I have installed a fresh raspbian buster and docker from get.docker.com on a raspberry pi zero W [Edit: Does not work on raspbian jessie or stretch either]

I have run docker on that machine before, but now docker run <image> just starts and terminates about 18 seconds later, no output. I have tried several different Dockerfiles which works on a regular Linux laptop.

This is output to daemon.log while docker run runs. I see no errors, just a warning that (...)/mnt/shm can not be found. [Edit: This warning is also shown on working docker on pc, so it's not relevant.] Note: I have now discovered that docker container ls -l shows that the containers end with error code 139, which is SIGSEGV

tail -f /var/log/daemon.log|grep docker &
root@pi:/# docker run hello-world
..8:44 pi systemd[1]: var-lib-docker-overlay2-8a2da5298e1(...)4ed0b781f\x2dinit-merged.mount: Succeeded.
..8:44 pi systemd[463]: var-lib-docker-overlay2-8a2da5298e1(...)4ed0b781f\x2dinit-merged.mount: Succeeded.
..8:44 pi systemd[1]: var-lib-docker-overlay2-8a2da5298e1(...)4ed0b781f-merged.mount: Succeeded.
..8:45 pi systemd[463]: var-lib-docker-overlay2-8a2da5298e1(...)4ed0b781f-merged.mount: Succeeded.
..8:48 pi systemd[1]: run-docker-runtime\x2drunc-moby-6c47caad0e(...)086e9ac535ba-runc.8fnFt5.mount: Succeeded.
..8:48 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: carrier acquired
..8:48 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: IAID 29:1f:af:46
..8:48 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: adding address fe80::f3ff:1d1a:3346:f173
..8:48 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Joining mDNS multicast group on interface docker0.IPv6 with address fe80::f3ff:1d1a:3346:f173.
..8:48 pi avahi-daemon[241]: New relevant interface docker0.IPv6 for mDNS.
..8:48 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Registering new address record for fe80::f3ff:1d1a:3346:f173 on docker0.*.
..8:48 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: soliciting an IPv6 router
..8:48 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: soliciting a DHCP lease
..8:54 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: probing for an IPv4LL address
..8:59 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: using IPv4LL address
..8:59 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: adding route to
..8:59 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Registering new address record for on docker0.IPv4.
..9:00 pi dockerd[324]: time="2019-10-26T23:29:00.407340153+02:00" level=info msg="ignoring event"
     module=libcontainerd namespace=moby topic=/tasks/delete type="*events.TaskDelete"
..9:00 pi systemd[1]: run-docker-netns-1f13548fc883.mount: Succeeded.
..9:00 pi systemd[463]: run-docker-netns-1f13548fc883.mount: Succeeded.
..9:01 pi dockerd[324]: time="2019-10-26T23:29:01.039055309+02:00" level=warning msg="6c47caad0e(...)086e9ac535ba
    cleanup: failed to unmount IPC: umount /var/lib/docker/containers/6c47caad0e(...)086e9ac535ba/mounts/shm, flags: 0x2: no such file or directory"
..9:01 pi systemd[1]: var-lib-docker-overlay2-8a2da5298e1(...)4ed0b781f-merged.mount: Succeeded.
..9:01 pi systemd[463]: var-lib-docker-overlay2-8a2da5298e1(...)4ed0b781f-merged.mount: Succeeded.
..9:02 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: carrier lost
..9:02 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: deleting address fe80::f3ff:1d1a:3346:f173
..9:02 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Withdrawing address record for fe80::f3ff:1d1a:3346:f173 on docker0.
..9:02 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Leaving mDNS multicast group on interface docker0.IPv6 with address fe80::f3ff:1d1a:3346:f173.
..9:02 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Interface docker0.IPv6 no longer relevant for mDNS.
..9:02 pi avahi-daemon[241]: Withdrawing address record for on docker0.
..9:02 pi dhcpcd[277]: docker0: deleting route to

Edit, to answer tflong01

tail -f /var/log/daemon.log keep printing the log from miscellaneous daemons |grep docker send output to grep to show only lines containing docker & keep running in background, but release keyboard back, so I can type the next command

docker takes a couple of disk images: a "disk" with the operating system, another with the command and mounts them on top of each other, creating a virtual machine.

at 8:48 this machine is powered up, it gets an IPv6 address and starts looking for an IPv4 address by DHCP. There is no DHCP on that network, so

at 8:54 it starts creating its own adress, which it has done at 8:59

at 9:00 the machine looks ready to run the "hello-world" command, but no output is done

at 9:01 the machine powers down, the ip-adresses get released and the disk images unmounted and the routing entries cleared.

