Simple Docker GUI for monitoring and managing containers and images - in combination with Vagrant and VirtualBox image142

Simple Docker GUI for monitoring and managing containers and images – in combination with Vagrant and VirtualBox

I came across a simple Google Chrome Addon called Simple Docker GUI. It provide a GUI that allows for easy insight in and some management of Docker containers and images. Because the tool connects to the (remote) Docker API across HTTP, it can used on a different machine than the one running the Docker Engine. Because I am typically using Vagrant to spin up a Docker Host VM and subsequently the Docker Containers inside that host, it is convenient to keep a tab on things from the (Windows) Host machine. Using this Simple Docker UI, that is exactly what I can do. The layout is shown in the next figure:

Vagrant talks to VirtualBox, allows me SSH into the Docker Host VM and talks to the Docker engine regarding stopping and starting containers. From within the Docker Host VM, I can open a terminal window and start interacting with the CLI (command line interface) for Docker. The Simple Docker UI adds a perspective: browser based user interface that interacts too with the Docker engine (running inside the Docker Host VM) and presents information in an easy format.



To get started with Simple Docker UI, I went through the following steps:

Add Simple Docker UI as add on in Google Chrome from Chrome App Store:


Start Simple Docker UI from App Launcher


The App appears in a popup window – opening the Settings tab. Here is where we have to specify the IP address for the Docker Host VM (as specified in the DockerHostVagrantFile in my case where I set up a private network with IP address for the Docker Host VM). This tab provides detailed instructions for configuring Docker on the Docker host in order to expose the remote API.


On Ubuntu 14.04, I had to make a small change to a Docker configuration file (/etc/default/docker)  – specifying that fact the Remote API should be exposed and the port number at which it be exposed:


After saving the file, Docker has to be restarted for the changes to take effect:

sudo service docker restart

Using a simple ping from the browser ( I can verify that the Docker API can be accessed


I have to configure the IP address and port on the Settings tab:


and now on the Containers and Images tabs, the details for the Docker engine are available and admin-operations can be performed:


drill down to images:


Look at containers:


And drill down to details:


Containers can be started and stopped from this page and through the terminal we can directly interact with the container.

The history of a container can be inspected:



Even though it is only early days for this tool – still in beta – it looks very promising to me and is even in its current state already quite useful!


Alternative: Shipyard –

One Response

  1. Ivan Gavryliuk December 1, 2018