Docker 1.9 includes network plugin support and Calico is ready!

Docker have just released 1.9 which finally brings Libnetwork out of experimental and into the main release. I’ve been working with Docker and the Libnetwork developers since back in April and I’m really excited that users will now be able to use Calico with Docker without needing to install special experimental versions of Docker or needing to add networking to containers after they’ve already been started.

I’m going to quickly run through what it takes to get started with Calico and libnetwork.  We also have in depth guides if you want to try yourself, either in a local VM using Vagrant or in the cloud.

Preparing Docker

First step is to make sure the right version of Docker us running. See the Docker 1.9 release for instructions on upgrading.
To get multihost docker networking running, libnetwork requires a datastore. Docker supports etcd, consul and zookeeper and I’ll use etcd so that Calico can share the same datastore.

Running Etcd

To start I’ll grab the latest etcd release, unpack it and run it. I’m just going to run a single node “cluster” but for a production deployment a multi node cluster is highly recommended.

  • curl -L -o etcd-v2.2.1-linux-amd64.tar.gz
  • tar xzvf etcd-v2.2.1-linux-amd64.tar.gz
  • cd etcd-v2.2.1-linux-amd64
  • ./etcd --advertise-client-urls

Running Docker

Now that etcd is running I can start Docker in another terminal, pointing it at etcd using the –cluster-store flag

  • systemctl stop docker # Stop my current docker daemon
  • ./docker daemon --cluster-store=etcd://

Using Calico

Docker and etcd are now running so I can start creating containers and networking them using Calico.

Starting the Calico agent

I can grab the latest release of calicoctl from the calico-docker release page.

  • wget
  • chmod +x calicoctl
  • sudo calicoctl node --libnetwork

That’s it!  Calico is installed and running with just those 3 simple commands.

Working with networks

Docker has added a new subcommand “docker network". Using this command I can create new networks that are backed by the Calico driver.

  • docker network create –d calico my_network

Creating containers

Now that the network is created containers can be started using that network

  • docker run –net my_network --ti busybox ifconfig


After getting the Docker daemon setup up with a backing store, using Calico is as simple as grabbing a file and running it in order to start a containerized version of the calico agent.

The new Docker UX is clean and simple and makes getting started with Calico very easy.  Give it a try today!

Join our mailing list

Get updates on blog posts, workshops, certification programs, new releases, and more!