Google Compute Engine

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Create machines on Google Compute Engine. You will need a Google account and a project id. See for details on projects.


The Google driver uses Application Default Credentials to get authorization credentials for use in calling Google APIs.

So if docker-machine is used from a GCE host, authentication will happen automatically via the built-in service account. Otherwise, install gcloud and get through the oauth2 process with gcloud auth login.


To create a machine instance, specify --driver google, the project id and the machine name.

$ gcloud auth login
$ docker-machine create --driver google --google-project PROJECT_ID vm01
$ docker-machine create --driver google \
  --google-project PROJECT_ID \
  --google-zone us-central1-a \
  --google-machine-type f1-micro \


-   `--google-project`: **required** The id of your project to use when launching the instance.
-   `--google-zone`: The zone to launch the instance.
-   `--google-machine-type`: The type of instance.
-   `--google-machine-image`: The absolute URL to a base VM image to instantiate.
-   `--google-username`: The username to use for the instance.
-   `--google-scopes`: The scopes for OAuth 2.0 to Access Google APIs. See [Google Compute Engine Doc](
-   `--google-disk-size`: The disk size of instance.
-   `--google-disk-type`: The disk type of instance.
-   `--google-address`: Instance's static external IP (name or IP).
-   `--google-preemptible`: Instance preemptibility.
-   `--google-tags`: Instance tags (comma-separated).
-   `--google-use-internal-ip`: When this option is used during create it will make docker-machine use internal rather than public NATed IPs. The flag is persistent in the sense that a machine created with it retains the IP. It's useful for managing docker machines from another machine on the same network e.g. while deploying swarm.
-   `--google-use-internal-ip-only`: When this option is used during create, the new VM will not be assigned a public IP address. This is useful only when the host running `docker-machine` is located inside the Google Cloud infrastructure; otherwise, `docker-machine` can't reach the VM to provision the Docker daemon. The presence of this flag implies `--google-use-internal-ip`.
-   `--google-use-existing`: Don't create a new VM, use an existing one. This is useful when you'd like to provision Docker on a VM you created yourself, maybe because it uses create options not supported by this driver.

The GCE driver will use the ubuntu-1510-wily-v20151114 instance image unless otherwise specified. To obtain a list of image URLs run:

gcloud compute images list --uri

Google Compute Engine supports image families. An image family is like an image alias that always points to the latest image in the family. To create an instance from an image family, set --google-machine-image to the family’s URL.

The following command will show images and which family they belong to (if any):

gcloud compute images list

To obtain a family URL, replace <PROJECT> and <FAMILY> in the following template.<PROJECT>/global/images/family/<FAMILY>

For example, to create an instance from the latest Ubuntu 16 LTS image, specify

Environment variables and default values

CLI option Environment variable Default
--google-project GOOGLE_PROJECT -
--google-zone GOOGLE_ZONE us-central1-a
--google-machine-type GOOGLE_MACHINE_TYPE f1-standard-1
--google-machine-image GOOGLE_MACHINE_IMAGE ubuntu-1510-wily-v20151114
--google-username GOOGLE_USERNAME docker-user
--google-scopes GOOGLE_SCOPES devstorage.read_only,logging.write
--google-disk-size GOOGLE_DISK_SIZE 10
--google-disk-type GOOGLE_DISK_TYPE pd-standard
--google-address GOOGLE_ADDRESS -
--google-preemptible GOOGLE_PREEMPTIBLE -
--google-tags GOOGLE_TAGS -
--google-use-internal-ip GOOGLE_USE_INTERNAL_IP -
--google-use-existing GOOGLE_USE_EXISTING -
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