Install Docker Desktop on Arch-based distributions

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This topic discusses installation of Docker Desktop from an Arch package that Docker provides in addition to the supported platforms. Docker has not tested or verified the installation.

Prerequisites

To install Docker Desktop successfully, you must meet the system requirements.

Additionally, for non-Gnome Desktop environments, gnome-terminal must be installed:

$ sudo pacman -S gnome-terminal

Install Docker Desktop

  1. Install client binaries. Docker does not have an Arch package repository. Binaries not included in the package must be installed manually before installing Docker Desktop.

  2. Install Docker client binary on Linux. On Arch-based distributions, users must install the Docker client binary. Static binaries for the Docker client are available for Linux (as docker).

  3. Download the Arch package from the release page.

  4. Install the package:

$ sudo pacman -U ./docker-desktop-<version>-<arch>.pkg.tar.zst

Launch Docker Desktop

To start Docker Desktop for Linux, search Docker Desktop on the Applications menu and open it. This launches the whale menu icon and opens the Docker Dashboard, reporting the status of Docker Desktop.

Alternatively, open a terminal and run:

$ systemctl --user start docker-desktop

When Docker Desktop starts, it creates a dedicated context that the Docker CLI can use as a target and sets it as the current context in use. This is to avoid a clash with a local Docker Engine that may be running on the Linux host and using the default context. On shutdown, Docker Desktop resets the current context to the previous one.

The Docker Desktop installer updates Docker Compose and the Docker CLI binaries on the host. It installs Docker Compose V2 and gives users the choice to link it as docker-compose from the Settings panel. Docker Desktop installs the new Docker CLI binary that includes cloud-integration capabilities in /usr/local/bin and creates a symlink to the classic Docker CLI at /usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli.

After you’ve successfully installed Docker Desktop, you can check the versions of these binaries by running the following commands:

$ docker compose version
Docker Compose version v2.5.0

$ docker --version
Docker version 20.10.14, build a224086349

$ docker version
Client: Docker Engine - Community
Cloud integration: 1.0.24
Version:           20.10.14
API version:       1.41
...

To enable Docker Desktop to start on login, from the Docker menu, select Settings > General > Start Docker Desktop when you log in.

Alternatively, open a terminal and run:

$ systemctl --user enable docker-desktop

To stop Docker Desktop, click on the whale menu tray icon to open the Docker menu and select Quit Docker Desktop.

Alternatively, open a terminal and run:

$ systemctl --user stop docker-desktop

Uninstall Docker Desktop

To remove Docker Desktop for Linux, run:

$ sudo pacman -R docker-desktop

For a complete cleanup, remove configuration and data files at $HOME/.docker/desktop, the symlink at /usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli, and purge the remaining systemd service files.

$ rm -r $HOME/.docker/desktop
$ sudo rm /usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli
$ sudo pacman -Rns docker-desktop

Remove the credsStore and currentContext properties from $HOME/.docker/config.json. Additionally, you must delete any edited configuration files manually.

Next steps

  • Take a look at the Get started training modules to learn how to build an image and run it as a containerized application.
  • Review the topics in Develop with Docker to learn how to build new applications using Docker.
Arch Linux, install, uninstall, upgrade, update, linux, desktop, docker desktop, docker desktop for linux, dd4l