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General Docker requirements


Testcontainers requires a Docker-API compatible container runtime. During development, Testcontainers is actively tested against recent versions of Docker on Linux, as well as against Docker Desktop on Mac and Windows. These Docker environments are automatically detected and used by Testcontainers without any additional configuration being necessary.

It is possible to configure Testcontainers to work for other Docker setups, such as a remote Docker host or Docker alternatives. However, these are not actively tested in the main development workflow, so not all Testcontainers features might be available and additional manual configuration might be necessary. If you have further questions about configuration details for your setup or whether it supports running Testcontainers-based tests, please contact the Testcontainers team and other users from the Testcontainers community on Slack.

Host Operating System / Environment Minimum recommended docker versions Known issues / tips
Linux - general Docker v17.09 After docker installation, follow post-installation steps.
Linux - CircleCI (LXC driver) Docker v17.09 The exec feature is not compatible with CircleCI. See CircleCI configuration example
Linux - within a Docker container Docker v17.09 See Running inside Docker for Docker-in-Docker and Docker wormhole patterns
Mac OS X - Docker Toolbox Docker Machine v0.8.0
Mac OS X - Docker for Mac v17.09 Starting 4.13, run sudo ln -s $HOME/.docker/run/docker.sock /var/run/docker.sock
Support is best-efforts at present
getTestHostIpAddress() is not currently supported due to limitations in Docker for Mac.
Windows - Docker Toolbox Support is limited at present and this is not currently tested on a regular basis.
Windows - Docker for Windows Support is best-efforts at present. Only Linux Containers (LCOW) are supported at the moment. See Windows Support
Windows - Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) Docker v17.09 Support is best-efforts at present. Only Linux Containers (LCOW) are supported at the moment. See Windows Support.

Using Colima?

In order to run testcontainers against colima the env vars bellow should be set

export DOCKER_HOST="unix://${HOME}/.colima/docker.sock"

Docker environment discovery

Testcontainers will try to connect to a Docker daemon using the following strategies in order:

  • Environment variables:
  • Defaults:
    • DOCKER_HOST=https://localhost:2376
    • DOCKER_CERT_PATH=~/.docker
  • If Docker Machine is installed, the docker machine environment for the first machine found. Docker Machine needs to be on the PATH for this to succeed.
  • If you're going to run your tests inside a container, please read Patterns for running tests inside a docker container first.

Docker registry authentication

Testcontainers will try to authenticate to registries with supplied config using the following strategies in order:

  • Environment variables:
  • Docker config
    • At location specified in DOCKER_CONFIG or at {HOME}/.docker/config.json