I am trying to install Docker daemon as non root user, following this guide: https://docs.docker.com/engine/security/rootless/

First, I removed the existing rootful docker daemon.

Then I created a user called docker-user and made it a member of docker group

Then I switched to shell for that docker-user like so:

sudo -iu docker-user

And ran the rootless docker installation script given at the link above.

Script output:

docker-user@ubuntu:~$ curl -fsSL https://get.docker.com/rootless | sh
# Installing stable version 19.03.8
# Existing rootless Docker detected at /home/docker-user/bin/dockerd
# systemd not detected, dockerd daemon needs to be started manually

/home/docker-user/bin/dockerd-rootless.sh --experimental --storage-driver vfs

# Docker binaries are installed in /home/docker-user/bin
# Make sure the following environment variables are set (or add them to ~/.bashrc):

export DOCKER_HOST=unix:///tmp/docker-1003/docker.sock

Looking at the script, the line systemd not detected, dockerd daemon needs to be started manually is output if systemctl --user daemon-reload falis

The output of systemctl --user daemon-reload is

docker-user@ubuntu:~$ systemctl --user daemon-reload
Failed to connect to bus: No such file or directory

I don't want to start docker manually, it should run as a service like the usual docker installation. As per the guide, I should be able to run it as a service. What am I doing wrong?

  • The Failed to connect to bus message is a bit misleading - the acutal problem is missing root permissions to run daemon-reload. – Panki May 19 at 14:12
  • But this user should not need root permission. It is not clear which user this command should be run as. I was assuming it is the non-root user. – Dojo May 19 at 14:17
  • What distro are you setting this up on? – Panki May 19 at 14:17
  • Tried with Ubuntu 18.04 and then with a fresh Ubuntu 20.04 VM – Dojo May 19 at 14:46

You need to login via ssh as the non-root user and then run the script.

sudo -iu docker-user

ssh docker-user@hostname

(docker-user is an example, use any non root user that exists on the target system)

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