Install docker-ce without aufs in Debian


The offical build of docker-ce for debian listed dkms and dkms-built aufs as (non-optional) dependencies. This causes aufs kernel module to be built on every kernel update.

Also the aufs module (for docker’s aufs storage driver) may not even get used: recent docker would pick newer overlay2 (available since Linux 4.0) or btrfs storage driver when possible.

This article introduces how to make sure aufs is not used, and how to install docker-ce without it.

If you dont have docker-ce installed (and believe aufs won’t be required), just skip to the last part.

Make sure aufs is not used

$ sudo docker info

Server:
 Containers: 4
  Running: 4
  Paused: 0
  Stopped: 0
 Images: 11
 Server Version: 19.03.2-ce
 Storage Driver: btrfs      << clean if this is not 'aufs'
$ modprobe | grep aufs
                            << clean if nothing appears (the module doesn't exist) or 'aufs 0' (not used)

(re-) Install docker-ce without aufs

NOTE: if docker is already installed with default dependencies, there is no need to remove it first (in that case apt just remove unnecessary direct dependent packages. Remember to apt autoremove to remove transitive dependencies after that).

$ sudo apt install docker-ce aufs-dkms- aufs-tools-