Modern Docker Availability

Happy New Year Folks!

Upstream Docker

I noticed an issue with Docker support in Ubuntu. The latest version of Docker is v19.03 which came out July 2019, 6 months ago. The official Docker for Ubuntu guide only list Ubuntu 19.04 and below as supported. They don’t have Eoan in their repository. This has spawned a popular GitHub Issue with users asking for Docker to support Ubuntu 19.10, which currently doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

The alternative solution is to manually use .debs from the 19.04 release which has two problems itself:

  • that means there isn’t integrated updates with apt-get
  • Ubuntu 19.04 will be EOL in 2 weeks meaning those builds will likely end anyway

The Docker Snap

In this situation snaps would be a good solution to this problem. There is an official Docker snap provided by Canonical that allows us to completely avoid Docker’s official deb repository. Unfortunately there’s a problem with this option as well. The Docker snap doesn’t have the latest point release (19.03) thus of course none of the patch releases as well. The snap goes up to Docker v18.09. I created a post on the Snapcraft Forum late 2018 about the Docker snap being behind. It received some updated versions, but has since fallen behind again.

Conclusion

The Docker story on Ubuntu right now is not great. The official upstream has the latest versions of Docker (of course) but they don’t support the latest Ubuntu with the 2nd latest going EOL. The Docker snap supports the latest Ubuntu releases but has a Docker version fairly old.

Docker is a fairly popular tool in many circles and with Canonical’s investment in Kubernetes, it seems like a useful investment in improving Docker on Ubuntu. Any ideas on how we can do this?