Get the required software for Linux or OS X

This page explains how to get the software you need to use a Linux or OS X machine for Docker development. Before you begin contributing you must have:

  • a GitHub account
  • git
  • make
  • docker

You’ll notice that go, the language that Docker is written in, is not listed. That’s because you don’t need it installed; Docker’s development environment provides it for you. You’ll learn more about the development environment later.

Task 1. Get a GitHub account

To contribute to the Docker project, you will need a GitHub account. A free account is fine. All the Docker project repositories are public and visible to everyone.

You should also have some experience using both the GitHub application and git on the command line.

Task 2. Install git

Install git on your local system. You can check if git is on already on your system and properly installed with the following command:

$ git --version

This documentation is written using git version 2.2.2. Your version may be different depending on your OS.

Task 3. Install make

Install make. You can check if make is on your system with the following command:

$ make -v

This documentation is written using GNU Make 3.81. Your version may be different depending on your OS.

Task 4. Install or upgrade Docker

If you haven’t already, install the Docker software using the instructions for your operating system. If you have an existing installation, check your version and make sure you have the latest Docker.

To check if docker is already installed on Linux:

docker --version
Docker version 1.11.0, build 4dc5990

On Mac OS X or Windows, you should have installed Docker Toolbox which includes Docker. You’ll need to verify both Docker Machine and Docker. This documentation was written on OS X using the following versions.

$ docker-machine --version
docker-machine version 0.7.0, build a650a40

$ docker --version
Docker version 1.11.0, build 4dc5990

Tip for Linux users

This guide assumes you have added your user to the docker group on your system. To check, list the group’s contents:

$ getent group docker
docker:x:999:ubuntu

If the command returns no matches, you have two choices. You can preface this guide’s docker commands with sudo as you work. Alternatively, you can add your user to the docker group as follows:

$ sudo usermod -aG docker ubuntu

You must log out and log back in for this modification to take effect.

Where to go next

In the next section, you’ll learn how to set up and configure Git for contributing to Docker.