To get started with Docker on the Cubietruck (also know as Cubieboard 3), it's necessary to switch to a more recent Linux kernel. I did not try to upgrade the kernel of my current Lubuntu Server installation that runs on NAND storage, which is currently not supported by the Linux mainline kernel. So my distribution of choice was armbian -- a lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian Wheezy, Jessie or Ubuntu Trusty.

Get armbian

Prepare your SD-Card with Debian Jessie and the vanilla Linux kernel 4.2.3. Get it from here: http://www.armbian.com/cubietruck/

Enable systemd

systemd is disabled by default on Debian Jessie based armbian. To enable it, remove the ramlog Package due to an incompatibility with the systemd Package:

apt-get remove --purge ramlog

To enable systemd run:

apt-get update
apt-get install --no-install-recommends systemd-sysv fake-hwclock

Then just reboot.

reboot

There is no need to recompile boot scripts.

Install Docker

Thanks to the folks at Hypriot, it's quiet easy to get docker binaries for the ARM architecture:

wget "http://downloads.hypriot.com/docker-hypriot_1.10.0-1_armhf.deb"
sudo dpkg -i docker-hypriot_1.10.0-1_armhf.deb

To start Docker run:

sudo systemctl start docker

To enable Docker on system boot:

sudo systemctl enable docker

Verify the result with:

sudo docker info

Expected output should be like this:

Containers: 0
 Running: 0
 Paused: 0
 Stopped: 0
Images: 0
Server Version: 1.10.0
Storage Driver: overlay
 Backing Filesystem: extfs
Execution Driver: native-0.2
Logging Driver: json-file
Plugins:
 Volume: local
 Network: null host bridge
Kernel Version: 4.2.3-sunxi
Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie)
OSType: linux
Architecture: armv7l
CPUs: 2
Total Memory: 1.969 GiB
Name: nepomuk
ID: FZT4:I4JM:6PIG:BY55:KUOG:7P57:PV6U:QHAY:2PD5:XLZR:MOIF:W6B5
Debug mode (server): true
 File Descriptors: 11
 Goroutines: 20
 System Time: 2016-02-06T01:57:59.080651972+01:00
 EventsListeners: 0
 Init SHA1: 357816754f63702bece2e1a3db651d7f2527a78c
 Init Path: /usr/lib/docker/dockerinit
 Docker Root Dir: /var/lib/docker

Further information

For additional information regarding Docker on ARM, check out the Hypriot Blog and their Raspberry Pi compatible Docker Image on Docker Hub.