How to Install Docker-Compose on Amazon EC2 Linux 2 and Run a hello-world Docker-Compose File

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps of installing Docker-Compose on an Amazon EC2 Linux 2 instance and running a hello-world Docker-Compose file. Docker-Compose is a tool for defining and managing multi-container Docker applications. It uses YAML files to configure the application’s services and allows you to manage the entire lifecycle of your application.

Table of Contents

  1. Connecting to your Amazon Linux EC2 instance
  2. Installing Docker
  3. Installing Docker-Compose
  4. Running hello-world Docker-Compose File
  5. Common Errors
  6. Conclusion


Ensure you have the following:

  • An AWS account
  • An EC2 instance running

Connecting to your Amazon Linux EC2 instance

After creating your Amazon Linux EC2 instance on your AWS account and have it up and running, follow the steps below to connect to the instance from your local machine

  1. Open the terminal you prefer to use on your system

  2. Run the following command:

ssh -i ~/.ssh/your-key-name.pem ubuntu@your-ec2-public-ip

Replace your-key-name.pem with the path to your private key file and your-ec2-public-ip with the public IPv4 address or DNS name of your EC2 instance.

  1. Enter your SSH key passphrase if prompted and then you should be connected to your EC2 instance. You should see a window that looks like this.


Installing Docker

Before installing Docker-Compose, we need to install Docker. In your instance, run the following commands:

sudo yum update -y
sudo yum install -y docker

Start the Docker service:

sudo service docker start

Add the ec2-user to the Docker group so you can execute Docker commands without using sudo:

sudo usermod -a -G docker ec2-user

Log out and log back in again to pick up the new Docker group permissions.

Installing Docker-Compose

To install Docker-Compose, use the following commands:

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

Next, set the permissions:

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

Verify the installation:

docker-compose --version

You should see the Docker-Compose version if the installation was successful.

Running hello-world Docker-Compose File

Now that Docker and Docker-Compose are installed, we can run a Docker-Compose file. In this case, we’re using the hello-world docker file.

For that we need to create a docker-compose.yml file that contains the following code:

version: '3'
    image: hello-world:latest
      - "80:80"

You can create this file locally and then transfer it to your EC2 instance using scp or any method you prefer. Alternatively, you can create the file directly in your EC2 instance. Once the file is on your EC2 instance, navigate to its location and run:

docker-compose up

Docker-Compose will start all the services defined in your Docker-Compose file. You should see something like that:


Common Errors

  • Incorrect SSH key or path: Ensure you’re using the correct private key file name and path in the ssh command.

  • Docker service not starting: Check if the Docker service is already running or if there are errors in the system logs.

  • Syntax errors in docker-compose.yml: Double-check the YAML syntax for indentation and missing characters.

  • Image not found: Confirm that the hello-world image is available in your Docker registry or repository.

  • Port conflict: Check for existing processes using port 80 and stop them before running the application.


Installing Docker-Compose on Amazon EC2 Linux 2 is straightforward. With Docker and Docker-Compose installed, you can define and manage multi-container Docker applications using a single YAML file. This makes it easier to manage complex applications and ensures that they run the same way, regardless of the environment.

Remember to always verify your installations by checking the version of the installed software. This can help you troubleshoot any issues that might arise during the installation process.

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