Manage a Docker container on an Ubuntu VM with Cloud-Init

There are times when you might want to host a Docker container but a managed app service isn’t sufficient and a full blown Kubernetes cluster would be overkill.

For a situation like this, hosting the container on a standard Virtual Machine could be just the solution. It’s extremely easy and lightweight solution to bootstrapping the virtual machine with Cloud-Init which might normally be done with a tool like Ansible or Chef.



Accomplishing this is 3 basic steps:

  • Install Docker
  • Create a systemd service file
  • Start and Enable the container service

#cloud-config

apt:
  sources:
    docker.list:
      source: deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $RELEASE stable
      keyid: 9DC858229FC7DD38854AE2D88D81803C0EBFCD88

packages:
  - docker-ce
  - docker-ce-cli

write_files:
  - path: /etc/systemd/system/container.service
    owner: root:root
    permissions: '0755'
    content: |
        [Unit]
        Description=Run container
        Requires=docker.service
        After=docker.service

        [Service]
        Restart=always
        ExecStartPre=-/usr/bin/docker rm container
        ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker run --rm --name container hello-world
        ExecStop=/usr/bin/docker stop -t 2 container        

runcmd:
  - systemctl start container
  - systemctl enable container

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