Anyone got docker running on bsd?


New Member

Messages: 10

I've been fighting for two days trying to get docker to run on bsd and no luck.

My latest error seems to be with jails.

I'm on 11.2 RELEASE.

If someone actually has docker working on a version of Bsd could you please post some magic?

Latest error
Unable to find image 'hello-world:latest' locally
latest: Pulling from hello-world
74bc6c628z00: Pull complete
19b3f968b60c: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:523e382....
Status: Download newer image for hello-world:latest
jail: exec /hello: No such file or directory
jail: /hello: failed

Thanks for any help


Son of Beastie

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Why do you need Linux software on FreeBSD when you have the far superior jails?
I think I can answer that: because unfortunately some products are so poorly set up that their authors don't even bother to make / maintain any installation instructions and instead provide docker images and fully rely on those. Makes for easy instructions: "Get docker image, start docker image, profit!".

I always perceived those tactics as very poor development and steer clear from such projects, but I can well imagine that other people might still be interested. Some projects (take the Discourse forum) can be quite interesting.


Son of Beastie

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ShelLuser Yes, that's my covert point. People use Docker because headlines by profit making shills tell them to, not due to any technical reasoning behind the decision. Such as all frameworks and libraries used for the web.

Not a dig at the OP. Some people are forced to use such things for work.


New Member

Messages: 10

Work is the answer. They use docker and I want to stick on BSD... so ... yeah. Any thoughts technical-wise with what might be happening?


Active Member

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Messages: 179

I think the native port on BSD is dead due to the never ending flow of upstream code and of course the presence of superior jails for userspace isolation.
But there is a way to run docker on FreeBSD using emulators/virtualbox-ose with the CLI. I used it on a 11.1 Release half year ago to run a docker image of MS SQL Server (don't ask why).

Install emulators/virtualbox-ose if you have not yet done so. You don't need to add lines in /boot/loader.conf or /etc/rc.conf cause the docker-machine port will do all the work.
Then install the following packages or ports

# pkg install docker docker-machine docker-compose
and create a folder ~/.docker which is required by the software. If you don't want the virtual machine image files to live in your home, just create a symlink from another place.

As normal user create a new docker machine with the virtualbox driver such as this (make sure your user is in the vboxusers group)

% docker-machine create --driver virtualbox --virtualbox-memory 2048 --virtualbox-cpu-count 2 --virtualbox-disk-size 102400 docker-test-machine
Then check if it is running with docker-machine ls.
To connect to your machine you have to import the needed session variables for docker utility to connect to your docker machine

> eval `docker-machine env docker-test-machine`
Now you should be able to run docker commands as usual.

Hope this will run and help you. I personally don't use sysutils/docker or even emulators/virtualbox-ose anymore.


Son of Beastie

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Messages: 3,614

So just for backround, kmoore is one of the main FreeNAS developers and they were using docker in FreeNAS and they have since switched to bhyve.
He was the maintainer of port called sysutils/docker-freebsd and has since passed on the maintainership. The person who took it over has not responded in 3 months to bug reports and was dropped as the maintainer leaving no maintainer.

With Docker being integrated into Moby I am not sure where the project stands. They were using a repo that was unofficial docker.

To add to the confusion there is also a sysutils/docker port that is currently maintained but Kris was also involved with that port back in 2015 at its inception. I don't know all the details but this is what I have gathered.
It seems to track the official docker repo.

Maybe someone else could shed more light on the subject as to which one is best to use.
With the rapid changes upstream this might be a challenging target.


New Member

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Messages: 16

I think BSD jails system is way stronger then the docker system. I had the same issue about docker on BSD because we use many recipes made with docker at work and i would like to be able to use bsd for my day to day use at work but the unstability of docker on bsd makes it so i cant rely on it.