Installing Docker on your Virtual Desktop

Docker is a tool that simplifies the process of managing application processes in containers. Containers allow you to package up an application with all of the parts it needs, such as libraries and other dependencies, and deploy it as one package.

Containers let you run your applications in resource-isolated processes, allowing them to be portable between different systems. Containers are similar to virtual machines, but containers are more portable, more resource-friendly, and more dependent on the host operating system.

Please note that because access to the Internet on the Virtual Desktops is restricted, you will not be able to push or pull images directly from the Docker Hub. However, you can do this manually (see instructions below).

Instructions for Linux

Installing Docker on a Linux Virtual Desktop

1. Install Docker

In your Linux Virtual Desktop, open the terminal and update the existing list of packages:

sudo apt update

Next, install prerequisite packages:

sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common

Then add the GPG key for the official Docker repository:

curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -

Add the Docker repository to apt sources:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] bionic stable"

Next, update the package database with the Docker packages:

sudo apt update

Finally, install Docker:

sudo apt install docker-ce

2. Configure Docker to use a proxy

In Virtual Desktops, access to the Internet is restricted, so you need to configure Docker to use a proxy.

Create a systemd drop-in directory for the docker service:

sudo mkdir /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d

In this new directory, create proxy.conf file:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d/proxy.conf

The command will open nano editor in the terminal. Paste the following content, and then click Ctrl+S, Ctrl+X:

Environment="HTTPS_PROXY=" "NO_PROXY=localhost,,::1"

Restart the Docker service:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart docker

3. Use Docker without sudo

In order to avoid typing sudo whenever you run the docker command, add workspace user to the docker group:

sudo usermod -aG docker workspace

For changes to take effect, you must restart the VM.

4. Test the installation

To see if the docker can be accessed from the terminal, type:


This should list all the available docker commands.

5. Run a container

In order to run a container in the workspace, it is necessary to configure docker to use the proxy server. You can set these variables:

  • When building the image, add the following line to the Dockerfile:


  • When running the container, adding the following argument to the docker run command:


Pulling a docker image

For security reasons, you cannot pull an image directly from the Docker Hub on the workspace VMs as the page is not whitelisted. However, you can do this manually by following the steps outlined below.

Save the image in your local computer:

docker pull <image>
docker save -o <image>.tar <image>

Next, upload the <image>.tar file to the workspace. Then, in the VM, load the image to use it in a container:

docker load -i <image>.tar

Then, to run the container you need to specify the proxy configuration, either in the Dockerfile by adding ENV HTTPS_PROXY="http://10.0.05:3128" or in the docker run command by adding the argument -e HTTPS_PROXY="".

Updated on July 26, 2021

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Not the solution you were looking for?
Click the link below to submit a support ticket