Setup a Docker environment with Raspberry PI OS Lite and Portainer

With the new Raspberry PI OS, it’s interesting to check if some basilar installations are going to be as simple as with previous version.

RPI 3 model A+

Today’s goal is to setup a docker environment and Portainer with Raspberry PI OS Lite. It will  be tested on a Raspberry Pi model A+ but the procedure is the same also for other Raspberry Pi hardware (Pi 4, PI3 model B+, PI 3 Model B).

What we need

To setup our docker environment using the new Raspberry Pi model A+, we’ll not use keyboards or TV cables. Our OS installation will provide a basis having already WiFi and SSH ready to be used at first boot.


SANDISK Ultra 16GB MicroSD

I suggest adding from now to your shopping chart all needed hardware, so that at the end you will be able to evaluate overall costs and decide if continuing with the project or removing them from shopping chart.

Check hardware prices with following links:

Amazon raspberry pi boards box
Amazon Micro SD box
Amazon Raspberry PI Power Supply box

Step-by-step guide to setup Docker

Setup process is really simple.

Start installing Raspberry PI OS Lite.

Before going on Docker installation, be sure to have an updated OS:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

The default (and suggested) Docker installation comes with convenience script, a simplified sh script which makes all for you. Typr from terminal the following lines:

curl -fsSL -o
sudo sh

It will take a few minutes to complete installation. At prompt, test it by typing:

sudo docker version

You can also test docker by running the default hello-world image:

sudo docker run hello-world

If you would like to use Docker as a non-root user, you should now consider adding your user to the “docker” group. To accomplish it for default pi user:

sudo usermod -aG docker pi

You will need to logout and login (or reboot) to make it working or you will have still permission issues using docker without sudo.

Installing Portainer

A graceful web GUI helping in managing containers is portainer. In our case, we need to install an arm compatible version:

docker pull portainer/portainer:linux-arm
docker run -d -p 9000:9000 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock -v portainer_data:/data portainer/portainer:linux-arm

Now you can reach your docker server with a browser, just connecting to https://<<RaspberryIpAddress>>:9000.

You will be required to set your default password for admin user, then you will be prompted to portainer GUI:

Portainer new

Installing Docker-compose

Docker-compose enables your Docker environment to use yaml files to compose and quickly boot complete services. Its official page suggest installation with pip3, but this sometimes results not wirking. So, I suggest to use the more resilient apt installation using default repositories, with following command from terminal:

sudo apt install docker-compose

Verify your docker-compose installation by typing:

docker-compose --version

Enjoy your Docker environment inside the Raspberry PI!