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Bits and Bytes of IoT

Setup Docker on Raspberry Pi and Run hello-world Container

Pradeep Singh | 28th Jun 2017


Docker is now officially supported on Raspbian Jessie installation and you can easily install the Docker on your Raspberry Pi using just a single command. Let see how you can setup your Raspberry Pi and run your first container on it.

1. Install Raspbian:

If you already have a Raspberry Pi with Raspbian Jessie, you can skip this step. New users should install Raspbian OS on Raspberry Pi’s MicroSD card. For instructions, you can follow the OS installation guide on Raspberry Pi home page –

2. Update Packages:

Update Raspberry Pi packages using the following command –

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

3. Install Docker:

Install Docker using following command –

curl -sSL | sh

4. Add permission to Pi User to run Docker Commands:

Add “pi” user to “docker” group using the following command –

sudo usermod -aG docker pi

You must Log off from Raspberry Pi and Login again, for this to take effect.

5. Verify Installation:

Check Docker installation using the “docker –version” command. If you see the correct version, you are good to go.

pi@RaPi1:~ $ docker --version
Docker version 17.05.0-ce, build 89658be
pi@RaPi1:~ $

6. Run Hello-World Program:

Run the ARM-based “hello-word” Docker container using “docker run armhf/hello-world” command. All the Docker Images under the namespace armhf are created by Docker team.

You can NOT run the default “hello-world” container (using “docker run hello-world” command) on Raspberry Pi as it is created for X86 Architecture and won’t work on ARM architecture based Raspberry Pi.

On successful execution, you should see following output on your Raspberry Pi –

pi@RaPi1:~ $ docker run armhf/hello-world
Unable to find image 'armhf/hello-world:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from armhf/hello-world
a0691bf12e4e: Pull complete 
Digest: sha256:9701edc932223a66e49dd6c894a11db8c2cf4eccd1414f1ec105a623bf16b426
Status: Downloaded newer image for armhf/hello-world:latest

Hello from Docker on armhf!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
 1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
 2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
 3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
    executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
 4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
    to your terminal.

To try something more ambitious, you can run an Ubuntu container with:
 $ docker run -it ubuntu bash

Share images, automate workflows, and more with a free Docker Hub account:

For more examples and ideas, visit:

pi@RaPi1:~ $

Congratulations!!! You have a working container on your Raspberry Pi.

Potential errors messages you may see:

1. If you see the following error, reboot your Raspberry Pi and try again –

docker: Error response from daemon: failed to create endpoint compassionate_joliot on network bridge: failed to add the host (veth0685c4b) <=> sandbox (vethccfe136) pair interfaces: operation not supported.

ERRO[0091] error getting events from daemon: net/http: request canceled 

2. If you see the following error, it means you are trying to run an X86 container on ARM machine i.e. Raspberry Pi. This is because the binary format used by ARM is not compatible with x86.

standard_init_linux.go:178: exec user process caused "exec format error"

Next Steps?

After setting up your Raspberry Pi for Docker Containers, you should start creating your own Docker IoT Containers. The following article would explain how can you create your first Docker Container to Blink an LED connected to Raspberry Pi –

Create a Docker Container for Raspberry Pi to Blink an LED


Raspberry Pi is a cost-effective solution to play with Docker Containers. If you have multiple Raspberry Pis, you can use them to create a Docker Swarm Cluster. Let me know about your IoT Applications you are running on Docker Containers, in the comments section.

2 thoughts on “Setup Docker on Raspberry Pi and Run hello-world Container

  1. I get the error just running the helloworld image…isn’t the point of docker to make everything compatible as long as the machine can run docker?


    1. Well, it’s true for the software/OS platforms. However, the CPU architecture plays its own role. Raspberry Pi’s CPU is build on the ARM architecture which is completely different from the x84 and x86_64 CPU architectures.

      Try using the Docker Images specially built for the ARM architecture from the following Docker Hub Registry –


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