How to Install Docker-Compose on Ubuntu 22.04?

Docker as a whole is a resource-friendly utility where you manage the applications and their dependencies in a container. To make it more lightweight, application resources are kept in multiple containers. Thus, to run an application, all the dependent containers must be synchronized, i.e., start, stop, and load, multiple containers at a time. Here Docker Compose comes in.

Docker Compose manages multiple containers at a time. The overall working and functionality of the Docker Compose depend on the “YAML” file, where a set of configurations are written for Docker Compose. The purpose of the “YAML” in docker-compose is similar to that of the docker file in Docker.

Keeping all these facts in view, this post will address the installation of the Docker-Compose on Ubuntu 22.04.

Difference Between docker-compose and docker compose

You might come across various notations of compose, i.e., docker compose and docker-compose. These are basically two different variants of compose. Let’s differentiate both:

  • docker-compose: This tool is relatively old and its development/update is deprecated. It is Python-based and needs a dedicated installation (irrespective of the presence of Docker).
  • docker compose: This is a Go-based utility. It comes by default with the docker CLI support. Initially, “docker compose” was available from the Docker Desktop. However, now it’s been included in the CLI of Ubuntu. Interestingly, the “docker-compose” development has been shifted to “docker compose”.

Tip: Install Docker to get “docker compose”

Docker Compose is the extended functionality of Docker. Before installing docker-compose, ensure that your system has docker installed and that its daemon (service managing docker) is running actively on the system. Get In Here to install docker on Ubuntu 22.04. With the installation of Docker, you will be able to access the docker compose too, by default.

How to Install Docker-Compose on Ubuntu 22.04?

The docker-compose’s official support is available through the GitHub repository. Moreover, you can get limited support of docker-compose from the libraries of Ubuntu 22.04, as well. Let’s get into these methods:

Install Docker-Compose Executable Directly | GitHub Repository

The Docker Compose executable is placed in the GitHub repository. The executable is fetched as per your system information (kernel and other hardware components). Let’s do it:

Step 1: Download the docker-compose From GitHub

Navigate to GitHub’s Docker-Compose Release Page and get the latest release available using the curl command. The command downloads the compose executable and places it at “/usr/local/bin/” with the “docker-compose” name. The executables placed in the “/usr/local/bin/” directory are recognized by the system globally.


sudo curl -L "" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Note: Use the “arch” command to check the system architecture and then get the link to the relevant release. If you do not know your system architecture, replace the “Linux-x86_64” with “$(uname -s)-$(uname -m). The command in such case would be:

sudo curl -L "$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Step 2: Grant Executable Permissions to the Downloaded File

Make the “docker-compose” executable for all the users via the command:

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

Once all is done, restart the shell environment, and check the docker-compose version:

docker-compose -v

The docker-compose is installed.

The docker-compose works as an alias to the docker compose command for “compose V2”. As the docker-compose V1 update support is deprecated.

Install Docker-Compose Using the Source Code

The source code support is also available on the same GitHub repository. Each version has the source code available alongside other installation mediums. Let’s build the compose’s source code and install it:

Prerequisites: Install Build Essential

Building/installing a package from the source code requires a few prerequisites, i.e., make (in this specific case). To ensure this, install the build-essential toolkit which has all the utilities required to install a package from the source code:

sudo apt install build-essential

Step 1: Download and Extract the Source Code File

Go to the Release Page and get the source code (.tar.gz) file of the latest available version:

sudo wget

Extract the downloaded .tar.gz file as:

tar -xzf v2.23.3.tar.gz

This will extract the content in the directory named “compose-2.23.3”.

Step 2: Install Compose

The “tar.gz” source file of the docker-compose is already compiled and its makefile is also available. So, you just have to use the “make install” command to read the instructions in “Make File” and install compose accordingly.

To do so, navigate to it using the “cd” command and install the compose as per the instructions written in the “Make File”:

make install

After the installation, create a symbolic link for docker-compose (at /usr/local/bin/docker-compose) to make it recognizable by the system:

sudo ln -s ~/compose-2.23.3/bin/build/docker-compose /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Verify the installation of the docker-compose by running any docker-compose command:

docker-compose up -d

Or you can just run “docker-compose” to verify.

