General FAQs for Desktop

What are the system requirements for Docker Desktop?

For information about Docker Desktop system requirements, see:

Where does Docker Desktop get installed on my machine?

By default, Docker Desktop is installed at the following location:

  • On Mac: /Applications/
  • On Windows: C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker
  • On Linux: /opt/docker-desktop

Do I need to pay to use Docker Desktop?

Docker Desktop is free for small businesses (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue), personal use, education, and non-commercial open-source projects. Otherwise, it requires a paid subscription for professional use. Paid subscriptions are also required for government entities. When downloading and installing Docker Desktop, you are asked to agree to the Docker Subscription Service Agreementopen_in_new.

Read the Blogopen_in_new and FAQsopen_in_new to learn more.

Do I need to pay to create or share Docker Extensions?

No, the Docker Extension SDKopen_in_new is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License and is free to use. Anyone can create new Docker Extensions and share them without constraints.

Do I need to use a specific license when I create a Docker Extension?

No, there is no constraint on how each extension should be licensed, this is up to the extension authors to decide when creating a new extension.

Can I use Docker Desktop offline?

Yes, you can use Docker Desktop offline. However, you cannot access features that require an active internet connection. Additionally, any functionality that requires you to sign won't work while using Docker Desktop offline or in air-gapped environments. This includes:

Where can I find information about diagnosing and troubleshooting Docker Desktop issues?

You can find information about diagnosing and troubleshooting common issues in the Troubleshooting topic.

If you do not find a solution in troubleshooting, browse the Github repositories or create a new issue:

How do I connect to the remote Docker Engine API?

To connect to the remote Engine API, you might need to provide the location of the Engine API for Docker clients and development tools.

Mac and Windows WSL 2 users can connect to the Docker Engine through a Unix socket: unix:///var/run/docker.sock.

If you are working with applications like Apache Mavenopen_in_new that expect settings for DOCKER_HOST and DOCKER_CERT_PATH environment variables, specify these to connect to Docker instances through Unix sockets.

For example:

$ export DOCKER_HOST=unix:///var/run/docker.sock

Docker Desktop Windows users can connect to the Docker Engine through a named pipe: npipe:////./pipe/docker_engine, or TCP socket at this URL: tcp://localhost:2375.

For details, see Docker Engine API.

How do I connect from a container to a service on the host?

The host has a changing IP address, or none if you have no network access. We recommend that you connect to the special DNS name host.docker.internal, which resolves to the internal IP address used by the host.

For more information and examples, see how to connect from a container to a service on the host.

Can I pass through a USB device to a container?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to pass through a USB device (or a serial port) to a container as it requires support at the hypervisor level.

Can I run Docker Desktop in nested virtualization scenarios?

In general, Docker recommends running Docker Desktop natively on either Mac, Linux, or Windows. However, Docker Desktop for Windows can run inside a virtual desktop provided the virtual desktop is properly configured. For more information, see Run Docker Desktop in a VM or VDI environment

Docker Desktop's UI appears green, distorted, or has visual artifacts. How do I fix this?

Docker Desktop uses hardware-accelerated graphics by default, which may cause problems for some GPUs. In such cases, Docker Desktop will launch successfully, but some screens may appear green, distorted, or have some visual artifacts.

To work around this issue, disable hardware acceleration by creating a "disableHardwareAcceleration": true entry in Docker Desktop's settings.json file. You can find this file at:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Group Containers/
  • Windows: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Docker\settings.json

After updating the settings.json file, close and restart Docker Desktop to apply the changes.

Can I run Docker Desktop on Virtualized hardware?

Yes, see section Run Docker Desktop for Windows in a VM or VDI environment for more information on how to do this.