If you’ve been testing the waters of Docker containers, you know how daunting the command line can be. This is especially true if you come from a GUI-centric environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of GUIs available to assist you with your container work.

One such GUI is DockStation. This is a free, cross-platform GUI (Available for Linux, macOS, and Windows) that allows you to create new projects, monitor containers, and much more. The one caveat to DockStation is that it only allows you to connect to localhost. Because of this, the machine you install DockStation on must not only have a running instance of Docker and docker-compose, but it also must have a desktop environment.

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If you tend to work with Docker containers from a GUI-enabled server, you’re good to go.

I’m going to demonstrate the installation of DockStation on Ubuntu Desktop 19.04.


The first thing to take care of is the installation of the dependencies. We’ll install the Docker command from the standard repositories with the command:

sudo apt-get install docker.io -y

When that completes, we can move on to installing docker-compose. To install docker-compose, issue the following two commands:

sudo curl -L "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.24.0/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Next we need to add our user to the Docker group with the command:

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Log out of your desktop and log back in.

Installing DockStation

Download the DockStation .deb file from the GitHub download page. Save that file in your ~/Downloads directory. Go back to the terminal window and install with the following command:

sudo dpkg -i dockstation*.deb

Chances are, the above command will error out. Should that happen, resolve the issues with the command:

sudo apt-get install -f

When that finishes, you are ready to run DockStation. Go to your desktop menu and locate the entry for DockStation and click it. You will be greeted by a login window (Figure A).

Click the register now button and sign up for a DockStation account (it’s free). Once you sign up, log into DockStation, and you will find yourself on the main page, where you can start creating your first Docker project (Figure B).

And that’s all there is to installing this outstanding Docker GUI tool. Enjoy simplified container deployment and management.