User Getting started Improve this page

This page will help you prepare your computer for BioContainers

You will need to work in a terminal using docker .

We will provide mainly examples using docker, the Bicontainers team is working in examples and documentation based on rkt.

Open your terminal of choice and check whether you have the command (docker) installed. You should run these without any error.

docker help

If your machine is already set up, continue to the tutorial.

The following sections provided a short summary of Howto install docker, if these steps do not work for you please refer to the full documentation in docker. You can also get in contact with us using Specifications Issues.

Otherwise, choose your operating system below to learn more:

What does docker stand for?


On Mac installing Docker can be done by installing the complete Docker Toolbox available in Mac and Windows. The Docker Toolbox contains the Docker Engine, Compose, Machine, etc.

Mac Docker ToolBox can be download from this page. The installation provides Docker Engine, Docker CLI client, Docker Compose, and Docker Machine.

Double-click Docker.dmg to open the installer, then drag Moby the whale to the Applications folder. You will be asked to authorize with your system password during the install process. Privileged access is needed to install networking components and links to the Docker apps.
×   If you are already running Docker on your machine, first read Docker for Mac vs. Docker Toolbox to understand the impact of this installation on your existing setup, how to set your environment for Docker for Mac, and how the two products can coexist. If you have a old version of docokerboot and you want to remove it, you can use the following script

Then installed tools can be check using these commands:

$ docker --version
Docker version 1.12.0, build 8eab29e

$docker-compose --version
docker-compose version 1.8.0, build f3628c7

$docker-machine --version
docker-machine version 0.8.0, build b85aac1

Installing git can be done using Homebrew:

brew install git

If you have problems to install docker you can receive support here:BioContainers Gitter


Install Docker in Linux in Linux can be done using the specific Linux distribution. Some of the supported distributions are: Arch Linux, CentOS, CRUX Linux, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise, Ubuntu

×   If your linux distribution is not listed above, don’t give up yet. To try out Docker on a distribution that is not listed above, go here: Installation from binaries.


Docker for Windows is our newest offering for PCs. It runs as a native Windows application and uses Hyper-V to virtualize the Docker Engine environment and Linux kernel-specific features for the Docker daemon.

×   Please read through these topics on how to get started. To give us your feedback on your experience with the app and report bugs or problems, log in to Docker for Windows forum.

After downloading the InstallDocker.msi file, you can follow the next steps:

1- Double-click InstallDocker.msi to run the installer. It typically downloads to your Downloads folder, or you can run it from the recent downloads bar at the bottom of your web browser.

2- Follow the install wizard to accept the license, authorize the installer, and proceed with the install.

3- You will be asked to authorize with your system password during the install process. Privileged access is needed to install networking components, links to the Docker apps, and manage the Hyper-V VMs.

Click Finish on the setup complete dialog to launch Docker.