Docker Swarm

Do you actually need Kubernetes? Netflix needs it, a few others probably do too. If you need to learn it for work or something, go right ahead, but chances are good that YOU don’t need to scale to 10,000 nodes at home. I didn’t want Kubernetes (or k8s, or k3s, or Minikube) at home since I am pretty limited for resources and want as much bang for my virtual buck as I can get.

I built mine out across Proxmox host(s) with Debian 10 VM’s (not containers) and TrueNAS virtual machines (Debian 10 also), but it doesn’t really matter, just try to stay with the same version of Docker across them for your own sanity. You can probably do this with multiple Raspberry Pi’s, but mine are otherwise occupied. I don’t know if you can (or should) combine the different machine types into one cluster, that seems like it would be bad. And many things need different images for the pi and would need to account for that. I’m setting up a Pi 1 with an 8TB Easystore to live at my parents house for backups and it has to use different images for minio and possibly Kuma. It’s not fast, but it doesn’t need to be.


  • Base OS
  • Docker (clone them here if needed)
  • Swarm init
  • Swarm join cluster
  • Test it!
  • NFS Mounts for data (optional, depends on your needs)
  • Traefik
  • Configure deployments
  • Swarmpit (optional)
  • Swarmprom (optional)
  • Portainer (optional)
  • Apps and apps and apps (this is why you’re here)
  • Proxied services outside of the swarm (optional)
  • Add basic authentication to an app that doesn’t have any (optional)
  • Apps that are docker but NOT public (optional)

Code and scripts are all here!

While you don’t need all of this, it does help to have something to start with.

Base OS

Do a basic Debian 10 install, set up disks, networks and hostnames as you need them, unselect the GUI, you really only want ssh and base utilities. Once it is up, ssh into it and run:

apt-get update
apt-get -y install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg-agent software-properties-common sudo vim mc

Docker (clone them here if needed)

curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -
add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable"
apt-get update
apt-get -y install docker-ce docker-ce-cli
sudo systemctl start docker
sudo systemctl enable docker
sudo usermod -aG docker brad
sudo newgrp docker
sudo curl -L`uname -s`-`uname -m` -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
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