Install Docker Compose

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

You can run Compose on macOS, Windows, and 64-bit Linux.

Prerequisites

Docker Compose relies on Docker Engine for any meaningful work, so make sure you have Docker Engine installed either locally or remote, depending on your setup.

  • On desktop systems like Docker Desktop for Mac and Windows, Docker Compose is included as part of those desktop installs.

  • On Linux systems, first install the Docker for your OS as described on the Get Docker page, then come back here for instructions on installing Compose on Linux systems.

  • To run Compose as a non-root user, see Manage Docker as a non-root user.

Install Compose

Follow the instructions below to install Compose on Mac, Windows, Windows Server 2016, or Linux systems, or find out about alternatives like using the pip Python package manager or installing Compose as a container.

Install a different version

The instructions below outline installation of the current stable release (v1.24.1) of Compose. To install a different version of Compose, replace the given release number with the one that you want. Compose releases are also listed and available for direct download on the Compose repository release page on GitHub. To install a pre-release of Compose, refer to the install pre-release builds section.

Install Compose on macOS

Docker Desktop for Mac and Docker Toolbox already include Compose along with other Docker apps, so Mac users do not need to install Compose separately. Docker install instructions for these are here:

Install Compose on Windows desktop systems

Docker Desktop for Windows and Docker Toolbox already include Compose along with other Docker apps, so most Windows users do not need to install Compose separately. Docker install instructions for these are here:

If you are running the Docker daemon and client directly on Microsoft Windows Server, follow the instructions in the Windows Server tab.

Install Compose on Windows Server

Follow these instructions if you are running the Docker daemon and client directly on Microsoft Windows Server with Docker Engine - Enterprise, and want to install Docker Compose.

  1. Start an “elevated” PowerShell (run it as administrator). Search for PowerShell, right-click, and choose Run as administrator. When asked if you want to allow this app to make changes to your device, click Yes.

  2. In PowerShell, since GitHub now requires TLS1.2, run the following:

    [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
    

    Then run the following command to download the current stable release of Compose (v1.24.1):

    Invoke-WebRequest "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.24.1/docker-compose-Windows-x86_64.exe" -UseBasicParsing -OutFile $Env:ProgramFiles\Docker\docker-compose.exe
    

Note: On Windows Server 2019, you can add the Compose executable to $Env:ProgramFiles\Docker. Because this directory is registered in the system PATH, you can run the docker-compose --version command on the subsequent step with no additional configuration.

> To install a different version of Compose, substitute `1.24.1`
> with the version of Compose you want to use.
  1. Test the installation.

    docker-compose --version
    
    docker-compose version 1.24.1, build 01110ad01
    

Install Compose on Linux systems

On Linux, you can download the Docker Compose binary from the Compose repository release page on GitHub. Follow the instructions from the link, which involve running the curl command in your terminal to download the binaries. These step-by-step instructions are also included below.

For alpine, the following dependency packages are needed: py-pip, python-dev, libffi-dev, openssl-dev, gcc, libc-dev, and make.

  1. Run this command to download the current stable release of Docker Compose:

    sudo curl -L "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.24.1/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    

    To install a different version of Compose, substitute 1.24.1 with the version of Compose you want to use.

    If you have problems installing with curl, see Alternative Install Options tab above.

  2. Apply executable permissions to the binary:

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    

Note: If the command docker-compose fails after installation, check your path. You can also create a symbolic link to /usr/bin or any other directory in your path.

For example:

sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/docker-compose /usr/bin/docker-compose
  1. Optionally, install command completion for the bash and zsh shell.

  2. Test the installation.

    $ docker-compose --version
    docker-compose version 1.24.1, build 1110ad01
    

Alternative install options

Install using pip

For alpine, the following dependency packages are needed: py-pip, python-dev, libffi-dev, openssl-dev, gcc, libc-dev, and make.

Compose can be installed from pypi using pip. If you install using pip, we recommend that you use a virtualenv because many operating systems have python system packages that conflict with docker-compose dependencies. See the virtualenv tutorial to get started.

pip install docker-compose

If you are not using virtualenv,

sudo pip install docker-compose

pip version 6.0 or greater is required.

Install as a container

Compose can also be run inside a container, from a small bash script wrapper. To install compose as a container run this command:

$ sudo curl -L --fail https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.24.1/run.sh -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Install pre-release builds

If you’re interested in trying out a pre-release build, you can download release candidates from the Compose repository release page on GitHub. Follow the instructions from the link, which involves running the curl command in your terminal to download the binaries.

Pre-releases built from the “master” branch are also available for download at https://dl.bintray.com/docker-compose/master/.

Pre-release builds allow you to try out new features before they are released, but may be less stable.

Upgrading

If you’re upgrading from Compose 1.2 or earlier, remove or migrate your existing containers after upgrading Compose. This is because, as of version 1.3, Compose uses Docker labels to keep track of containers, and your containers need to be recreated to add the labels.

If Compose detects containers that were created without labels, it refuses to run, so that you don’t end up with two sets of them. If you want to keep using your existing containers (for example, because they have data volumes you want to preserve), you can use Compose 1.5.x to migrate them with the following command:

docker-compose migrate-to-labels

Alternatively, if you’re not worried about keeping them, you can remove them. Compose just creates new ones.

docker container rm -f -v myapp_web_1 myapp_db_1 ...

Uninstallation

To uninstall Docker Compose if you installed using curl:

sudo rm /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

To uninstall Docker Compose if you installed using pip:

pip uninstall docker-compose

Got a “Permission denied” error?

If you get a “Permission denied” error using either of the above methods, you probably do not have the proper permissions to remove docker-compose. To force the removal, prepend sudo to either of the above commands and run again.

Where to go next

compose, orchestration, install, installation, docker, documentation