This recipe lets you run Docker within Docker.
There is only one requirement: your Docker version should support the
A word of warning
If you came here because you would like to run a testing system like
Jenkins in a container, and want that container to spin up more containers,
then please read this blog post
first. Thank you!
Another word of warning
If you want to run Docker-in-Docker today, all you need to do is:
docker run --privileged -d docker:dind
... And that's it; you get Docker running in Docker, thanks to
the official Docker image, in its "Docker-in-Docker" flavor.
You can then connect to this Docker instance by starting
another Docker container linking to the first one (which is
a pretty amazing thing to do).
For more details about the
docker:dind official image,
explanations about how to use it, customize it to use
specific storage drivers, and other tidbits of useful
knowledge, check its documentation on the Docker Hub.
If you read past this paragraph ...
... Then you're probably an archaeologist, a masochist, or both.
Seriously, though: the information below is here mostly
for historical value, or if you want to understand how those
things work under the hood.
You've been warned!
Build the image:
docker build -t dind .
Run Docker-in-Docker and get a shell where you can play, and docker daemon logs
docker run --privileged -t -i dind
Run Docker-in-Docker and get a shell where you can play, but docker daemon logs
docker run --privileged -t -i -e LOG=file dind
Run Docker-in-Docker and expose the inside Docker to the outside world:
docker run --privileged -d -p 4444 -e PORT=4444 dind
Note: when started with the
PORT environment variable, the image will just
the Docker daemon and expose it over said port. When started without the
PORT environment variable, the image will run the Docker daemon in the
background and execute a shell for you to play.
You can use the
DOCKER_DAEMON_ARGS environment variable to configure the
docker daemon with any extra options:
docker run --privileged -d -e DOCKER_DAEMON_ARGS="-D" dind
It didn't work!
If you get a weird permission message, check the output of
dmesg: it could
be caused by AppArmor. In that case, try again, adding an extra flag to
kick AppArmor out of the equation:
docker run --privileged --lxc-conf="lxc.aa_profile=unconfined" -t -i dind
If you get the warning:
WARNING: the 'devices' cgroup should be in its own hierarchy.
When starting up dind, you can get around this by shutting down docker and running:
# /etc/init.d/lxc stop # umount /sys/fs/cgroup/ # mount -t cgroup devices 1 /sys/fs/cgroup
If the unmount fails, you can find out the proper mount-point with:
$ cat /proc/mounts | grep cgroup
How It Works
The main trick is to have the
--privileged flag. Then, there are a few things
to care about:
- cgroups pseudo-filesystems have to be mounted, and they have to be mounted
with the same hierarchies than the parent environment; this is done by a
wrapper script, which is setup to run by default;
/var/lib/dockercannot be on AUFS, so we make it a volume.
Important Warning About Disk Usage
Since AUFS cannot use an AUFS mount as a branch, it means that we have to
use a volume. Therefore, all inner Docker data (images, containers, etc.)
will be in the volume. Remember: volumes are not cleaned up when you
docker rm, so if you wonder where did your disk space go after nesting
10 Dockers within each other, look no further :-)
Which Version Of Docker Does It Run?
Outside: it will use your installed version.
Inside: the Dockerfile will retrieve the latest
docker binary from
https://get.docker.io/; so if you want to include your own
build, you will have to edit it. If you want to always use your local
version, you could change the
ADD line to be e.g.:
ADD /usr/bin/docker /usr/local/bin/docker
Can I Run Docker-in-Docker-in-Docker?
Yes. Note, however, that there seems to be a weird FD leakage issue.
To work around it, the
wrapdocker script carefully closes all the
file descriptors inherited from the parent Docker and
(except stdio). I'm mentioning this in case you were relying on
those inherited file descriptors, or if you're trying to repeat
the experiment at home.
a wrapper script that uses dind to nest Docker to arbitrary depth.
Also, when you will be exiting a nested Docker, this will happen:
root@975423921ac5:/# exit root@6b2ae8bf2f10:/# exit root@419a67dfdf27:/# exit root@bc9f450caf22:/# exit jpetazzo@tarrasque:~/Work/DOTCLOUD/dind$
At that point, you should blast Hans Zimmer's Dream Is Collapsing on your loudspeakers while twirling
a spinning top.