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: v1.4.0 - Docker 18.03.1-ce - Linux 4.14.32
  • Stable: v1.4.0 - Docker 18.03.1-ce - Linux 4.14.32


Additional Downloads

Latest Links

v1.4.0 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-f4426c9b
eu-west-3 HVM ami-6444f519
eu-west-2 HVM ami-1e7f9379
eu-west-1 HVM ami-447a7f3d
ap-northeast-2 HVM ami-5492393a
ap-northeast-1 HVM ami-96e218e9
sa-east-1 HVM ami-1a217876
ca-central-1 HVM ami-eef6758a
ap-southeast-1 HVM ami-0716287b
ap-southeast-2 HVM ami-4ae73528
eu-central-1 HVM ami-1686b3fd
us-east-1 HVM ami-99c5ade6
us-east-2 HVM ami-504b7435
us-west-1 HVM ami-1e63797e
us-west-2 HVM ami-e59ae09d
cn-north-1 HVM ami-0a5d8367
cn-northwest-1 HVM ami-40a1b522

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.