Install the Formant agent via Docker

This guide will teach you how to install the Formant agent to your device via Docker.


Docker installations of the Formant agent do not support automatic, over-the-air (OTA) agent updates.

To update the Formant agent, you will have to update the formant-agent Docker image on your device.


Install Docker to your device

You'll need to have Docker installed to your device to install the Formant agent.

Create a device

Follow the instructions in Create a device to add a new device to your Formant organization.

Internet connectivity

The target device must have connectivity to and

You can run the following script on your device terminal to output the robot's details and verify prerequisites:

bash <(wget -qO - <>)

Terminal access

To install the Formant agent on the target device, you must have terminal access to the device and the ability to run commands.

Step 1 (ROS only): Set environment variables


Setting this environment variable before installation is required for ROS compatibility.

To install a ROS-compatible Formant agent, make sure to export the ROS_MASTER_URI environment variable first. For example, if your ROS master is at its default URI:

export ROS_MASTER_URI=http://localhost:11311

You can also export CATKIN_WS so the agent is able to ingest custom messages. For instance,

export CATKIN_WS=/home/ubuntu/catkin_ws

Configuring your catkin workspace path will allow Formant to ingest data using custom ROS message types.


Ensure the ROS master is running

The Formant agent needs to communicate with the ROS master running on your device in order to properly ingest ROS data.

You can check that the ROS master is running by using a command like rostopic list.

Step 2: Install the Formant agent

Following from the instructions in Step 2 of Create a device: you will see a command which installs the Formant agent to your device.

  1. Copy the installation command from the web application and paste it in the target device's terminal, but do not run it yet. Note the installation command contains of a provisioning token that is unique to the device and expires after 72 hours.
  2. Change the script from to The modified command will now look like this:
bash <(wget -qO - <>) <YOUR PROVISIONING TOKEN>


You can add optional arguments to the Docker run command by using the --args flag at the end of the modified command. An example may be to set a custom DNS server for the container, which is done using the --dns flag. This would look as follows:

bash <(wget -qO - <>) <YOUR PROVISIONING TOKEN> --args "-dns="

Modify the command you see here by changing the script from to

  1. Run the modified command to begin device installation.

Step 3: Verify successful installation

If the Formant agent has been installed and connection established, Formant will begin ingesting telemetry for default streams like CPU, Network, Memory, and Disk.

  1. In Formant, in the upper-left corner, open the menu. Under the Observe tab, click on the name of your device.
  2. Verify that these streams have live telemetry data in the device's telemetry page.

Telemetry data uploaded to a default stream.

Managing a Docker installation

Enabling and disabling the agent running on startup

By default, after installation, the agent runs on startup.

To set the agent to run on startup:

docker update --restart=yes formant-agent

To disable the agent from running on startup:

docker update --restart=no formant-agent

Starting and stopping the agent

By default, the agent will be enabled and run on startup.

To start the agent:

docker start formant-agent

To stop the agent:

docker stop formant-agent

To restart the agent:

docker restart formant-agent

Retrieving agent logs

docker logs -f formant-agent

Uninstalling the formant agent

This command stops any running formant-agent containers and removes the formant-agent image:

docker rm -f formant-agent

To remove the agent credentials as well, run:

rm -rf /var/lib/formant

See also


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