Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register the new runtime to the Docker daemon?
Refer to the documentation of nvidia-container-runtime
Which Docker packages are supported?
- All the stable releases of
docker-ceinstalled from https://docs.docker.com/install/
- Edge releases are not supported.
- The legacy official package
- The package provided by Canonical:
- The package provided by Red Hat:
The exact list depends on which upstream Docker versions are available for your Linux distribution.
You can look at the packages list on the
gh-pages branch of the repository.
How do I install 2.0 if I'm not using the latest Docker version?
You must pin the versions of both
nvidia-container-runtime when installing, for instance:
sudo apt-get install -y nvidia-docker2=2.0.3+docker18.09.1-1 nvidia-container-runtime=2.0.0+docker18.08.1-1
apt-cache madison nvidia-docker2 nvidia-container-runtime or
yum search --showduplicates nvidia-docker2 nvidia-container-runtime to list the available versions.
What is the minimum supported Docker version?
Docker 1.12 which adds support for custom container runtimes.
How do I install the NVIDIA driver?
Alternatively, and as a technology preview, the NVIDIA driver can be deployed through a container.
Refer to the documentation for more information.
Can I use 2.0 and 1.0 side-by-side?
Yes, but packages
nvidia-docker conflict. You need to install nvidia-container-runtime instead of
nvidia-docker2 and register the new runtime manually.
Why do I get the error
Unknown runtime specified nvidia?
Make sure the runtime was registered to
dockerd. You also need to reload the configuration of the Docker daemon.
Why do I get the error
flag provided but not defined: -console?
Your version of
nvidia-container-runtime probably doesn't match your version of Docker. You need to pin the version of
nvidia-container-runtime when installing the package.
Why do I get the error
Depends: docker [...] but it is not installable or
nothing provides docker [...]?
This issue can usually occur in one of the following circumstances:
- Docker is not installed on your machine and/or the official Docker package repository hasn't been set up (see also prerequisites).
- Docker is installed or is about to be upgraded and its version is not supported by NVIDIA Docker (see also supported Docker packages).
- Docker is installed and its version supported, but it isn't the latest version available on the Docker package repository. In this case, package pinning is required (see also not the latest Docker version and older version of Docker).
The following signatures were invalid: EXPKEYSIG while trying to install the packages, what do I do?
Make sure you fetched the latest GPG key from the repositories. Refer to the repository instructions for your distribution.
Why do I get the error
file /etc/docker/daemon.json from install of nvidia-docker2 conflicts with file from package docker?
Is macOS supported?
No, we do not support macOS (regardless of the version), however you can use the native macOS Docker client to deploy your containers remotely (refer to the dockerd documentation).
Is Microsoft Windows supported?
No, we do not support Microsoft Windows (regardless of the version), however you can use the native Microsoft Windows Docker client to deploy your containers remotely (refer to the dockerd documentation).
Do you support Microsoft native container technologies (e.g. Windows server, Hyper-v)?
No, we do not support native Microsoft container technologies.
Do you support Optimus (i.e. NVIDIA dGPU + Intel iGPU)?
Yes, from the CUDA perspective there is no difference as long as your dGPU is powered-on and you are following the official driver instructions.
Do you support Tegra platforms (arm64)?
No, we do not support Tegra platforms and can’t easily port the code to it.
The driver stack on arm64 is radically different and would require a complete architecture overhaul.
What distributions are officially supported?
Do you support PowerPC64 (ppc64le)?
Yes, little-endian only. Check the support matrix for each project:
Notably, if you use
docker-ce with CentOS/RHEL on ppc64le, you need to register the
nvidia runtime manually. If you are using Red Hat's docker distribution, you can follow the instructions in the README.
How do I use this in on my Cloud service provider (e.g. AWS, Azure, GCP)?
We have a tutorial for AWS and a tutorial for Azure.
They haven’t been updated for 2.0 yet but we are working on it and we plan to release a similar tutorial for GCP soon.
Alternatively, you can leverage NGC to deploy optimized container images on AWS and Azure.
Does it have a performance impact on my GPU workload?
No, usually the impact should be in the order of less than 1% and hardly noticeable.
However be aware of the following (list non exhaustive):
GPU topology and CPU affinity
You can query it using
nvidia-smi topoand use Docker CPU sets to pin CPU cores.
Compiling your code for your device architecture
Your container might be compiled for the wrong achitecture and could fallback to the JIT compilation of PTX code (refer to the official documentation for more information).
Note that you can express these constraints in your container image.
Container I/O overhead
By default Docker containers rely on an overlay filesystem and bridged/NATed networking.
Depending on your workload this can be a bottleneck, we recommend using Docker volumes and experiment with different Docker networks.
Linux kernel accounting and security overhead
In rare cases, you may notice than some kernel subsystems induce overhead.
This will likely depend on your kernel version and can include things like: cgroups, LSMs, seccomp filters, netfilter...
Is OpenGL supported?
Yes, EGL is supported for headless rendering, but this is a beta feature. There is no plan to support GLX in the near future.
