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The Docker package is in the 'Community' repository. See Alpine_Linux_package_management how to add a repository.

apk add docker

Connecting to the Docker daemon through its socket requires you to add yourself to the `docker` group.

addgroup username docker

To start the Docker daemon at boot, see Alpine_Linux_Init_System.

rc-update add docker boot
service docker start
Note: On older versions of Alpine Linux with older versions of docker you'll also need to disable some kernel security flags in order to build images:
sysctl -w kernel.grsecurity.chroot_deny_chmod=0
sysctl -w kernel.grsecurity.chroot_deny_mknod=0

For more information, have a look at the corresponding Github issue.

This weakening of security is not necessary to do with Alpine 3.4.x and Docker 1.12 as of August 2016.

Docker Compose

'docker-compose' is in the 'Community' repository starting with Alpine Linux 3.10.

apk add docker-compose

For older releases:

To install docker-compose, first install pip:

apk add py-pip python3-dev libffi-dev openssl-dev gcc libc-dev make
pip3 install docker-compose

Isolate containers with a user namespace

adduser -SDHs /sbin/nologin dockremap
addgroup -S dockremap
echo dockremap:$(cat /etc/passwd|grep dockremap|cut -d: -f3):65536 >> /etc/subuid
echo dockremap:$(cat /etc/passwd|grep dockremap|cut -d: -f4):65536 >> /etc/subgid

add to /etc/docker/daemon.json

        "userns-remap": "dockremap"

You may also consider these options : '

       "experimental": false,
       "live-restore": true,
       "ipv6": false,
       "icc": false,
       "no-new-privileges": false

You'll find all possible configurations here[1].

Example: How to install docker from Arch

"WARNING: No {swap,memory} limit support"

You might encounter this message when executing docker info. To correct this situation, we have to enable the cgroup_enable=memory swapaccount=1

Alpine 3.8

It may not have been the case before, but with Alpine 3.8, you must config cgroups properly

Warning: This seems not to work with Alpine 3.9 and Docker 18.06. Follow the instructions for grub or extlinux below instead.

echo "cgroup /sys/fs/cgroup cgroup defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab
cat >> /etc/cgconfig.conf <<EOF
mount {
cpuacct = /cgroup/cpuacct;
memory = /cgroup/memory;
devices = /cgroup/devices;
freezer = /cgroup/freezer;
net_cls = /cgroup/net_cls;
blkio = /cgroup/blkio;
cpuset = /cgroup/cpuset;
cpu = /cgroup/cpu;


If you use Grub, add the cgroup condition into /etc/default/grub, then upgrade your grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="... e=memory swapaccount=1"


With Extlinux, you add the cgroup condition, but inside of /etc/update-extlinux.conf

default_kernel_opts="... cgroup_enable=memory swapaccount=1"

then update the config and reboot


How to use docker

The best documentation on using Docker and creating containers is at the main docker site. Adding anything to it here would be redundant.

If you create an account at, you can browse through user images and learn from the syntax in contributed dockerfiles.

Official Docker image files are denoted on the website by a blue ribbon.

See also