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How to Set Up MoveIt 2 Docker Containers in Ubuntu

This guide will provide a walkthrough on how to get a Docker container with MoveIt 2 dependencies set up quickly. It includes a script that will get you up and running in MoveIt quickly! This guide is intended for people who would like to have a separate environment for working with MoveIt up and running quickly without having to do much configuring. In this guide, we will be setting up a ROS2 Humble environment.

Learning Objectives

  • How to use docker compose to run MoveIt 2 Docker containers and tutorials



  1. Install Docker and docker compose (links are available in the Requirements section) and be sure to follow the Linux Post Install instructions. If you do not complete these additional steps you will need to preface all docker commands with sudo.

  2. Open a terminal session and download docker-compose.yml

  1. Launch the container (you may need to hyphenate docker-compose if using compose V1)

    DOCKER_IMAGE=humble-tutorial docker compose run --rm --name moveit2_container gpu

    You can replace humble-tutorial with other tagged images, e.g. rolling-tutorial. Similarly, you can replace gpu with cpu if you do not wish to run using Nvidia GPU drivers and you can change the name of the container by replacing moveit2_container. The --rm argument will remove the container when you stop (or exit) it, otherwise you can keep your modified container on disk and start it using docker start moveit2_container

  2. You should now be inside of your Docker container, in the workspace directory, with the completed Planning Around Objects and Pick and Place with MoveIt Task Constructor tutorials. Go ahead and try one of the launch commands like ros2 launch moveit2_tutorials

If you wish to enter the container through another terminal, use:

docker exec -it moveit2_container /bin/bash

Further Reading

  • For more information about Docker best practices with respect to MoveIt, refer to this blog post from PickNik’s Vatan Aksoy Tezer and Brennard Pierce.

  • You can find a list of tagged tutorial images here. There are tagged images for both rolling and humble which are built on top of the rolling-source and humble-source MoveIt 2 Docker images here.

  • You can find more tagged images for MoveIt 2 Docker containers here. The tagged images coincide with ROS2 version releases. The release version of the container provides an environment in which MoveIt 2 is installed via the binaries. The source version of the Docker image will build MoveIt 2 from source. You can use any of these images by substituting the DOCKER_IMAGE environment variable with a tag name from the above link (like rolling-source), but you must use this docker-compose.yml instead (simply copy it to a different location and run your docker compose command there).