Configure a host to run containers
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Container Server Playbook

REUSEstatus BuildStatus

Configure a host to run containers

Table of Contents


Not every host we have needs to run containers. If it does, however, this playbook is the place to start. Currently, it does the following:

  • sets up Docker in rootless mode
  • configures Caddy with automatic certificate generation to act as a reverse proxy, with docker2caddy for automatic config generation based on container labels
  • configures a Drone Docker runner
  • sets up backup steps and cron jobs


This playbook repository contains secrets that are encrypted using the Ansible vault. The passphrase to decrypt the vault lives in the GPG-encrypted file vault_passphrase.gpg. If you need access to the encrypted parts of this playbook or you want to be able to encrypt variables whilst setting up a new host, simply create an issue in this repository and we will review your request.


You need a host that runs at least Debian 11 and an up-to-date version of our inventory, the latter of which can be attained by running:

git clone --recurse-submodules

or when you have already cloned the repository without recursing into submodules:

git submodule update --remote inventory

Next, you obviously need Ansible. To obtain and use the version of Ansible this playbook is tested with (2.11), obtain a working version of pipenv and run:

pipenv install
pipenv shell


The current version of fuse-overlayfs in Debian Buster was too old (0.3-1) and caused problems when building images, e.g. via docker-compose in rootless mode. After installing the version which will be available in Bullseye (1.4.1), the problem was fixed and all builds succeeded. This will be monitored.


In order to ...

you need to do two things:

  1. Apply the labels container_server to the desired hosts in the inventory.
  2. Then, simply run:
ansible-playbook playbook.yml

If you just want to install the container engine, run:

ansible-playbook playbook.yml --tags container-engine


The default relevant variables are configured in the group_vars directory, but some variables are host-specific. Simply create a file in the host_vars directory called <hostname>.yml, e.g. host_vars/ So far, the following configuration is tested to work on a fresh and minimal Debian 11 install.

Additional Resources

Third-party Ansible roles used in this playbook are: