What is the current way of installing Docker on an AWS EC2 instance running the AMI? There has been an announcement of Docker Enterprise Edition and now I want to know if anything has changed. Until now, I have been using yum install docker and do get a Docker versioned at 1.12.6, build 7392c3b/1.12.6 right now (3/3/2017). However, the Docker repository on GitHub tells me that there are already newer releases.

I remember the official Docker (package) repository having a package named docker-engine replacing docker some time ago and now they seem to split the package up into docker-ce and docker-ee, where e.g. "Docker Community Edition (Docker CE) is not supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux." [Source]

So is or will it still be correct to use the above to get the latest stable Docker version on EC2 instances running the AMI or do I need to pull the package from somewhere else (and if so which one, CE or EE)?

  • 3
    Did you read the AWS documentation on how to install Docker standard? If so what part of it didn't work, or what issues didn't it address? docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonECS/latest/developerguide/…
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 1:35
  • The question is whether I can continue to do it like this. As already mentioned it'll install me Docker versioned at 1.12 which is already one if not more minor version updates behind the latest stable release (1.13, before CE/EE) and I wonder if this is due to the usual repository update delay or because the guide and package simply being outdated which requires some replacement work done by me (e.g. somehow getting Docker from their own repository?). Also concerning the latest EE announcement which might change something...
    – mxscho
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 4:27
  • Running what AMI? Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 4:42
  • @MichaelHampton the latest one for HVM, Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09.1.
    – mxscho
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 4:45
  • 1
    I suppose Amazon will update it when they get around to it. Though you know of course that nobody should be using Amazon Linux for anything. Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 4:46

5 Answers 5


To get Docker running on the AWS AMI you should follow the steps below (these are all assuming you have ssh'd on to the EC2 instance).

  1. Update the packages on your instance

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum update -y

  2. Install Docker

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum install docker -y

  3. Start the Docker Service

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo service docker start

  4. Add the ec2-user to the docker group so you can execute Docker commands without using sudo.

    [ec2-user ~]$ sudo usermod -a -G docker ec2-user

You should then be able to run all of the docker commands without requiring sudo. After running the 4th command I did need to logout and log back in for the change to take effect.

  • 3
    Like I already mentioned in the question, this indeed works, but installs an outdated version of Docker (still version 1.12.6 on 05/28/2017). While I myself have switched to the Ubuntu image for my EC2 instances, the real thing I wanted to know is how to install one of the current versions of Docker on an AMI image. Because there (at least at the time of the question) was no obvious way to either get an up-to-date Docker CE or a Docker EE installation. That is what this question was about in the first place and that's the reason why I cannot accept it without hesitation. Thank you anyways!
    – mxscho
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 23:52
  • @mxscho yes that's also what I'm looking for, so please wait until an answer that addresses the question is posted.
    – user239558
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 11:16
  • 1
    Today yum install installs 17.03.1ce-1.50.amzn1
    – raarts
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 8:16
  • 1
    Did not work for me. So I needed to do this. sudo yum install yum-utils , and then sudo yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras , and then sudo yum install docker Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 12:55
  • Note, on RHEL 8 and up, installing Docker will give you Podman: stackoverflow.com/questions/59359793/… Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 2:49

The hardest part to figure all of this out was the container-selinux requirement. Just find the latest version in http://mirror.centos.org/centos/7/extras/x86_64/Packages/ and install that first. In addition EC2 instances may not have a proper entropy generator so haveged may need to be installed.

The rest is taken from https://docs.docker.com/install/linux/docker-ce/centos/ with the addition of haveged and firewalld. All these have to be done as root so sudo appropriately.

yum install -q -y http://mirror.centos.org/centos/7/extras/x86_64/Packages/container-selinux-2.42-1.gitad8f0f7.el7.noarch.rpm
yum install -q -y http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/Packages/h/haveged-1.9.1-1.el7.x86_64.rpm
yum-config-manager --add-repo https://download.docker.com/linux/centos/docker-ce.repo
yum install -q -y firewalld docker-ce
systemctl enable firewalld
systemctl start firewalld
firewall-cmd --add-port=2377/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --add-port=2376/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --add-port=7946/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --add-port=7946/udp --permanent
firewall-cmd --add-port=4789/udp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-masquerade
firewall-cmd --reload
systemctl enable haveged
systemctl start haveged
systemctl enable docker
systemctl start docker
setenforce 1

Enable SELinux by modifying /etc/sysconfig/selinux to be


Then reboot your instance by issuing shutdown -r now

Executing sudo docker version should yield as of the time of this posting...

 Version:       18.03.0-ce
 API version:   1.37
 Go version:    go1.9.4
 Git commit:    0520e24
 Built: Wed Mar 21 23:09:15 2018
 OS/Arch:       linux/amd64
 Experimental:  false
 Orchestrator:  swarm

  Version:      18.03.0-ce
  API version:  1.37 (minimum version 1.12)
  Go version:   go1.9.4
  Git commit:   0520e24
  Built:        Wed Mar 21 23:13:03 2018
  OS/Arch:      linux/amd64
  Experimental: false
  • 1
    Have you tried running Docker on any other AMIs except CentOS? Can you share your expriences?
    – Suncatcher
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 13:13
  • 1
    I didn't use the centos Ami I used the AMI Linux 2. The Linux 1 is too old. Commented May 6, 2018 at 13:59
  • 1
    OK, got it. Are CentOS repos you used fully compatible with Amazon AMI?
    – Suncatcher
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 14:48
  • Right I use Centos VMs for development using Vagrant, I just had to adapt my scripts so that it works with missing packages. Commented May 6, 2018 at 16:08
  • 1
    Simple paranoia Commented May 7, 2018 at 14:22

Per https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonECS/latest/developerguide/ecs-optimized_AMI.html

The current Amazon ECS-optimized AMI (amzn-ami-2017.09.j-amazon-ecs-optimized) consists of:

  • The latest minimal version of the Amazon Linux AMI
  • The latest version of the Amazon ECS container agent (1.17.2)
  • The recommended version of Docker for the latest Amazon ECS container agent (17.12.0-ce)
  • The latest version of the ecs-init package to run and monitor the Amazon ECS agent (1.17.2-1)

You can see the history at https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonECS/latest/developerguide/ecs-ami-versions.html


In addition to my previous answer. If you use Terraform, I have also created a Terraform module that can be used to create a Docker Swarm


The difference between the approach I had done previously vs the approach I am presently doing with the terraform module is to utilize the AWS provided Docker packages. This does not include the full docker-compose and what not, but you don't require those packages normally in a server.

Because I am using the one Amazon had provided, it is no longer the latest 18.09 version but the 18.06 version. However, the set up is simpler and I don't have to play catch up to container-selinux.

The only external dependency I use is EPEL to get haveged because you still need a good random source for some applications.

I also relied on the AWS security groups rather than explicitly setting up firewalld and used the SELinux setting that is defaulted in the AMI image.


When following the accepted answer, I received an error after trying to start Docker:

$ sudo service docker start
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl start docker.service
Failed to start docker.service: Unit docker.service not found.

My EC2 is using RHEL, and what worked for me was following Docker's instructions for installing on RHEL: https://docs.docker.com/engine/install/rhel/

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