Tiny Linux distro that runs the entire OS as Docker containers
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The smallest, easiest way to run Docker in production at scale. Everything in RancherOS is a container managed by Docker. This includes system services such as udev and rsyslog. RancherOS includes only the bare minimum amount of software needed to run Docker. This keeps the binary download of RancherOS very small. Everything else can be pulled in dynamically through Docker.

How this works

Everything in RancherOS is a Docker container. We accomplish this by launching two instances of Docker. One is what we call the system Docker which runs as the first process. System Docker then launches a container that runs the user Docker. The user Docker is then the instance that gets primarily used to create containers. We created this separation because it seemed logical and also it would really be bad if somebody did docker rm -f $(docker ps -qa) and deleted the entire OS.

How it works


  • Latest: v1.4.2 - Docker 18.03.1-ce - Linux 4.14.73
  • Stable: v1.4.2 - Docker 18.03.1-ce - Linux 4.14.73


Additional Downloads

Latest Links

v1.4.2 Links

ARM Links

Note: you can use http instead of https in the above URLs, e.g. for iPXE.


SSH keys are added to the rancher user, so you must log in using the rancher user.


Region Type AMI
ap-south-1 HVM ami-0094b103f47719886
eu-west-3 HVM ami-04902ea91b4485f74
eu-west-2 HVM ami-0502a4b74a6e12b55
eu-west-1 HVM ami-0c19809f0be281385
ap-northeast-2 HVM ami-01983b78f049ec6b4
ap-northeast-1 HVM ami-0bd72556695124d87
sa-east-1 HVM ami-04fa8430d60d238ce
ca-central-1 HVM ami-02f6436102b3c9c72
ap-southeast-1 HVM ami-0ce419a910d205864
ap-southeast-2 HVM ami-0dbd063b23c6d1c5d
eu-central-1 HVM ami-0114900c022b09346
us-east-1 HVM ami-08bb050b78c315da3
us-east-2 HVM ami-02529740975197e75
us-west-1 HVM ami-094eaad86e2d89c00
us-west-2 HVM ami-03c3efd1e21bb4c6d
cn-north-1 HVM ami-05003e029242a1f2a
cn-northwest-1 HVM ami-06b0f560c196abfe7

Additionally, images are available with support for Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS) here.

Google Compute Engine

We are providing a disk image that users can download and import for use in Google Compute Engine. The image can be obtained from the release artifacts for RancherOS.

Download Latest Image

Download Stable Image

Please follow the directions at our docs to launch in GCE.

Documentation for RancherOS

Please refer to our RancherOS Documentation website to read all about RancherOS. It has detailed information on how RancherOS works, getting-started and other details.

Support, Discussion, and Community

If you need any help with RancherOS or Rancher, please join us at either our Rancher forums or #rancher IRC channel where most of our team hangs out at.

For security issues, please email security@rancher.com instead of posting a public issue in GitHub. You may (but are not required to) use the GPG key located on Keybase.

Please submit any RancherOS bugs, issues, and feature requests to rancher/os.

Please submit any Rancher bugs, issues, and feature requests to rancher/rancher.


Copyright (c) 2014-2018 Rancher Labs, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.