Install pre-built Docker images

This method is intended for evaluation and development on a local workstation. It is not suitable for production use in a cluster deployment.


  • The automatic network configuration allows you to log in to Workbench from a browser running on the same host as Docker. Connecting from other hosts requires additional configuration (not covered here).
  • Your data will be stored inside the Docker containers. You may stop and restart the containers without loss, but if you delete the container, your data will be gone.
  • Updating the Arvados software inside the Docker containers is not supported. You may download updated Docker images, but migrating data to updated containers is not yet supported.


  1. A GNU/Linux x64 (virtual) machine
  2. A working Docker installation (see Installing Docker)
  3. curl

Verify prerequisites

Make sure that curl and docker are installed on your system, and that you are in the docker group (see Installing Docker).

~$ which curl
~$ --version
Docker version 1.2.0-dev, build dc243c8
~$ groups
yourusername sudo fuse docker

Download and install Arvados.

~$ \curl -sSL | bash

This command will download the latest build of the Arvados docker images. It also gets the arvdock command and saves it in the current working directory. It then uses arvdock to spin up Arvados. Note that the Arvados Docker images are large and may take a while to download.

If you prefer, you can also download and inspect the installation script before running it. redirects to, which is the installation script.

The arvdock command usage is listed here:

usage: ./arvdock (start|stop|restart|reset|test) [options]

start    run new or restart stopped arvados containers
stop     stop arvados containers
restart  stop and then start arvados containers
reset    stop and delete containers WARNING: this will delete the data inside Arvados!
test     run tests

./arvdock start/stop/restart options:
  -d[port], --doc[=port]        Documentation server (default port 9898)
  -w[port], --workbench[=port]  Workbench server (default port 9899)
  -s[port], --sso[=port]        SSO server (default port 9901)
  -a[port], --api[=port]        API server (default port 9900)
  -c, --compute                 Compute nodes (starts 2)
  -v, --vm                      Shell server
  -n, --nameserver              Nameserver
  -k, --keep                    Keep servers
  -p, --keepproxy               Keepproxy server
  -h, --help                    Display this help and exit

  If no options are given, the action is applied to all servers.

./arvdock test [testname] [testname] ...
  By default, all tests are run.

Previous: Set up Docker

The content of this documentation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States licence.
Code samples in this documentation are licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.