I am running Docker alongside LXD on my home server, and I want the various VMs and containers I am running to get their own IP addresses on my LAN and to be generally available for normal phones, laptops and other devices to connect to.

This normally just requires LXD bridge networking (for which there are plenty of tutorials online), but it turns out that Docker interferes with it. Fixing it took a bit of research and experiementation. Here are details on what worked for me.

Option 1: macvlan - easy to configure, but containers and host cannot communicate.

lxc profile device set default eth0 parent eno1
lxc profile device set default eth0 nictype macvlan

Option 2: (preferred) Set up bridge networking.

This has the benefit that not only do containers and VMs get their own real IP addesses on the LAN, but container-to-host networking also works. However, I found it a bit tricky to get working, because Docker inserts firewall rules that interfere with packet forwarding.

First of all, you need to configure a bridge interface. Start off by installing bridge-utils:

sudo apt-get install bridge-utils

In Debian and older versions of Ubuntu you need to add the details of your new bridge interface in the /etc/network/interfaces file (later versions of Ubuntu use netplan instead). There’s plenty of tutorials on how to do this.

The modifications to /etc/network/interfaces include:

  1. changing the mode of your normal interface to “manual”, preventing it from starting automatically (in my case, eno1).
  2. Adding a new bridge interface (br0 below). I chose to statically configure the IP address and gateway, but you could configure it with DHCP instead (as shown in most of the tutorials I saw).

Here’s the modified eno1 and new br0 contents of my /etc/network/interfaces.

# Bridge network interface for LXC/LXD
auto br0
iface br0 inet static
    bridge-ifaces eno1
    bridge-ports eno1
    up ip link set eno1 up

# Set the original network interface to 'manual'
iface eno1 inet manual

Make this take effect by restarting networking. It’s a good idea to make sure you can connect a monitor and keyboard to your box to fix things if you make a mistake and breaking networking.

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

If successful, server traffic will now automatically route through the br0 interface, which you can also configure containers and VMs with. If you are not using Docker as well as LXD, you can probably proceed to configure LXD to use the new bridge interface.

If you are also using docker, it modifies iptables in a way that prevents traffic being forwarded through the new bridge to LXD containers (see this Github issue for more details). To fix this, I needed to add the following iptables rule to allow this traffic. It is inserted into the DOCKER-USER chain, so that it plays well with other Docker rules.

sudo iptables -I DOCKER-USER -i br0 -o br0 -j ACCEPT

To make this survive reboots, I needed to create a script that runs after docker has started (i.e., after docker has created the DOCKER-USER iptables chain.

Create a script at /usr/local/bin/post-docker.sh:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

date > /var/log/post-docker-timestamp
iptables -I DOCKER-USER -i br0 -o br0 -j ACCEPT

Make it executable:

sudo chmod u+x /usr/local/bin/post-docker.sh

Create a systemd unit at /etc/systemd/system/postdocker.service:

Description=Post Docker


Enable the new systemd unit:

sudo systemctl enable postdocker.service

After a reboot, confirm that it ran successfully by inspecting the /var/log/post-docker-timestamp file and the output of sudo iptables-save.

Note: These rules are adapted from rules discussed in this github issue.

Now set the bridge to be the default interface on containers.

lxc profile device set default eth0 parent br0
lxc profile device set default eth0 nictype bridged

And change the interface on any existing containers to use it too:

lxc config device remove <containername> eth0
lxc config device add <containername> eth0 nic nictype=bridged parent=br0 name=eth0

Start or restart affected containers and confirm they now get an IP address:

lxc restart <containername> 
lxc info <containername> 

Confirm connectivity:

lxc exec <containername>  bash
containername> ping