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Last pushed: 3 months ago
Short Description
TACC-maintained fork of docker2singularity.
Full Description


Are you developing Docker images and you would like to run them on an HPC cluster supporting Singularity? Are you working on Mac or Windows with no easy access to a Linux machine? docker2singularity is the simplest way to generate Singularity images.


  • Docker (native Linux or Docker for Mac or Docker for Windows) - to create the Singularity image.
  • Singularity >= 2.1 - to run the Singularity image (versions 2.0 and older are not supported!).


No need to download anything from this repository! Simply type:

 docker run \        
 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
 -v D:\host\path\where\to\ouptut\singularity\image:/output \
 --privileged -t --rm \
 singularityware/docker2singularity \            

Replace D:\host\path\where\to\ouptut\singularity\image with a path on the host filesystem where your Singularity image will be created. Replace ubuntu:14.04 with the docker image name you wish to convert (it will be pulled from Docker Hub if it does not exist on your host system).

Pass in custom mount points as an evironment variable -e MOUNTPOINTS=/home /work /scratch to override the defaults that ship with docker2singularity. This is handy for adding shared filesystems that are specific to your local Singularity-powered HPC system.

docker2singularity uses the Docker daemon located on the host system. It will access the Docker image cache from the host system avoiding having to redownload images that are already present locally.

Tips for making Docker images compatible with Singularity

  • Define all environmental variables using the ENV instruction set. Do not rely on .bashrc, .profile, etc.
  • Define an ENTRYPOINT instruction set pointing to the command line interface to your pipeline
  • Do not define CMD - rely only on ENTRYPOINT
  • You can interactively test the software inside the container by overriding the ENTRYPOINT
    docker run -i -t --entrypoint /bin/bash bids/example
  • Do not rely on being able to write anywhere other than the home folder and /scratch. Make sure your container runs with the --read-only --tmpfs /run --tmpfs /tmp parameters (this emulates the read-only behavior of Singularity)
  • Don’t rely on having elevated user permissions
  • Don’t use the USER instruction set


"client is newer than server" error

If you are getting the following error:
docker: Error response from daemon: client is newer than server

You need to use the docker info command to check your docker version and use it to grab the correct corresponding version of docker2singularity. For example:

 docker run \        
 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
 -v D:\host\path\where\to\ouptut\singularity\image:/output \
 --privileged -t --rm \
 singularityware/docker2singularity:1.11 \            

Currently only the 1.10, 1.11 and 1.12 versions are supported. If you are using an older version of Docker you will need to upgrade.


This work is heavily based on the docker2singularity work done by vsoch and gmkurtzer. Hopefully most of the conversion code will be merged into Singularity in the future making this container even leaner!

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