This guide will allow you to run the DockerOperator using the LocalExecutor with Apache Airflow deployed on Docker Compose. The guide is split into four consecutive steps:

  1. Preparing the docker-compose.yaml
  2. Adding a new services in the docker-compose.yaml
  3. Creating a DAG that connects to the Docker API using this proxy
  4. Testing the DockerOperator

To deploy Airflow on Docker with Docker Compose you should fetch the docker-compose.yaml:

curl -LfO ''

For more information about running Airflow in Docker refer to the following documentation.

1. Preparing the docker-compose.yaml

First you need to adapt the standard docker-compose.yaml file to work with the LocalExecutor and DockerOperator:

  1. line 50: replace CeleryExecutor with LocalExecutor
  2. line 58: add the apache-airflow-providers-docker==2.1.0 package to _PIP_ADDITIONAL_REQUIREMENTS
  3. comment out or delete lines: 53, 65-66, 85-94, 118-128, 140-150

Note that the apache-airflow-providers version must be 2.1.0 or higher.

You can now initialize the environment with:

docker-compose up airflow-init

2. Adding a new services in the docker-compose.yaml

You have to add one additional service to the docker-compose.yaml to use the DockerOperator.

# Required because of DockerOperator. For secure access and handling permissions.
  image: tecnativa/docker-socket-proxy:0.1.1
    IMAGES: 1
    AUTH: 1
    POST: 1
  privileged: true
    - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock:ro
  restart: always

This service allows to mount the Docker socket more securely. You can find more information about this Docker image here.

3. Creating a DAG that connects to the Docker API using this proxy

Below is an example DAG that uses the DockerOperator:

curl -LfO ''

Place this file inside the dags/ folder.

You have to modify the task t3 that uses the DockerOperator for it to work with the docker-socker-proxy:

  • line 45: set the api_version to at least 1.30
  • line 46: replace localhost with docker-socket-proxy
  • line 47: change the command to "echo TEST DOCKER SUCCESSFUL"

4. Testing DockerOperator

Now trigger the docker_sample dag through the Airflow webserver UI.

In the Logs of the docker_op_tester task run you will see:


This indicates that the DockerOperator was successfully executed.