How to Install Docker on Debian 12 Step-by-Step

In this post, we will show you how to install Docker on Debian 12, enabling you to embark on your containerization journey with confidence. Docker makes use of OS-level virtualization to spin up the containers.  The host on which docker is installed and containers are spun are called as ‘Docker Engine’.

In the fast-paced world of modern software development, technologies like Docker have revolutionized the way we build, ship, and manage applications. Docker allows you to package your application and its dependencies into a single, portable container, making it easier to deploy and manage across different environments.


  • Minimal Debian 12 Installation
  • 64-bit System
  • Stable Internet Connection
  • Sudo user with admin access.

Without any further delay, let’s jump into Docker Installation steps,

1) Update Apt Package Index

Login to your Debian 12  system, open the terminal and run below command to update apt package index

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install -y ca-certificates curl gnupg

2) Add Docker Repository

To add docker repository, let’s first add Docker’s GPG key via following curl command.

$ sudo install -m 0755 -d /etc/apt/keyrings
$ curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg
$ sudo chmod a+r /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg

Next, run echo command to add official docker repository.

$ echo \
"deb [arch="$(dpkg --print-architecture)" signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/docker.gpg] \
"$(. /etc/os-release && echo "$VERSION_CODENAME")" stable" | \
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

Output of above command,


3) Install Docker on Debian 12

Now it’s time to install Docker itself, run the following apt commands to install docker on Debian 12.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install docker-ce docker-ce-cli docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin -y

Install Docker on Debian 12

Once the docker is installed successfully then it’s service starts automatically. Verify its version and service status by running,

$ sudo docker version


$ sudo systemctl status docker


Above output confirm that, docker service is up and running. In case docker service is not running then try to start its service using beneath command.

$ sudo systemctl start docker

4) Verify Docker Installation

To verify the docker installation, try to spin up a ‘hello-world’ container and see whether informational message is displayed or not.

In order to spin up ‘hello-world’ container, run below docker command with sudo

$ sudo docker run hello-world


Above informational message confirms that docker is working properly.

5) Allow Local User to Run Docker Command

To allow local user to run docker commands without sudo, add the user to docker group (secondary group) using usermod command.

$ sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
$ newgrp docker

Removal of Docker

In case you are done with docker testing and want to remove docker from your system completely then run following commands to uninstall it,

$ sudo apt purge docker-ce docker-ce-cli \
docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin docker-ce-rootless-extras -y
$ sudo rm -rf /var/lib/docker
$ sudo rm -rf /var/lib/containerd

That’s all from this guide,I hope you have found it informative and useful. Please do share your feedback and queries in the below comments section.

2 thoughts on “How to Install Docker on Debian 12 Step-by-Step”

  1. Thanks this helped a lot. Installing docker on a mini pc to run a home lab and some private game servers. Now I just need to figure out how to install all my docker files onto a 2ndary drive since the mini pc only has 10gb free oninternal and I added an external ssd


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