How to Install and Use Dockge on Linux: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Are you struggling between the sluggishness of Docker (or Podman) CLI and the heaviness of Portainer? Then Dockge might be the best fit for you, as it is specially crafted for a user who only needs to manage containers or compose files for their Homelab using a web interface.

What is Dockge?

The Dockge (with its first four initials belonging to β€œDocker” and β€œge” inspired by Twitch emotes) is a free, open-source, simple, and beautiful container or compose file management front-end web interface.

It can assist in managing your existing container or compose projects, setting up new container or compose projects, interacting with running containers via an interactive terminal, and providing agent support for managing multiple Docker hosts in a single Web UI.

The project head is the same guy who previously developed the popular Uptime Kuma, and the web UI of Dockge also resembles it, as you can see from the following picture.

So, if your work revolves only around containers or compose files, or if you prefer to use Podman for creating containers, then Dockge could be a good replacement for your existing CLI tool or Portainer.

In this article, you will learn more about its usage, how to install and set up Dockge on your Linux system, and how to use it to manage your containers or Docker Compose projects.

Tutorial Details

Difficulty LevelLow
Root or Sudo PrivilegesNo
OS CompatibilityUbuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, etc.
PrerequisitesDocker or Podman
Internet RequiredYes (for installation)

Features of Dockge

Dockge offers a range of features that make it a popular choice for Homelab lovers, including:

  • Free, open-source, easy-to-use, with a fancy UI.
  • Create, edit, start, stop, restart, or delete containers or compose files.
  • Access the running containers’ via an interactive web terminal.
  • Manage multiple stacks from different Docker hosts with a single interface.
  • Easily convert single Docker commands into a Compose layout.
  • All Compose files are stored in your assigned locations on your host system.

How to Install and Setup Dockge on Linux

The Dockge installation is accomplished by running a compose file in Docker or Podman, which later provides you with a Web interface for managing your other Docker or Podman containers.

As of now, all operating systems supporting Docker, Docker Compose, or Podman, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Raspbian, RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, Arch, Manjaro, etc., will allow you to use Dockge.

So, if you’re using the supported operating system and already have Docker, Docker Compose, or Podman installed and configured, that’s great; otherwise, please refer to our separate article on Docker and Docker Compose or Podman installation.

Now, once you are ready, run the following command to create a β€œDockge” directory in your home directory where all your containers’ related files and data managed by Dockge itself will be stored.

$ mkdir -p /home/<username>/Dockge

To set up Dockge, you need to obtain its compose file, which you can interactively generate from here. This also allows you to specify the custom port and stack path for Dockge through the following interactive interface:

The default stack directory is set to β€œ/opt/stacks/” and the port is β€œ5001” in the following Dockge Compose generator, so if you’re following us, ensure to replace the stack directory path with the previously mentioned Dockge directory created in your home directory (referring to β€œ/home/<username>/Dockgeβ€œ).

Apart from using the Dockge compose generator, you can directly run the following curl command in the β€œ/home/<username>/Dockge” directory to download the Dockge premade compose file.

Remember to replace the username with your own.
$ cd /home/<username>/Dockge
$ curl "<username>/Dockge" --output compose.yaml

Finally, to run the Dockge server, execute the following command:

$ Start the server
$ docker compose up -d


#If you are using docker-compose V1 or Podman
$ docker-compose up -d

How to Use Dockge

Once the Dockge server is started, you can open your browser and visit β€œhttp://ip-address:5001” to access the Dockge dashboard. Upon first access, it will prompt you to create an account by specifying the username, password, and repeat password. Provide the required information and click on the β€œCreate” button.

Dockge creating account

After creating your account, you’ll be directed to the Dockge dashboard, which is divided into two sections: on the left, you’ll find a list of active, exited, and inactive containers (in my case, β€œNginx” is active), and on the right, you’ll see the container status represented by numerical values.

dockge dashboard

To create a container, you can either click on the β€œCompose” button on the top left container (if you already have a compose template) or type the β€œdocker run ...” command under the β€œDocker Run” field and click on β€œConvert to Compose” (if you have a Docker command rather than a compose file).

For example, I have an Uptime Kuma β€œdocker run ...” command instead of a compose file, so I’ll copy and paste the command under the β€œDocker Run” field and click on the β€œConvert to Compose” button.

convert docker run command in compose file

You will be redirected to the β€œCompose” page, where your provided Docker command will be converted to a Compose template. On the right side and under the Compose template, you have the option to manage environment variables, internal networks, and external networks.

In the middle, you can manage the Compose template and container, such as by adding a Stack Name to the Compose or editing the image, ports, volumes, restart policy, environment variables, and internal networks of the container.

uptime kuma converted to compose

When you are ready to start, click on the β€œDeploy” button to begin the image download process (if it doesn’t exist) and initiate the container.

downloading image in dockge

Once the container is ready, you can find it in the left-side bar with β€œactive” status.

docker container in dockge

If you have a compose file instead of the β€œdocker run ...” command and wish to use it for running containers from Dockge, you can click on the β€œCompose” button at the top left corner.

In the Compose dashboard, you can input the Compose information, including the stack name, containers (after specifying the name and clicking β€œAdd containerβ€œ, you will be able to input other details of the container, such as image, ports, volumes, restart policy, environment variables, networks, container dependency), env, and network details.

creating new compose file in dockge

Once your container is initiated, you can further edit to add new containers, environments, and external networks, restart the container, update the container, stop, and enter the shell prompt of the container.

Final Word

Dockge is a pretty handy tool for managing Docker compose files and containers using a slick web interface. I find it interesting, as most things become easier to manage from a frontend standpoint. However, I would like to know your viewpoint on this, so please let me know in the comment section.

Till then, peace!

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