How to Install Docker and Pull Images for Container Deployment

Updated by Linode Contributed by Jack Wallen

Contribute on GitHub

View Project | View File | Edit File


In this guide, you’ll install Docker and pull down images that can be deployed as containers.

Before You Begin

  1. Familiarize yourself with our Getting Started guide and complete the steps for setting your Linode’s hostname and timezone.

  2. Update your system (this example uses Ubuntu 16.04):

    apt update && apt upgrade

The steps in this guide require root privileges. Be sure to run the steps below as root or with the sudo prefix. For more information on privileges, see our Users and Groups guide.

Getting Started

Install Docker:

apt install

You will be presented with all necessary dependencies and asked to accept the installation. Type y to accept and complete the installation.

If you are using CentOS 7, use sudo yum check-update && curl-fsSL | sh

Docker installation adds the group docker to your Linode. Create the user exampleuser, give it sudo privileges, and add it to the Docker group:

adduser exampleuser
usermod -aG docker exampleuser

Start and Enable Docker

Start and enable the Docker process to run on boot:

systemctl start docker
systemctl enable docker

Pull Docker Images

The first thing you are going to want to do is pull down an image to be used as the basis for your Docker containers. Docker Hub is the default registry from which to pull images.

  1. Use the images command to check what images already exist on your Linode. This example shows that no images are installed:

    docker images

    List Docker Images

  2. Pull the nginx web server, using the docker pull command:

     docker pull nginx

    This will pull the latest official nginx Docker image

    Pull Official nginx Image

  3. If you run docker images again, you’ll see the nginx image:

    docker images Shows the nginx Image

Find Unofficial nginx Images

Alternatively, if you don’t want to install the official nginx image, use docker search to find other nginx images:

docker search nginx

This command will list all variant images, along with a respective description, and whether or not they are official.

Run docker search nginx to Show Other nginx Options

Use docker pull to pull one of the other images:

docker pull blacklabelops/nginx

Ready to Keep Going?

At this point, you should know how to install Docker and pull down images with which you can then deploy containers. Use man docker to dive into the manual or visit our other Docker Guides to learn more.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.