In this Part 1 “Launching Weave Net with Docker Machine” the basics of launching a container network with Weave Net is introduced. In Part 2 “Using Weave With Docker Machine and Swarm, you will learn how to configure a basic Docker Swarm Cluster and use Weave Net to discover containers within it. In Part 3 “Creating and Scaling Multi-host Docker Deployment with Swarm and Compose using Weave”, you will take what you learned in Parts 1 and 2 and use Docker Compose and Weave Net to launch a two-tier application spread across three VMs.

Docker Machine makes it simple to create Docker hosts (VMs) on your computer, on cloud providers or within your own data center. It creates servers, installs Docker on them, and then it configures the Docker client to talk to them.

Weave Net simplifies networking Docker containers across hosts by automatically allocating unique IP addresses to containers. It also allows you to find the IP of any container through either a DNS query or by using its name and it does this without requiring an external database (cluster store).

In Part 1 of this tutorial, you will:

  1. Install Docker Machine and Weave Net
  2. Launch Weave Net on to a single VM on VirtualBox
  3. Deploy a basic “Hello, Weave!” application
  4. Use weaveDNS to discover the Weave-attached Docker containers on the network
  5. Communicate with your app and send a message from one container to another using shell commands

This example uses very simple UNIX tools, doesn’t require any programming skills and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

What You Will Use

Before You Begin

If you are using OS X or Windows, install Docker Toolbox, which provides all of the tools you need to complete this guide.

For other operating systems, install and configure the following separately before proceeding:

Installing Weave Net

Download the latest version of weaveand then clone the guides directory. If you do not have ownership of the /usr/local/bin directory, you may need to preface the commands with sudo:

curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/weave
chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/weave

Next create a Virtual Machine (VM) on the VirtualBox, called weave-1, by running:

docker-machine create -d virtualbox weave-1

With the VM running, configure your shell environment by typing:

eval "$(docker-machine env weave-1)"

and then, verify that everything is installed correctly:

docker info

Now you are ready to launch the Weave network:

weave launch

Next set up your environment to use Weave’s Docker API Proxy. The Docker API Proxy allows you to use standard Docker commands, and enables you to attach containers to the Weave network and assigns IP addresses to them. An alternative way to attach containers to the Weave network is by using the Docker Plugin (for Docker >= 1.9). In this tutorial, you will be using the Weave Docker API Proxy to attach containers.

To set up the environment for the Weave Docker API Proxy:

eval "$(weave env)"

Type weave status to check that Weave Net is running:

        Version: 1.6.0 (up to date; next check at ......)

        Service: router
       Protocol: weave 1..2
           Name: 8a:a9:91:a6:1f:e9(weave-1)
     Encryption: disabled
  PeerDiscovery: enabled
        Targets: 0
    Connections: 0
          Peers: 1
 TrustedSubnets: none

        Service: ipam
         Status: ready

        Service: dns
         Domain: weave.local.
            TTL: 1
        Entries: 0

        Service: proxy
        Address: tcp://

        Service: plugin
     DriverName: weave

Running weave launch automatically configures your network, starts the weave router, weavedns, and also launches the Docker API proxy and the Weave Docker Plugin.

Note: If necessary, you can start and stop Weave components independently, see weave --help for more information.

Now you are ready to deploy containers and take advantage of weaveDNS to discover containers.

Deploying Two Containers to the Weave Network

In this example, you are using the Docker API proxy to attach containers to the Weave network. As a reminder, the proxy was configured when you ran eval$(weave env).

Note: Do not attach containers to the Weave network using both the Weave Docker Networking Plugin and Weave Docker API Proxy simultaneously. Containers run in this way will end up with two Weave network interfaces and two IP addresses. To ensure that the proxy is not being used, do not run eval $(weave env), or docker $(weave config). To attach containers with the Docker Network Plugin, you can use the --net=weave flag when using the Docker run command.

For more information on how to use the Weave Docker Plugin, see “Integrating Docker via the Network Plugin”

The first app to be deployed is called pingme. It consists of a simple netcat (aka nc) server running on TCP port 4000, and it is configured to send a short message, Hello, Weave! to any client that connects to it.

docker run -d --name=pingme \
        gliderlabs/alpine nc -p 4000 -ll -e echo 'Hello, Weave!'

The second containerized app is called pinger. You will launch that app in interactive mode using the -ti flag. The -ti flag allows you to type and run simple commands within a Docker container.

docker run --name=pinger -ti \
        gliderlabs/alpine sh -l

Ping one of the containers:

pinger:/# ping -c3 pingme.weave.local
PING pingme.weave.local ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.100 ms
64 bytes from seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.114 ms
64 bytes from seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.111 ms

--- pingme.weave.local ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 0.100/0.108/0.114 ms

Test if pinger responds on TCP port 4000 as expected:

pinger:/# echo "What's up?" | nc pingme.weave.local 4000


Hello, Weave!

Type ‘exit’ to exit the pinger container.


This completes Part 1 of this tutorial. If you are not going on to Part 2, then you may want to remove the containers and the VM used in this example:

> docker rm -f pingme pinger
> docker-machine rm -f weave-1


This tutorial demonstrated how to launch a Weave network using Docker Machine. A simple “Hello, Weave!” service was deployed to a container that listens on TCP port 4000 for any connections from other containers.

Proceed to Part 2, where you will set up multiple Virtual Machines, using Docker Swarm to schedule containers, use Weave Net to provide transparent connectivity across multiple Docker hosts and to automatically discover new containers with weaveDNS without the need of an external cluster store.

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Further Reading