How to create a Docker Machine from an existing Docker VM on Azure in 5 steps

I can't count the number of times I formatted my computer or switched from one to another.
If like me, you're used to manage your Azure Docker VM with Docker Machine, you could end up with no solution since the Docker Machine does not provide any command to create a machine from an existing Docker engine - Github issue.

Here I propose a workaround to create a Docker Machine from scratch, using the generic driver and a SSH key.

The machine creation will require:

  • A Docker's certificates regeneration
  • A Docker daemon restart which will stop running containers

You should not use this workaround on a Swarm cluster because of the regeneration of the certificates - github issue

1- Install the Azure CLI and log into your account

npm install -g azure-cli  
azure login  

2- Set you Azure subscription ID

azure account list  
azure account set <subscription ID or name>  

3- Find the public IP of your Azure VM

azure network public-ip list  


4- Generate a SSH key and copy it to your Azure VM

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048  
ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/  

5- Create the Machine

docker-machine create \  
  --driver generic \
  --generic-ip-address= \
  --generic-ssh-key ~/.ssh/id_rsa \
  --generic-ssh-user emyann \

docker-machine regenerate-certs blog  


Enjoy you Azure Docker Machine !

When the certificates are regenerated you can access the host to restart your containers.

This workaround has some limitations, but at the of the day, I just had to restart my containers and now I'm able to easily manage my Azure Docker VM from my local computer!


See you on the next posts!