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How to Install Portainer Docker UI Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04 | 16.04

Estimated time to read: 6 minutes

If you’re looking for an open-source and simple to use Docker management. Portainer is a great place to start. In this tutorial, we explain step by step how to install Portainer Docker management tool on Ubuntu 20.4 | 18.04 | 16.04.

Portainer Community Edition is a completely free, powerful, open-source management toolset that allows you to easily build, manage, and maintain Docker environments. It supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Want to learn more about Portainer, please check their website.

Docker has two editions, Enterprise Edition (EE) and Community Edition (CE). For this tutorial we will use the community edition of Docker.

Step 1. Install Docker

If you always want to automatically get the latest version of Docker on Ubuntu, you must add its official repository to Ubuntu system. To do that, run the commands below to install prerequisite packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg-agent software-properties-common

Next, run the commands below to download and install Docker’s official GPG key. The key is used to validate packages installed from Docker’s repository making sure they’re trusted.

curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-key fingerprint 0EBFCD88

The response would be like this:

pub   rsa4096 2017-02-22 [SCEA]
      9DC8 5822 9FC7 DD38 854A  E2D8 8D81 803C 0EBF CD88
uid           [ unknown] Docker Release (CE deb) <>
sub   rsa4096 2017-02-22 [S]

Now that the official GPG key is installed, run the commands below to add its stable repository to Ubuntu. To add the nightly or test repository, add the word nightly or test (or both) after the word stable in the commands below.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable"

After this command, Docker’s official GPG and repository should be installed on Ubuntu. If you have older versions of Docker, run the commands below to remove them:

sudo apt-get remove docker docker-engine containerd runc

When you have removed all the previous versions of Docker, run the commands below to install the latest and current stable version of Docker:

If you just want to latest version without specifying a version, run the commands below. The command below will always install the latest possible version:

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

You have now installed Docker with the latest version on your system.

To install specific version of Docker, run the apt-cache command to list all available version of Docker.

sudo apt-cache madison docker-ce


docker-ce | 5:19.03.12~3-0~ubuntu-focal | focal/stable amd64 Packages
docker-ce | 5:19.03.11~3-0~ubuntu-focal | focal/stable amd64 Packages
docker-ce | 5:19.03.10~3-0~ubuntu-focal | focal/stable amd64 Packages
docker-ce | 5:19.03.9~3-0~ubuntu-focal | focal/stable amd64 Packages

Choose which version you want to install, we chose 5:19.03.10~3-0~ubuntu-focal, and run the following command:

sudo apt-get install docker-ce=5:19.03.10~3-0~ubuntu-focal docker-ce-cli=5:19.03.10~3-0~ubuntu-focal

You have now installed Docker with a specific version on your system.

Next add your account to the group docker to get access to the Docker CLI. The following command will automatically detect the user running the command, if you want to use a different user replace $USER with the desired username.

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

After doing so you will need to restart you system for the changes to take effect. You can do this by executing the following command:

sudo reboot

To verify that Docker CE is installed correctly you can run the hello-world image:

docker run hello-world
If Docker is installed correctly you will see the following response:

Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
to your terminal.

Step 2. Install Docker Compose

On Ubuntu Linux, you can download the Docker Compose binary from the Compose repository release page on GitHub. To install it, run the commands below to download version 1.26.0. As of this writing, this was the latest version. To install a different version of Compose, substitute 1.26.0 with the version of Compose you want to use.

sudo curl -L "$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

After downloading it, run the commands below to apply executable permissions to the binary file and create a symbolic link to /usr/bin.

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/docker-compose /usr/bin/docker-compose
Now, Docker Compose should work. To test it, we will run the command below:

docker-compose --version

You should see similar output as below:

docker-compose version 1.24.0, build 0aa59064

Step 3: Setup Portainer

Now that Docker and Docker Composer are installed, follow the steps below to get Portainer setup. You can use the Docker CLI to deploy the Portainer Server; note the agent is not needed on standalone hosts, however, it does provide additional functionality if used.

To get the server installed, run the commands below.

cd ~/

docker volume create portainer_data

docker run -d -p 8000:8000 -p 9000:9000 --name=portainer --restart=always -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock -v portainer_data:/data portainer/portainer

You’ll just need to access the port 9000 of the Docker engine where Portainer is running using your browser.

Note: the -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock option can be used in Linux environments only.

After a successful pull, you should get a similar message as below:

latest: Pulling from portainer/portainer
d1e017099d17: Pull complete 
a7dca5b5a9e8: Pull complete 
Digest: sha256:4ae7f14330b56ffc8728e63d355bc4bc7381417fa45ba0597e5dd32682901080
Status: Downloaded newer image for portainer/portainer:latest

At this point, all you need to do is access Portainer portal to manage Docker. Open your web browser and browse to the server’s hostname or IP address followed by port 9000:


You should get Portainer login page to create an admin password. Choose a password and submit.

Now you see some options to choose the environment you want to manage. Since we installed Docker on the same machine, select to connect and manage Docker locally.

You’ll be directed to Portainer dashboard where you can start managing Docker. Browse around and begin setting up your environment. If you had Docker installed on a remote computer, you’ll have to install Portainer agent on the server.


This tutorial showed you how to install Portainer Docker manager on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04 | 16.04.