How to Install Docker on Ubuntu VirtualBox (Docker host setup guide)

You want to experiment with Docker, but do not want to install it in your Windows host. I came across the same situation, then I found a way to run and experiment with the Docker environment – trial and error – on a Virtual Box Ubuntu VM.

There you get the freedom to experiment with everything you can with a Docker installation, community version, and Ubuntu as the host machine.

For the simplicity of this guide, I assume that you have your VirtualBox Ubuntu VM up and running, if you need help with this, please refer to our quick guide on setting up Ubuntu 22.04 on VirtualBox. We will quickly walk through the minimum required steps to make your local docker development setup ready, in 10 minutes or less!

Step #1: Prepare your Ubuntu VM for Docker installation

Firstly, docker recommends cleaning up your existing docker references, if any. Just run the below commands.

sudo apt-get remove docker docker-engine containerd runc

Now, go with the very familiar ubuntu update commands, to make your Machine aware of the latest and greatest versions.

sudo apt-get update

Step #2: Run the prerequisites commands

Now, we will run recommended prerequisites commands

sudo apt-get install     ca-certificates     curl     gnupg     lsb-release

Prepare your environment further,

sudo mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings

Make sure to run the below command as one. (not in two lines)

echo   "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

Get the gpg, the GNU privacy guard (refer more here: )

curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg

Run an update. I found this is required to avoid errors in upcoming commands.

sudo apt-get update

Step #3: Run the docker installer commands

Now, we are ready to fire the docker community edition installation command.

sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli docker-compose-plugin

Step #4: Test your Docker environment installation

Your Ubuntu box is now ready to test your docker installation, let us test it

sudo docker run hello-world
Docker environment in Ubuntu VirtualBox


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Do you have any questions related to your brand new Docker environment on Ubuntu or related to VirtualBox? Please feel free to ask.