As of OpenWrt 20.xx release (or snapshot images), OpenWrt can be used as Docker host at least on x86_64 (PC/server) architecture.
There are two main ways to use Docker as a host, install Docker Community Edition, or use native OpenWrt tools that support Docker container specification.
You will probably need to set up storage first as a place to store the containers and data.
Also in most cases you will be running the container as a specific user and will give it access to some folder outside the container, where it can store its configuration and the data. So you will probably need to create new users and groups for applications or system services, create the folders for the configuration and data, and then change the owner of these folders to the user you will run the container as.
install docker-ce package for the commandline tools
install luci-app-dockerman package to get a control panel for docker containers in Luci
the default folder for docker in the dockerman luci interface is /opt/docker so you want to mount your storage at /opt or change the folder in Docker –> Overview –> Docker Root Dir and then restart the whole device, or the dockerd service.
To add an image, search it from Docker Hub, and then copy the image name from the docker pull text box. For example if the full text is docker pull linuxserver/transmission, you will need to copy linuxserver/transmission. Go in the Docker –> Images and paste that text in the Pull Image box, then press Pull button. The page will show the download progress.
Then go to Docker –> Containers and press on the Add button.
In the new container page, you can select the docker image you want to use from the Docker Image menu, and then set all other parameters (usually, the available/useful parameters are described in the description of the container on Docker Hub), then press Submit to create the container
Procd init system now supports Open Container Initiative Runtime Specification, extending its slim containers ('ujail') capability.
The uxc command line tool handles the basic operations on containers as defined by the spec.
This allows to use it as a drop-in replacement for Docker's 'runc' (or 'crun') on OpenWrt hosts with a significantly reduced footprint.
opkg install kmod-veth uxc ujail-console
uci batch <<EOF set network.veth0=device set network.veth0.type='veth' set network.veth0.name='vhost0' set network.veth0.peer_name='virt0' add_list network.lan.ifname='vhost0' set network.virt0=interface set network.virt0.ifname='virt0' set network.virt0.proto='none' # set proto='none' assuming DHCP client inside container # use 'static' otherwise and also set ipaddr, gateway and dns set network.virt0.jail='container1' set network.virt0.jail_ifname='host0' commit network EOF
(assuming OCI run-time bundle with config.json in /mnt/sda3/debian)
uxc create container1 /mnt/sda3/debian true uxc start container1 uxc list uxc state container
If the container uses a stdio console, you can attach it using
ujail-console -c container1
(there is no buffer, so if you like to see the complete bootlog of a container, make sure to attach a console after the 'create' call but before starting it)