Images are available at
nvidia/opengl. If you need CUDA+OpenGL, use
If you are a NGC subscriber and require GLX for your workflow, please fill out a feature request for support consideration.
How do I fix
unsatisfied condition: cuda >= X.Y?
Do you support CUDA Multi Process Service (a.k.a. MPS)?
No, MPS is not supported at the moment. However we plan on supporting this feature in the future, and this issue will be updated accordingly.
Do you support running a GPU-accelerated X server inside the container?
No, running a X server inside the container is not supported at the moment and there is no plan to support it in the near future (see also OpenGL support).
I have multiple GPU devices, how can I isolate them between my containers?
GPU isolation is achieved through a container environment variable called
Devices can be referenced by index (following the PCI bus order) or by UUID (refer to the documentation).
# If you have 4 GPUs, to isolate GPUs 3 and 4 (/dev/nvidia2 and /dev/nvidia3) $ docker run --runtime=nvidia -e NVIDIA_VISIBLE_DEVICES=2,3 nvidia/cuda:10.0-base nvidia-smi
nvidia-smi inside the container not listing the running processes?
nvidia-smi and NVML are not compatible with PID namespaces.
We recommend monitoring your processes on the host or inside a container using
Can I share a GPU between multiple containers?
Yes. This is no different than sharing a GPU between multiple processes outside of containers.
Scheduling and compute preemption vary from one GPU architecture to another (e.g. CTA-level, instruction-level).
Can I limit the GPU resources (e.g. bandwidth, memory, CUDA cores) taken by a container?
No. Your only option is to set the GPU clocks at a lower frequency before starting the container.
Can I enforce exclusive access for a GPU?
This is not currently supported but you can enforce it:
- At the container orchestration layer (Kubernetes, Swarm, Mesos, Slurm…) since this is tied to resource allocation.
- At the driver level by setting the compute mode of the GPU.
Why is my container slow to start with 2.0?
You probably need to enable persistence mode to keep the kernel modules loaded and the GPUs initialized.
The recommended way is to start the
nvidia-persistenced daemon on your host.
Can I use it with Docker-in-Docker (a.k.a. DinD)?
If you are running a Docker client inside a container: simply mount the Docker socket and proceed as usual.
If you are running a Docker daemon inside a container: this case is untested.
Why is my application inside the container slow to initialize?
Your application was probably not compiled for the compute architecture of your GPU and thus the driver must JIT all the CUDA kernels from PTX. In addition to a slow start, the JIT compiler might generate less efficient code than directly targeting your compute architecture (see also performance impact).
Is the JIT cache shared between containers?
No. You would have to handle this manually with Docker volumes.
What is causing the CUDA
invalid device function error?
Your application was not compiled for the compute architecture of your GPU, and no PTX was generated during build time. Thus, JIT compiling is impossible (see also slow to initialize).
Why do I get
Insufficient Permissions for some
Some device management operations require extra privileges (e.g. setting clocks frequency).
After learning about the security implications of doing so, you can add extra capabilities to your container using
--cap-add on the command-line (
--cap-add=SYS_ADMIN will allow most operations).
Can I profile and debug my GPU code inside a container?
Is OpenCL supported?
Yes, we now provide images on DockerHub.
Is Vulkan supported?
No, Vulkan is not supported at the moment. However we plan on supporting this feature in the future.
What do I have to install in my container images?
Library dependencies vary from one application to another. In order to make things easier for developers, we provide a set of official images to base your images on.
Do you provide official Docker images?
Can I use the GPU during a container build (i.e.
Yes, as long as you configure your Docker daemon to use the
nvidia runtime as the default, you will be able to have build-time GPU support. However, be aware that this can render your images non-portable (see also invalid device function).
Are my container images built for version 1.0 compatible with 2.0?
Yes, for most cases. The main difference being that we don’t mount all driver libraries by default in 2.0. You might need to set the
CUDA_DRIVER_CAPABILITIES environment variable in your Dockerfile or when starting the container. Check the documentation of nvidia-container-runtime.
How do I link against driver APIs at build time (e.g.
Use the library stubs provided in
/usr/local/cuda/lib64/stubs/. Our official images already take care of setting
However, do not set
LD_LIBRARY_PATH to this folder, the stubs must not be used at runtime.
The official CUDA images are too big, what do I do?
devel image tags are large since the CUDA toolkit ships with many libraries, a compiler and various command-line tools.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t ship your application with its build-time dependencies. We recommend to use multi-stage builds for this purpose. Your final container image should use our
As of CUDA 9.0 we now ship a
base image tag which bundles the strict minimum of dependencies.
Why aren't CUDA 10 images working with nvidia-docker v1?
Starting from CUDA 10.0, the CUDA images require using nvidia-docker v2 and won't trigger the GPU enablement path from nvidia-docker v1.
Do you support Docker Swarm mode?
Not currently, support for Swarmkit is still being worked on in the upstream Moby project. You can track our progress here.
Do you support Docker Compose?
Do you support Kubernetes?
Since Kubernetes 1.8, the recommended way is to use our official device plugin.