Changing the Docker daemon options in systemd on Ubuntu 15.04

Update: now documenting the better way, as described in issue 14513.

Update 2: I think this way is even better (works in Ubuntu 16.04, Docker 1.12.2, Reference: dockerd command line):

sudo -s -H
echo '{"insecure-registries":["myreg.example.com:5000"]}' > /etc/docker/daemon.json
exit
sudo service docker restart

End of update 2

On earlier versions of Ubuntu (14.04 and before), changing the command line options to the Docker daemon (e.g. to allow using an insecure private registry) was just a matter of editing /etc/default/docker and uncommenting the line starting with #DOCKER_OPTS=.

On Ubuntu 15.04, even though that file still exists, editing it does not have any effect, and I found it quite tricky to work out how to change Docker’s command line, so I wrote it up here.

I wanted to use an insecure private docker registry for Docker on Ubuntu 15.04, which uses systemd.

Under systemd, we must create a config file that overrides the default Docker command line by typing sudo systemctl edit docker. In the editor which pops up, type:

[Service]
ExecStart=
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker daemon -H fd:// --insecure-registry=myreg.example.com:5000

Note: the first “ExecStart=” line is necessary.

The second “ExecStart=” line should contain whatever command line options you want to include.

Note: for docker versions before 1.10, replace “daemon” with “-d”.

With this config in place, restart the Docker service:

$ sudo systemctl restart docker

Check everything looks right for the Docker service:

$ systemctl status docker

And confirm the command line arguments have been applied with:

$ ps axwww | grep /usr/bin/docker

The instructions here: Control and configure Docker with systemd and issues: 14513 and 15859 suggest that the Docker team are not planning to make this any easier in the short term.

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