install Docker using the script:

1. Download the Docker installation script

Download the Docker installation script by running the following command:

curl -fsSL -o

2. Set executable permissions for the script

Once the script is downloaded, set the executable permissions using the command:

sudo chmod +x

3. Run the installation script to install Docker

Execute the installation script with root privileges to install Docker:

sudo ./

Method 3: Installation from Ubuntu’s default repositories

If you prefer using Ubuntu’s default repositories, you can install Docker directly using the apt package manager. Follow these steps:

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1. Update the package database

Before installing Docker, update the package database using the command:

sudo apt update

2. Install Docker using the apt package manager

To install Docker, simply run the following command:

sudo apt install

FAQ: Common Issues and Troubleshooting

How to resolve “Permission denied” errors when running Docker commands?

If you encounter “Permission denied” errors when running Docker commands, it is likely due to insufficient permissions. To resolve this, add your user to the Docker group by running the command:

sudo usermod -aG docker your_username

Replace your_username with your actual username.

What to do if Docker fails to start or stops unexpectedly?

If Docker fails to start or stops unexpectedly, it could be due to various reasons. First, check the Docker service status by running:

sudo systemctl status docker

If there are any error messages, try restarting Docker using:

sudo systemctl restart docker

If the issue persists, you may need to troubleshoot further or consult the official Docker documentation.

How to uninstall Docker from Ubuntu completely?

If, for any reason, you need to uninstall Docker from your Ubuntu system, follow these steps:

  1. Remove Docker packages by running:
sudo apt purge docker-ce docker-ce-cli
  1. Remove Docker-related dependencies and directories:
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/docker
sudo rm -rf /etc/docker


Congratulations! You have successfully installed Docker on your Ubuntu system. Docker provides an incredible platform to simplify application deployment and improve scalability. In this comprehensive guide, we explored three different methods to install Docker on Ubuntu, ensuring you have options that suit your preferences. Whether you chose to install via the official Docker repository, the convenience script, or Ubuntu’s default repositories, you are now ready to leverage Docker’s power to streamline your development and deployment processes.

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Remember, Docker on Ubuntu opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to build robust and portable applications. So, go ahead and explore the endless potential that Docker offers on your Ubuntu system. Happy containerizing!

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