How to Configure Docker Containers with DockSTARTer on Linux

Linux TLDR
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This article tends to make it easier for DevOps engineers to manage Docker and Docker containers, but I wouldn’t recommend following it unless you already know how they work.

Tutorial Details

DescriptionConfigure Docker and Docker Containers with DockSTARTer in Linux
Difficulty LevelModerate
Root or Sudo PrivilegesYes
OS CompatibilityUbuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, etc.
Internet RequiredYes

What is DockSTARTer in Linux?

To put it simply, DockStarTer is a script that assists you in installing and managing Docker, Docker compose, and Docker containers on your Linux system via TUI or CLI.

Note that it doesn’t come with any predefined configurations (like networks, volumes, hosts, etc.) for any of the Docker containers it supports.

However, it makes it much easier than the old way by automating the process of setting up and configuring the Docker environment so that users can run multiple containers in a matter of seconds.

It also includes features like updating and backing up containers. And while I was writing this article, it supported popular container management tools such as Portainer, Watchtower, Jellyfin, Syncthing, etc. (Click here to check the latest apps list)

How to Install DockSTARTer in Linux

DockSTARTer is available for most Linux distributions and can be easily installed (including Docker and Docker compose) via the following methods:

Make sure to be logged in as a non root user with sudo privileges.

Debian, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS, etc.

$ sudo apt install curl git -y
$ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
$ sudo reboot

Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, AlmaLinux, etc.

$ sudo dnf install curl git -y
$ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
$ sudo reboot

Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS, etc.

$ sudo pacman -Sy curl docker git
$ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
$ sudo reboot

Raspbian requires a few extra commands.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt dist-upgrade
$ sudo apt install curl git -y
$ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
$ bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
$ sudo reboot

Note that while writing this article, I personally tested it on Debian and Red Hat based Linux distributions, and it worked well without any errors.

If you encounter any errors or bugs on installation, then feel free to ask for help in the comment section or create a GitHub issue.

How to Set Up and Configure Docker Containers Using DockSTARTer

Once you have Docker, Docker Compose, and DockSTARTer installed, you can straightaway use DockSTARTer to set up and configure applications in a consistent and isolated environment.

1. Execute the following command to run DockSTARTer:

$ ds

2. Now you will be interacting with the following main menu, where you can use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate and the Enter key to select specific options. For now, navigate to the β€œConfiguration” option and hit enter.

DockSTARTer main menu

3. And then select β€œFull setupβ€œ.

DockSTARTer full setup

4. Now you will have the complete list of all the applications supported by this script. By default, β€œWatchtower” is selected, but you are free to select more than one application by using the Spacebar to select and deselect. Right now, we will only use the β€œWatchtower” to make it easier for you to understand.

List of supported applications

5. Now you will be presented with the default settings for β€œWatchtower” arranged by the DockSTARTer for you; if you want to keep the default setting and move forward, then select β€œYesβ€œ, otherwise β€œNoβ€œ.

Watchtower settings

6. Next, you will be presented with the default VPN settings arranged by the DockSTARTer for you; choose β€œYesβ€œ, otherwise β€œNo” to modify them manually.

Watchtower VPN settings

7. Now, it will prompt you with the default global settings for DockSTARTer, where you can modify the values for the β€œDOCKERCONFDIR”, β€œDOCKERSTORAGEDIR”, β€œDOCKERHOSTNAME”, β€œPGID”, β€œPUID”, and β€œTZ” environment variables.

For instance, I will keep the default settings and select β€œYes” to move forward; if you want to edit the settings, then select β€œNoβ€œ.

Watchtower global settings

8. Next, you will be asked to choose whether to start the compose or not. Select β€œYes” to do so.

Starting the compose

Now, it will get all the Docker images it needs from the internet and set them up based on the settings you gave it.

Setting up and configuring the Docker container

Finally, you can list all the containers that are running on your Linux system to check whether the selected container is running or not.

$ sudo docker ps


Listing the running containers

Install Another New App

When you want to install another new app using the DockSTARTer, simply execute the following command:

$ ds

And then navigate to β€œConfiguration” => β€œSelect Appsβ€œ.

Installing another new app

The benefit of using this option is that it will configure the app based on the previously provided settings.

Modify DockSTARTer Settings

Predefined settings (or variables) can be edited even after the container is started by executing the β€œds” command and selecting the β€œConfiguration” option. And then select any of the following options to update the respective setting variable value.

Updating the settings

Remove Apps

To remove the apps, first make sure to stop the container by providing the app container id to the following command:

$ sudo docker stop <container-id>

Now, start the DockeSTARTer and navigate to β€œConfiguration” => β€œSelect Apps” and uncheck the apps that you want to remove and select Ok to remove that app.

Update DockSTARTer

To update DockSTARTer, simply execute the following command:

$ sudo ds -u

Or, you can run the DockSTARTer using the β€œds” command and choose the β€œUpdate DockSTARTer” option.

Updating DockSTARTer

Prune Docker System

If you’re familiar with Docker and Docker compose, you’re probably aware of their caching mechanism, which caches all the containers, networks, volumes, images and build caches that can occupy a good amount of system space over time.

Execute the following command to remove the unused containers, networks, volumes, images and build caches.

$ sudo docker system prune

Or, you can run the DockSTARTer using the β€œds” command and choose the β€œPrune Docker System” option.

Prune docker system


Even though this is a great tool for making it easy to manage Docker containers, it has some common problems, such as limited functionality (when users want to set up complex or specific configurations) or maintenance (updating the tool regularly to fix bugs).

So, that’s all for now. If you have any questions or queries related to this tool, then feel free to ask them in the comment section.

Till then, peace!

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