Install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu

Docker Desktop terms

Commercial use of Docker Desktop in larger enterprises (more than 250 employees OR more than $10 million USD in annual revenue) requires a paid subscription.

This page contains information on how to install, launch and upgrade Docker Desktop on an Ubuntu distribution.

For checksums, see Release notes


To install Docker Desktop successfully, you must:

  • Meet the system requirements

  • Have a 64-bit version of either the LTS version Ubuntu Jammy Jellyfish 22.04, or the current non-LTS version (Ubuntu Mantic Minotaur 23.10). Docker Desktop is supported on x86_64 (or amd64) architecture.


    The latest Ubuntu 24.04 LTS is not yet supported. Docker Desktop will fail to start. Due to a change in how the latest Ubuntu release restricts the unprivileged namespaces, sudo sysctl -w kernel.apparmor_restrict_unprivileged_userns=0 needs to be run at least once. Refer to the Ubuntu Blog for more details.

  • For non-Gnome Desktop environments, gnome-terminal must be installed:

    $ sudo apt install gnome-terminal

Install Docker Desktop

Recommended approach to install Docker Desktop on Ubuntu:

  1. Set up Docker's package repository. See step one of Install using the apt repository.

  2. Download latest DEB package.

  3. Install the package with apt as follows:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install ./docker-desktop-<version>-<arch>.deb


    At the end of the installation process, apt displays an error due to installing a downloaded package. You can ignore this error message.

    N: Download is performed unsandboxed as root, as file '/home/user/Downloads/docker-desktop.deb' couldn't be accessed by user '_apt'. - pkgAcquire::Run (13: Permission denied)

There are a few post-install configuration steps done through the post-install script contained in the deb package.

The post-install script:

  • Sets the capability on the Docker Desktop binary to map privileged ports and set resource limits.
  • Adds a DNS name for Kubernetes to /etc/hosts.
  • Creates a symlink from /usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli to /usr/bin/docker. This is because the classic Docker CLI is installed at /usr/bin/docker. The Docker Desktop installer also installs a Docker CLI binary that includes cloud-integration capabilities and is essentially a wrapper for the Compose CLI, at/usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli. The symlink ensures that the wrapper can access the classic Docker CLI.

Launch Docker Desktop

To start Docker Desktop for Linux, search Docker Desktop on the Applications menu and open it. This launches the Docker menu icon and opens the Docker Dashboard, reporting the status of Docker Desktop.

Alternatively, open a terminal and run:

$ systemctl --user start docker-desktop

When Docker Desktop starts, it creates a dedicated context that the Docker CLI can use as a target and sets it as the current context in use. This is to avoid a clash with a local Docker Engine that may be running on the Linux host and using the default context. On shutdown, Docker Desktop resets the current context to the previous one.

The Docker Desktop installer updates Docker Compose and the Docker CLI binaries on the host. It installs Docker Compose V2 and gives users the choice to link it as docker-compose from the Settings panel. Docker Desktop installs the new Docker CLI binary that includes cloud-integration capabilities in /usr/local/bin/com.docker.cli and creates a symlink to the classic Docker CLI at /usr/local/bin.

After you’ve successfully installed Docker Desktop, you can check the versions of these binaries by running the following commands:

$ docker compose version
Docker Compose version v2.17.3

$ docker --version
Docker version 23.0.5, build bc4487a

$ docker version
Client: Docker Engine - Community
 Cloud integration: v1.0.31
 Version:           23.0.5
 API version:       1.42

To enable Docker Desktop to start on sign in, from the Docker menu, select Settings > General > Start Docker Desktop when you sign in to your computer.

Alternatively, open a terminal and run:

$ systemctl --user enable docker-desktop

To stop Docker Desktop, select the Docker menu icon to open the Docker menu and select Quit Docker Desktop.

Alternatively, open a terminal and run:

$ systemctl --user stop docker-desktop

Upgrade Docker Desktop

Once a new version for Docker Desktop is released, the Docker UI shows a notification. You need to download the new package each time you want to upgrade Docker Desktop and run:

$ sudo apt-get install ./docker-desktop-<version>-<arch>.deb

Next steps