Docker setup

This course assumes access to an x86-64-based Linux machine, and all problem sets and lecture code can run on a Linux host. Although most problem sets and lecture code can also run directly on a Mac OS X host or on Windows Subsystem for Linux, we recommend you at least check your work on Ubuntu or another Linux host, and your work should not accidentally rely on Mac-specific or Windows-specific behavior.

The easiest way to get access to a Linux environment is via Docker. The Docker container-based virtualization service lets you run a minimal CS 61 environment, including Linux, on a Mac OS X or Windows computer, without the overhead of a full virtual machine like VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox.

It should be possible to do all CS 61 problem sets on CS 61 Docker.

Advantages of Docker:

Disadvantages of Docker:

If you choose not to use Docker, use the VM setup instructions.

Creating CS 61 Docker

To prepare to build your Docker environment:

  1. Download and install Docker.

  2. Clone your cs61-psets repository or the cs61-lectures repository into your files. (See GitHub Setup.)

  3. Open a terminal and change into your cs61-WHATEVER/docker directory. For instance:

    $ cd ~/cs61-f21-psets-kohler/docker
  4. Run this command. It will take a while—up to ten minutes.

    $ ./cs61-build-docker

    The command starts up a virtual Linux-based computer running inside your computer. It then installs a bunch of software useful for CS 61 on that environment, then takes a snapshot of the running environment. (The snapshot has a name: cs61:latest.) Once the snapshot is created, it’ll take just a second or so for Docker to restart it.

    (Note: The ./cs61-build-docker script is a wrapper around docker build; specifically: docker build -t cs61:latest -f Dockerfile --platform linux/amd64 .)

We may need to change the Docker image during the term. If we do, you’ll update your repository to get the latest Dockerfile, then re-run the ./cs61-build-docker command from Step 4. However, later runs should be faster since they’ll take advantage of your previous work.

Running CS 61 Docker

Our handout repositories, including cs61-lectures and cs61-psets, contain a cs61-run-docker script that provides good arguments and boots Docker into a view of the current directory. We will update this script throughout the term.

For example, here’s an example of running CS 61 Docker on a Mac OS X host. At first, uname (a program that prints the name of the currently running operating system) reports Darwin. But after ./cs61-run-docker connects the terminal to a Linux virtual machine, uname reports Linux. At the end of the example, exit quits the Docker environment and returns the terminal to Mac OS X.

$ cd ~/cs61-lectures
$ uname
$ uname -a
Darwin Eddies-MacBook-Pro.local 20.6.0 Darwin Kernel Version 20.6.0: Wed Jun 23 00:26:27 PDT 2021; root:xnu-7195.141.2~5/RELEASE_ARM64_T8101 arm64
$ ./cs61-run-docker
cs61-user@a47f05ea5085:~/cs61-lectures$ uname
cs61-user@a47f05ea5085:~/cs61-lectures$ uname -a
Linux a47f05ea5085 5.10.47-linuxkit #1 SMP PREEMPT Sat Jul 3 21:50:16 UTC 2021 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
cs61-user@a47f05ea5085:~/cs61-lectures$ ls
common  cs61-run-docker  docker
cs61-user@a47f05ea5085:~/cs61-lectures$ exit

A prompt like cs61-user@a47f05ea5085:~$ means that your terminal is connected to the VM. (The a47f05ea5085 part is a unique identifier for this running VM.) You can execute any Linux commands you want. To escape from the VM, type Control-D or run the exit command.

The script assumes your Docker container is named cs61:latest, as it was above.

Running CS 61 Docker by hand (advanced topic)

If you don’t want to use the script, use a command like the following.

$ docker run -it --platform linux/amd64 --rm -v ~/cs61-lectures:/home/cs61-user/cs61-lectures cs61:latest


Here’s an example session:

$ docker run -it --platform linux/amd64 --rm -v ~/cs61-psets:/home/cs61-user/cs61-psets cs61:latest
cs61-user@a15e6c4c8dbe:~$ ls
cs61-user@a15e6c4c8dbe:~$ echo "Hello, world"
Hello, world
cs61-user@a15e6c4c8dbe:~$ cs61-docker-version
cs61-user@a15e6c4c8dbe:~$ exit