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How to Install Docker Compose on Ubuntu: A Complete Guide

Anastasios Antoniadis

Master the installation of Docker Compose on Ubuntu with our complete guide. Follow step-by-step instructions to effortlessly set up Docker Compose, enhancing your development environment for building and managing multi-container applications.

Docker (1)

Docker Compose is a powerful tool that simplifies the process of managing multi-container Docker applications. By allowing you to define and run your Docker applications using a YAML file, Docker Compose makes it easier to configure your application’s services, networks, and volumes. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to install Docker Compose on an Ubuntu system, ensuring you can take full advantage of its capabilities for your development projects.


Before you begin the installation process, you need to have Docker installed on your Ubuntu machine. If Docker is not yet installed, you can follow the official Docker documentation to set it up. Once Docker is ready, you can proceed with installing Docker Compose.

Step 1: Download the Latest Version of Docker Compose

As of my last knowledge update in April 2023, it’s always recommended to check the official Docker Compose GitHub repository for the latest release. You can download the binary directly from GitHub using curl. First, open a terminal and run the following command to download the current stable release of Docker Compose:

sudo curl -L "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/v2.24.6/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

Replace v2.5.0 with the latest version number if a newer version is available.

Step 2: Set the Permissions

After downloading, you need to apply executable permissions to the binary:

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

Step 3: Verify the Installation

To ensure Docker Compose was installed correctly, you can run the following command to check the version:

docker-compose --version

This command will display the Docker Compose version, confirming that the installation was successful.

Step 4: (Optional) Install Command Completion

Docker Compose comes with a command completion feature for the bash and zsh shell, which can speed up your workflow. To install command completion for bash, you can run:

sudo curl -L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/docker/compose/1.29.2/contrib/completion/bash/docker-compose -o /etc/bash_completion.d/docker-compose

Remember to open a new terminal session or source your .bashrc file to activate the command completion feature.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Permission Denied: If you encounter a permission denied error when trying to run Docker Compose, ensure you’ve correctly applied executable permissions to the binary.
  • Command Not Found: If the system cannot find the Docker Compose command, make sure /usr/local/bin is in your PATH. You can add it by modifying your .bashrc or .profile file.


Installing Docker Compose on Ubuntu is straightforward and enhances your Docker experience by enabling the management of multi-container applications with ease. By following these steps, you can set up Docker Compose and start defining your applications using YAML configuration files. This not only simplifies the development process but also ensures consistency across different environments. With Docker Compose installed, you’re well-equipped to manage complex Docker applications, making your development workflow more efficient and streamlined.

Anastasios Antoniadis
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