Install Docker Compose From Default Repositories of Ubuntu 22.04

Docker-Compose is available on the default repositories of Ubuntu 22.04. Here, you will get the docker-compose version 1.29.2. Let’s see how it can be installed:

Note: You must be aware that Docker has stopped the updates on version 1 as of July 2023. If you are installing it, you won’t get updates for this version.

Update the core libraries of your Ubuntu 22.04:

sudo apt update

Now, use the below command to install docker-compose:

sudo apt install docker-compose

Use the “docker-compose” command for verification:

docker-compose -v

Note: It can be seen that version 1.29.2 is recognized as “docker-compose”.

Getting Started With Docker-Compose

The functionality of the docker-compose depends on the configuration/set of rules stated in the “docker-compose.yml” file. The “docker-compose.yml” file is not available on Ubuntu 22.04 by default. Let’s understand how to create the “.yml” file and how to use it:

Step 1: Create docker-compose.yml File

Use the “touch” command to create the “docker-compose.yml” file (It can be created anywhere on the system):

touch docker-compose.yml

Step 2: Define the Set of Rules for Your Docker Compose

Open the “.yml” file in any editor. As an example, we will use “Apache” as our web service and “Redis” as the database service:

nano docker-compose.yml

Two services are defined, one is the web (httpd-apache) and the other is a database (Redis). The Apache image is named “httpd” and the Redis image is “redis” on the Docker Hub.

Note: Visit the Docker Hub to get Docker Images.

Step 3: Validate the .yml File

Use the “docker-compose config” to check/validate the syntax of the “.yml” file:

docker-compose config

If the syntax is valid/correct, you will get the details of the “.yml” file in the output as above. Otherwise, you will get the following error: (which states the syntax problem at a specific line):

Run the Docker Compose

The “-d” option will run the services in the background:

docker-compose up -d

The docker-compose will fetch the images from the Docker Hub (if not available locally).

Verify the Status

Once the docker-compose has run the containers, use the “docker ps” command to check/verify the containers’ status:

docker-compose ps

Pull Down the Containers

Both the images are fetched and the containers are running. If you want to pull down the containers, you can use the command:

$ docker-compose down

Here’s how you can manage the docker-compose.yml file.

Basic Docker-Compose Commands

Until now, we have learned how to install the docker-compose and a very basic understanding of a “.yml” file. Now, let’s go through some basic commands that are used to manage the docker-compose:

Start the Containers of the Service

docker-compose start

Stop the Containers of the Services

docker-compose stop

Pause the Running Containers

docker-compose pause

Resume/Unpause the Containers

docker-compose unpause

These were some of the basics of docker-compose.

How to Completely Remove Docker-Compose From Ubuntu 22.04?

The removal of the docker-compose depends on the installation method. As discussed, you can install the docker-compose by placing its executable in the “/usr/local/bin/docker-compose” or get the docker-compose cli plugin. Let’s discuss how these installations are removed.

Remove the Version Installed From Default Repositories

If you have installed the compose from Ubuntu-owned repositories, then use the following command to remove it and its dependencies as well:

sudo apt autoremove docker-compose

Remove the Executable of the Docker Compose

The following command removes the docker-compose executable from the system:

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

Verify the removal by using the “docker-compose” command:

Alternative | Rename/Backup the docker-compose Executable

You can rename the docker-compose executable with some other name, which will help you to get back to docker-compose whenever you need:

sudo mv /usr/local/bin/docker-compose /usr/local/bin/docker-compose.bkp

Note: If you want to get back the docker-compose support, just rename the file to “docker-compose” and then place it in “/usr/local/bin/docker-compose”. The command below does the same:

sudo mv <Path-of-The-Backup-File> /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Note: Replace <Path-of-The-Backup-File> with the path where you have backed up your docker-compose plugin.

Bottom Line

Docker-Compose has been in the computing world for about 10 years now. It has revolutionized the overall containerization technology. You keep different services (application dependencies) of an application in different containers and these containers are managed by the docker-compose.

To get the docker-compose support on Ubuntu 22.04, either download its executable from GitHub or install the docker-compose-plugin.

Here, in this post, you have learned the installation, configuration/setting up, and removal of docker-compose on Ubuntu 22.04.


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