All looks normal except nothing is being run in the machine. Or it doesn't output anything.

  • I am a linux newbie and don't know nothing about "daemon.log" or "dhcpcd". I saw that you are running "docker run hello-world". I have just installed my docker, but I don't how to setup to run "hello World". I remember I did run Hello World some weeks ago and found it OK, but that was for Rpi3B+ stretch. I am using Rpi4B buster. I am going to run Hello World again. The following is my installation record. Perhaps you might like to compare my version with yours: penzu.com/p/b0b16fa9.
    – tlfong01
    Oct 27, 2019 at 5:22
  • I was too lazy to check my old penzu diary to find last time what did I do to run hello world. So I just scribbled random commands to try out. Luckily the docker daemon is smart enough to guide me with newbie friendly error message to after a couple of trials and errors got the correct terminal command to successfully run hello world. The docker ghost is indeed very newbie friendly, discovering that I am a newbie (I guess using some sort of AI UI stuff), knowing no command and no "image" to run. The ghost went to her "hub", fetched hello image (I think called image! ). / to continue, ...
    – tlfong01
    Oct 27, 2019 at 6:01
  • This is my hello world image execution penzu diary entry: penzu.com/p/43f37930. I found that you used the newbie scary command "tail -f /var/log/daemon.log|grep docker &". I never can remember the meanings of "tail", "|", "grep". Perhaps I just run it blindly and let you know the results.
    – tlfong01
    Oct 27, 2019 at 6:06
  • 1
    I have explained the logfile in details.
    – Lenne
    Oct 27, 2019 at 8:14
  • 1
    I guess my explanation doesn't get me further in solving my problem. But I hope it gives me some karma points ;-)
    – Lenne
    Oct 27, 2019 at 9:07

4 Answers 4


One needs to run the right architecture.

The kernel on my raspberry pi zero W is armv6l

Whatever mechanism docker have to select the right arch is not solid enough.

For instance alpine:latest have images for

  • linux/386
  • linux/amd64
  • linux/arm/v6
  • linux/arm/v7
  • linux/arm64/v8
  • linux/ppc64le
  • linux/s390x

But docker image inspect shows both arm/v6 and arm/v7 as just "arm". So docker pull alpine happens to select arm/v7, while RasPIzW needs arm/v6

I can get the right arch by looking up the digest on dockerhub, and do a docker run alpine@sha256:29a82d50bdb8dd7814009852c1773fb9bb300d2f655bd1cd9e764e7bb1412be3 but that locks me to that particular version, so I'll not automatically use alpine:latest in my Dockerfile or docker-compose

I have solved it in this case, by using arm32v6/alpine, but that only works because some user called arm32v6 makes images specially for arm32v6

This also means I can't have the same Dockerfile on my pc as on the raspberry, if they use binary images.

I'd like a way to say

if arch="armv6l" then
  FROM arm32v6/alpine
  FROM alpine
end if
  • Ah, your explanation is very good. I need to make in my answer an apology later. Cheers.
    – tlfong01
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:46

For reference, and to supplement @tifong01 and @Lenne's great responses:

The implementation of the Docker Manifest V2 Schema 2 API used by the Docker CLI does not currently differentiate properly between armv6 and armv7 architectures at runtime (related Github issues: here in moby core and here in the official-images repo, where images like alpine live). This doesn't affect armv7 boards, but does impact armv6 boards.

Here's a quick reference table I put together mapping each Raspberry Pi release (from 2012 until late 2019) to the corresponding ARM instruction set:

Raspberry Pi Releases + microarchitectures

Boards highlighted in yellow or green use the armv7 or armv8/aarchv8 instruction set, and should be able to execute images that include any arm images in their manifest just fine.

Boards highlighted in red use the older ARM11 instruction set, which corresponds to the armv6l family of microarchitectures... TL;DR, it depends on how the images were compiled, and YMMV. But for images that reliably execute on armv6l: I'd recommended sticking to the arm32v6 images — these are, in fact, official images, actively maintained under the same docker/official-images repo mentioned earlier. I've been using them as one of the base images in various projects to cross-build images in CI for a couple years now, and have never had a problem (see e.g., minio-multiarch for an example of this pattern, if you're interested).

Hope this helps!


Another F.Y.I.

If you want to create "a single image tag", using multi-arch, compatible to:

  • AMD64/x86_64 (macOS and Windows10 Intel-compatible machines)
  • ARMv7 (RaspberryPi 3B + Buster)
  • and ARMv6 (RaspberryPi ZeroW + Buster)

so to have the same Dockerfile for PC, macOS, RPi3 and RPi Zero, then you need to re-write the manifest list of the base image a little.

