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27 July 2015

Docker Machine lets you create Docker hosts on your computer, on cloud providers, and inside your own data center. It creates servers, installs Docker on them, then configures the Docker client to talk to them. Here’s how to use it to create Docker Hosts on Azure.

Install Docker Machine (Windows)

If you are not using a Windows client skip forward to the next section (Install Docker Machine (Linux).

Docker Machine is just a binary, so instalation is as simple as downloading it and placing it in your path. If you are using a Windows client machine then I recommend first installing Git for Windows. The reason for this is that this package includes some libraries that Docker Machine relies on. It’s a convenient way of getting those libraries in one easy install.

Once Git for Windows is installed you will have a Git Bash shell available. All the commands below should be run in a Bash shell, to open one hit the Windows key and type “bash”, you should see a “Git Bash” application - run it.

In the resulting shell execute the following command:

curl -L -k https://github.com/docker/machine/releases/download/v0.4.1/docker-machine_windows-amd64.exe > /bin/docker-machine

NOTE 1: The ‘-k’ switch in the above command causes curl to operate in insecure mode. If you are the cautious type (and you should be) then you will want to download the file using a browser and copy it manually into “C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\bin” so that your browser verifies the host serving this file.

NOTE 2: You might want to check whether v0.4.1 is the latest version by visiting the Docker Machine releases page

While you are at it you will probably want to install Docker itself since a Docker host without the command line to manage it is not so useful. To install Docker as well run the following command:

curl -L https://get.docker.com/builds/Windows/x86_64/docker-latest.exe > /bin/docker

Install Docker Machine on Linux

Since Linux already includes the dependencies you need to run Docker Machine you can simply go ahead and run the following commands:

sudo wget https://get.docker.com/builds/Linux/x86_64/docker-latest -O /usr/local/bin/docker
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker

NOTE: You might want to check whether v0.3.1 is the latest version by visiting the Docker Machine releases page

As above, you will likely want to install the Docker client as well so that you can mange the Docker host you create.

sudo wget https://github.com/docker/machine/releases/download/v0.3.1/docker-machine_linux-amd64 -O /usr/local/bin/docker-machine
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-machine

Verify the Docker Machine Install

You should now be able to run “docker-machine –version” and get a response. If you installed Docker then you can also verify it has installed correctly with “docker –version”.

Next Steps

Now you have Docker and Docker Machine installed you could start using them to manage containers and hosts on Azure, for example.

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