How to Install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu: A Step-by-Step Guide

Docker Desktop is now available for all developers using a Linux desktop environment. Here's how to install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu.

Linux support for Docker Desktop has been the most requested feature among the Docker community for 12 months. In response to these needs, Docker Inc. announces at DockerCon 2022, its annual conference, that Docker Desktop is now available for Linux.

Initially, Docker Desktop’s Linux version is designed for Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

Some Linux developers who have only used Docker Engine may be unaware of Docker Desktop, so let’s go over what Docker Desktop is.

The Docker Desktop for Linux interface makes it easier for developers to manage containers, images, and volumes by using the Docker Dashboard to manage all of their container resources visually. It’s a container-integrated development environment including Docker Engine, Docker CLI client, and Kubernetes.

In other words, it makes it simple to create and share containerized applications and microservices.

Unfortunately, for the moment, its installation on Linux is only possible by following the steps described in this guide. However, the company is focusing on speedier download and updated alternatives such as single-line installation procedures in the long run.

So let us walk you through how to install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu.

System Requirements

To install Docker Desktop successfully on Ubuntu, your host must match the following requirements:

  • 64-bit version of either Ubuntu 21.10 or Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
  • At least 4 GB of RAM
  • CPU virtualization support
  • KVM virtualization support
  • QEMU must be version 5.2 or newer
  • GNOME or KDE Desktop environment

Docker Desktop for Linux runs a Virtual Machine (VM) to ensure a consistent Docker Desktop experience with feature parity across all major operating systems.

How to Install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu

First, update the packages index and install the dependencies necessary to add a new Docker repository.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ca-certificates curl gnupg lsb-release

Next, import the GPG key for the official Docker repository to your system. This security feature ensures that the software you’re installing is authentic.

curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpgCode language: JavaScript (javascript)

Use the following command to set up the Docker stable repository on your Ubuntu system:

echo "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/nullCode language: PHP (php)

Finally, update the package database and install Docker.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install docker-ce docker-ce-cli docker-compose-pluginCode language: CSS (css)
Installing Docker Engine on Ubuntu

So, the Docker engine should now be installed on your Ubuntu host. Now go to the Docker Desktop for Linux website and choose the “DEB package” file for download.

Download Docker Desktop for Linux DEB File

A file with a .deb extension is a Debian Software Package file. If you are interested in getting into detail about installing .deb files in Ubuntu, our excellent guide “How to Install deb Files in Ubuntu [with Examples]” may help you.

Once the system has finished downloading the package, the installation process is next. To install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu, type the sudo apt install command followed by the full path to the file.

Because the downloaded DEB file is in the Downloads directory in our scenario, the command will look like this:

sudo apt install ./Downloads/docker-desktop-4.8.1-amd64.deb
Installing Docker Desktop on Ubuntu Linux

At the end of the installation process, the apt command displays an error when installing a downloaded package. Don’t worry; the message doesn’t represent an actual error, so just ignore it.

Installing Docker Desktop on Ubuntu Linux

That’s all. Once installed, Docker Desktop on Ubuntu can be launched from the Activities menu. So go to the application launcher and search for “docker.” When its icon appears, click to run the same.

Starting Docker Desktop on Ubuntu

Docker Desktop will start and will ask you to accept the terms. Tick the checkbox and hit the “Accept” button.

Docker Desktop on Ubuntu

Docker Desktop application will be launched. In addition, an icon will be available in the System Tray area from which you can manage it.

Docker Desktop on Ubuntu

From now on, managing your Docker containers is now quick and easy via a convenient graphical interface.

Docker Desktop on Ubuntu Successfully Installed

In addition, be aware that the Docker Desktop installation for Ubuntu upgrades the host’s Docker Compose and Docker CLI binaries. It installs Docker Compose V2 and allows users to link it from the Settings panel as docker-compose.

Moreover, Docker Desktop places the new Docker CLI binary in /usr/local/bin and establishes a symlink to the original Docker CLI at /usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli.

You can check the versions of these binaries by running the following commands:

docker compose version
docker --version
docker version
Docker Desktop Binaries Version

To have Docker Desktop start when you log in, go to the Docker Desktop menu and choose Settings -> General -> Start Docker Desktop when you log in. Mark the checkbox and confirm by pressing the “Apply & Restart” button.

Enable Docker Desktop to run automatically when Ubuntu Linux starts

Last but not least, the Docker UI displays a notification when a new version of the Docker Desktop is published. Each time you wish to upgrade your Docker Desktop for Linux app, you must download the latest package and run:

sudo apt install ./docker-desktop-<version>-<arch>.debCode language: HTML, XML (xml)


This tutorial demonstrated installing Docker Desktop for Linux on your Ubuntu system. Now you can get started with pulling images and running containers.

For more information about using Docker, visit the Docker documentation page or our excellent beginners’ guide, “What is a Docker Container: An Introductory Guide for Beginners.”

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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