First, create images for each architecture and its manifest. Building as <your image name>:<arc name> and pushing to Docker Hub then pulling back might be easy.

Next, create a manifest list with the latest tag(<your image name>:latest) and add all the manifest above.



docker manifest create $NAME_MANIFEST_LIST $LIST_MANIFESTS --amend

Finally and most important, change the variant value of the manifest for armv6 from v6 to v6l like below and push the manifest list:



docker manifest annotate $NAME_MANIFEST_LIST $MANIFEST --variant v6l
docker manifest push $NAME_MANIFEST_LIST --purge

As a sample, try the below image and command on RPi Zero, RPi3, macOS, and Win10. (hope it works on all architecture)

docker pull keinos/alpine
docker run --rm keinos/alpine cat /etc/os-release

Most online articles didn't create a compatible image tag that works for both ARMv7 and ARMv6 but reading @lenne, @jesse-stuart, and @tlfong01 great responses I came up with the solution above. Thanks!



How come Docker running Hello World on RpiZW returns nothing?


Update 2019oct2901

The OP just found the cause of the problem. See his answer above. Let the docker newbie, ie, me, try to summarize the OP's explanation:

(1) Rpi3/4 uses arm/v7, while RasPIzW uses arm/v6

(2) Docker by default uses architecture for arm/v7 (Installation Note 1)

(3) So it is RpiZW's "architecture" not compatible to Docker, not just the display driver as I have wrongly guessed.

My apologies for the wrong and misleading guess. Many thanks to the OP for teaching me how to run and troubleshoot Docker stuff.

Installation Note 1

When installing Docker in my Rpi4B buster, I used the (1) "stretch mature" library, and not any (2) "buster non mature" library, because I think if (1) works, then try it first, and try (2) later, in case of problems. Actually I was to lazy to find if there is any other library for luster. Anyway, if stretch library can run "Hello World" without any problem. Might need to update to buster library later.

Update 2019oct2801

The OP just said the following:

"Note: I have now discovered that docker container ls -l shows that the containers end with error code 139, which is SIGSEGV"

I think this may mean my conclusion might be totally wrong. So I have stricken out my conclusion below, and wait for the OP to do more research work.

Experimentation docker

(1) I installed docker on Rpi4B with buster and ran Hello World OK (Refs 1, 2, 3).

(2) I cloned buster image from Rpi4B and used it to run hello world on RpiZW.

(3) Docker in RpiZW buster returns nothing. In other words, bad luck as the OP.


I compared and contrasted your RpiZW log with mine. I found them did similar things and seem to end successfully in a roughly same time period.

In other words, both docker guys think they have completed the Hello World job. The only catch is that the Docker has no eyes to look at the terminal display that it does display any thing.

In short, the Rpi4B terminal display driver gets the Docker message and display happily. But the RpiZW driver does not do anything, just sleeping!


Docker is not compatible with RpiZW buster.

Errata - As mentioned in the update above, the OP has found the error message which might indicate the real cause of the problem, not at all related to my quick and dirty conclusion of a vague remark on incompatibility.

Updated conclusion

It is Docker's default Rpi architecture not compatible, not just driver incompatible, though implied.

See the OP's answer for a very detailed explanation.


(1) Docker Rpi4B buster Installation Record v0.1 - tlfong01 Sun. 10/27/2019

(2) Docker Rpi4B buster Hello World Execution Record v0.1 - tlfong01 Sun. 10/27/2019

(3) Docker Rpi4B buster Hello World Execution Log v0.2 - tlfong01 Sun. 10/27/2019

(4) Docker Learning Notes V0.3 - tlfong01 Sun. 10/27/2019

(5) Understanding Docker Container Technology for Beginner - GeekFlare

(6) Docker Architecture and its Components for Beginner - GeekFlare


End of answer

  • 1
    I tried a fresh raspbian stretch, same result, Docker does everything in building, starting and stopping containers. Except actually running the container.
    – Lenne
    Oct 28, 2019 at 9:57
  • I am not surprised, my RpiZW with stretch or buster does not like any good quality USB hub except the old dirty cheap HUB I nearly gave away to charity.
    – tlfong01
    Oct 28, 2019 at 10:04
  • Dinner time. See you late evening or tomorrow. Cheers.
    – tlfong01
    Oct 28, 2019 at 10:05
  • 1
    My RpiZW runs just fine, except for the docker issue
    – Lenne
    Oct 28, 2019 at 10:09
  • Yes, I agree. The docker knows how to talk to the Rpi4B terminal display driver, but not to the RpiZW display driver.
    – tlfong01
    Oct 28, 2019 at 11:56

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