Mistake on this page?
Report an issue in GitHub or email us

Docker use in Mbed OS

The easiest and quickest way to get a build environment setup for Mbed OS projects is through the use of Docker.

We maintain Mbed OS Docker images which includes the following tooling:

  • Arm Embedded GCC Toolchain
  • CMake
  • Mbed CLI 1 and Mbed CLI 2
  • Greentea

The Docker images are stored in GitHub Packages. Corresponding Dockerfiles are maintained on GitHub and is open for contributions.

The image is built and tested for the following architectures:

  • 64-bit ARM / aarch64
  • 64-bit x86 / x86_64

Using the image

Selecting the appropriate Docker tag

The Docker images are built, tested and published by GitHub Actions. When using the Docker image, make sure you are using the appropriate Docker tag that is compatible with the Mbed OS version of your project. Design document contains a detailed explanation of Docker image versioning strategy.

As a quick overview, use ghcr.io/armmbed/mbed-os-env:mbed-os-6-latest for a Docker image compatible with the released version of Mbed OS, or ghcr.io/armmbed/mbed-os-env:latest for a Docker image compatible with HEAD of Mbed OS master branch.

Command line

The Mbed OS Docker container can be used via Docker Desktop on any supported platform (Windows, Linux, and Mac).


Run interactively in the current directory and compile the current application:

git clone https://github.com/ARMmbed/mbed-os-example-blinky.git && cd mbed-os-example-blinky

docker run -i -t --mount=type=bind,source="$(pwd)",destination=/var/mbed -w /var/mbed ghcr.io/armmbed/mbed-os-env

mbed-tools deploy
mbed-tools compile -t GCC_ARM -m DISCO_L475VG_IOT01A

Tip: When building the Mbed OS project inside a Docker container with a shared workspace from Docker host, there could be performance issues as the filesystem needs to be synced between the Docker host and container. For better performance ensure gRPC FUSE for file sharing is enabled in Docker settings.

Continuous integration

We are in the process of moving our CI to use GitHub Actions, and this can provide a great basis for your own CI for your Mbed-based projects.


For a real-life example you can check out the GitHub Actions workflow for the Mbed OS Blinky example.


Running GreenTea against USB devices in Docker Container

There are various limitations with connecting USB devices to a Docker container. Depending on the host machines, the complexity to setup such environment will vary. On Mac, you will need to capture the device first in the underlying VM.

For this reason, running GreenTea from the Docker container is not trivial at the moment! We will be looking at future-proof solutions.

Having said that, if you are running a Docker container on a Linux host machine, you will be able to connect and run GreenTea tests by following these steps:

git clone https://github.com/ARMmbed/mbed-os && cd mbed-os
sudo docker run -it --privileged -v "$(pwd)":/var/mbed -v /dev/disk/by-id:/dev/disk/by-id -v /dev/serial/by-id:/dev/serial/by-id -v /run/udev:/run/udev:ro -w /var/mbed ghcr.io/armmbed/mbed-os-env

You will then have a container with an Mbed OS development environment. To make sure your Mbed targets have been detected, you might want to manually run the mount command and mbedls to check:

mount /dev/sdb /mnt

If mbedls detected your connected target, then you should be able to run Mbed tests/examples as recommended in the Mbed documentation.

mbed test -t GCC_ARM -m <target>
Important Information for this Arm website

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By continuing to use our site, you consent to our cookies. If you are not happy with the use of these cookies, please review our Cookie Policy to learn how they can be disabled. By disabling cookies, some features of the site will not work.