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Docker Birmingham January 2020 - Building Docker images for multiple architectures

This repo has the slides and some brief instructions for the Jan 2020 Docker meetup I spoke at.

The slides are available here.

Getting Started

This repo contains a simple hello world Go application to demonstrate the compiler architecture and a number of environments to demonstrate buiuld and runtime configuration.

To get everything running you'll need:

Build / Compile

  • Docker for Desktop
  • Vagrant & Virtualbox (or another compatible provider)
  • Instructions for installing buildx plugin

Running on Arm but don't have a board?

  • An AWS accout
  • Terraform


Clone this repo first and cd into it.

Docker for Desktop

Install / update to the latest and enable the experimental features. See the Docker getting started pages for more details here.


This will install and setup an ubuntu instance with docker and the buildx plugin installed along with the QEMU emulation bindings to build non-host architectures. The VM is configure to need 2vCPUs and 2G RAM.

  • Install Vagrant
  • cd into the vagrant folder.
  • vagrant up will download the VM and run the scripts to install docker etc. This could take a few mins depending upon your connection.
  • vagrant ssh to get a terminal in the vm to run the commands in a "real" linux OS.
  • vagrant destroy when you're finished working and don't need the VM anymore.

At the time of writing the head of homebrew installs incompatible versions of vagrant and virtualbox (Vagrant 2.2.6 & Virtualbox 6.1). Until Vagrant have tested and released support for this combination the best bet for getting it working is to follow this.


AWS have Arm64 architecture VMs available and should you not have access to a physical device, this can be a handy way of experimenting or even reducing your compute costs for Wireguard and other lower level appliance requirements! If you've not done this before then it's probably best to run through the docs for AWS as there's not scope for running through it here.

The terraform template is located in the /terraform folder.

Running the builds

The hello-world application to demonstrate the buildx capability as described in the slides, but as a quick summary:

docker buildx create --name mybuilder
docker buildx use mybuilder
docker buildx inspect --bootstrap
docker buildx build --load --platform linux/arm64 -t hello-world .


  • Matt Todd - Slides, Presentation & infra - mattjtodd


This project is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License - see the file for details

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