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Azure “Cloud Shell” Docker QuickStart Tutorial

by Leon Castellanos | Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 | Docker Education


Welcome to the BoxBoat QuickStart guide to help get you started with Docker on Azure. Last week we published a Docker QuickStart guide to run NGINX in Docker in less than 5 minutes. If you haven't read that, we highly recommend giving that a quick read.

Let's get an Ubuntu Linux VM with Docker CE running an NGINX container up in Azure using ONLY their “Cloud Shell” feature! This guide assumes that you have a Microsoft Azure account already.

The first thing we need to do is…

Activate Cloud Shell

  1. Launch Cloud Shell from the top right of the Azure Portal:
  2. Select a subscription
  3. Click “Create storage”
  4. Cloud Shell will appear at the bottom of the Azure Portal:

Next we have to configure our VM to auto-update all packages, install and start Docker CE and allow the “azureuser” to run docker commands…

Create a VM cloud-init config file

  1. First create a “cloud-init” directory to store the config file in your “clouddrive”:

  1. Next, using either “vi” or “nano”, create a simple cloud-init config to setup our VM:

Copy and Paste the code below into the file and save it:

package_upgrade: true
- path: /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d/docker.conf
content: |
- path: /etc/docker/daemon.json
content: |
"hosts": ["fd://","tcp://"]
- curl -sSL | sh
- usermod -aG docker azureuser

Should look like this:

Create the Azure Resources (Resource Group and VM)

  1. First we need a Resource Group for our VM. We'll call it “Docker_RG”. Run the command:
az group create --name Docker_RG --location eastus

  1. Now we're going to create our VM using the cloud-init config file we created previously. Run the command:
az vm create --resource-group Docker_RG --name DockerVM --image UbuntuLTS --admin-username azureuser --generate-ssh-keys --custom-data cloud-init-docker.txt

Access the new VM and test Docker

  1. Get the public IP of your VM and SSH into it:
az vm show --resource-group Docker_RG --name DockerVM -d --query [publicIps] --o tsv
  1. Then SSH into the VM with the IP returned: ssh azureuser@ip
  2. Run some docker commands to test


  1. First we start our NGINX container. From the VM shell run:
docker run -d -p 8080:80 --name nginx nginx
curl http://localhost:8080

  1. Next we need to allow the port we're going to use externally (8080) and test it again with curl and finally a web-browser. Exit the VM shell, if still in it, and run the command:
az vm open-port --resource-group Docker_RG --name DockerVM --port 8080 --priority 1001

Use url http://[IP]:8080 to test with curl or from a browser:

  1. To stop the service, SSH into the VM and stop the container. Run the command:
docker stop nginx

That's all there is to getting Docker CE going on Microsoft Azure in a matter of minutes!

If you need any help, feel free to contact us and also check out the services that we offer.