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By bshabanov
Published in Electronics
September 01, 2021
2 min read

Whenever I need to run a container that does not require an enormous amount of resources, I do it on my raspberry. It’s never been an issue to SSH into the Pi and runs all docker commands, but the idea to do it directly from a single hardware button was tempting.

What is it?

DockerBox is a tool that lets you easily start and stop containers that you frequently use. You can shut down and reboot raspberry from the interface.

It has a 4.2” display - always on - that showing the current status of the containers.

You can control up to four containers or commands, depending on the switch configuration.

All Raspberry port are visible and accessible.

How it works?

In the current configuration, the first toggle is to switch between commands related to raspberry or docker.

The device is in Raspberry mode
The device is in Raspberry mode

When the Raspberry mode is activated the other two toggles are not labeled, therefore you cannot use it, and there are 2 available options - Shutdown and Restart. In Docker mode the second toggle is switching between dashboard (*which is not implemented yet) and container, and when in “container” mode the third toggle is switching between the start and stop command.

The device is in Docker mode
The device is in Docker mode

Also in this mode, every one of the slots on the right has a little icon that shows the current status of the container whether is running or is stopped.

The icons indicates container status
The icons indicates container status

There are no LED lights to indicate when something is processing, so I include notification messages instead.

Loading screen
Loading screen

Overall it may seem complex to operate with it, but once you flip the toggles it becomes pretty intuitive.

Used Software

  • DockerBox uses nodejs.
  • The e-paper is controlled via epaperjs.
  • The toggles and buttons are read with onoff.
  • And of course Docker.



The animation above shows the flow where the Box is initially in Raspberry mode.

The only option we have is to shut down, reboot, or change the operation mode.

The upper toggle is flipped and the device is switched to Docker mode. The other toggles are in these positions:

  • Second toggle - Container
  • The third toggle - Start The second button at the right is clicked (container slot 2)

Loading screen appears - Container is running

The third toggle is flipped so the display show stop instead of start

Second button is clicked (container slot 2), but this time because the third toggle is flipped, the container will stop.

Loading screen appears until the container is stopped


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