Run x11 apps in a Docker container (supports network access from the container)

Run x11 apps in a Docker container (supports network access from the container)

I was able to get xeyes to work in the article "Show windows of X11 applications running on Docker containers on the display" (

The --net host is specified as shown below.

$ docker run --rm -it \
    --net host \
    -v $HOME/.Xauthority:/root/.Xauthority \

--net host uses a network that can only communicate between docker host and docker container.

So you can't use it if you want to connect to the internet from docker container.

In this article, we will enable the container to access the network and use the X11 app.


Difference from Original

Contents of conf / Dockerfile

FROM alpine

RUN apk --no-cache add bash xeyes

CMD ["/bin/bash"]

build docker image

docker build -t xeyes conf

Only local users allow X connections

xhost +local:

Start container

Difference from Original

docker run --rm -it \
    -e DISPLAY=unix${DISPLAY} \
    -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix \
    -v $HOME/.Xauthority:/root/.Xauthority \

Confirm network access from container

bash-5.0# ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from seq=0 ttl=51 time=149.040 ms
64 bytes from seq=1 ttl=51 time=172.391 ms
64 bytes from seq=2 ttl=51 time=195.793 ms
--- ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 149.040/172.408/195.793 ms

Launch x11 app from container

bash-5.0# xeyes

Error message

If xhost + local: is not executed, the following error will occur.

bash-5.0# xeyes 
No protocol specified
Error: Can't open display: unix:0


I put the Dockerfile and scripts I wrote in this article on GitHub.

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