It’s April 24, 2020. Ubuntu 20.04 just came out. Installing Docker via the method I typically use via does not seem to work. Additionally, the Docker website doesn’t seem to have install instructions for Ubuntu 20.04 yet. Snap installations are recommended by Canonical, but from past experience with the Docker Snap, I prefer to stick to a native method of installation.

If you don’t have Ubuntu 20.04 yet, it was released on April 23, 2020. Go get it here!

In Ubuntu 20.04, the apt package should do the trick. Continue reading for a step-by-step breakdown.


Install the package:

sudo apt install

Enable the systemd service for Docker:

sudo systemctl enable --now docker

Ensure your user is a member of the docker group so that you don’t have to use sudo to run Docker commands:

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Unfortunately, you do have to log out of your current session in order for the new docker group membership to propagate to future Bash terminal sessions. The rest of the Docker commands in this guide will include sudo to make it a little easier for you, in case you choose not to log out.

Confirm it works

Then, try running Nginx locally:

sudo docker run --rm -it -p 8080:80 nginx:alpine

Visit http://localhost:8080 in your browser and verify that it works!

Nginx via Docker

Quit out of the currently running Nginx container by pressing CTRL+C. This will also clean it up, thanks to the --rm flag we passed into the docker run command.

Install Docker compose

Next, install Docker compose by retrieving the docker-compose release binary from GitHub - these steps are on the Docker website:

sudo curl -L "$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Note that this may be out of date; please use the instructions from the release to install Docker compose. This is just an example.

Add executable permissions to the binary:

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Verify by running:

sudo docker-compose version

apt update broken - fix

As of 5/15/2020, Docker has released a formal focal release. Previously, there were only eoan packages available, which caused sudo apt update to break, and required extra steps to fix it, outlined in the collapsed section below. In order to verify a successful Docker installation, update your package index now:

sudo apt update

This should succeed with no issues. If for some reason there are still issues, consider expanding & reviewing the content in the Fixing Apt Failures section below.

There’s one caveat to this installation method currently. There is currently no apt repository source for Ubuntu 20.04, seen here:

Docker No Focal

This will cause sudo apt update commands to fail:

Get:1 focal InRelease [265 kB]
Ign:2 focal InRelease
Err:3 focal Release
  404  Not Found [IP: 443]
Hit:5 focal-security InRelease
Get:6 focal-updates InRelease [89.1 kB]
Hit:7 focal-backports InRelease
Get:8 focal-updates/main amd64 Packages [1,760 B]
Reading package lists... Done
E: The repository ' focal Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

To fix this, edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list to include an eoan release:

# original preserved:
#deb [arch=amd64] focal stable
deb [arch=amd64] eoan stable

Then, run:

sudo apt update


All set! You should now be able to run Docker containers, as well as orchestrate services with Docker compose files.