Change on Linux

This page provides information on how to configure and manage your Docker Desktop settings.

To navigate to Settings either:

  • Select the Docker menu whale menu and then Settings
  • Select the Settings icon from the Docker Dashboard.


On the General tab, you can configure when to start Docker and specify other settings:

  • Start Docker Desktop when you log in. Select to automatically start Docker Desktop when you log into your machine.

  • Choose Theme for Docker Desktop. Choose whether you want to apply a Light or Dark theme to Docker Desktop. Alternatively you can set Docker Desktop to Use System Settings.

  • Use integrated container terminal. Select to execute commands in a running container straight from the Docker Dashboard. For more information, see Explore containers

  • Send usage statistics. Select so Docker Desktop sends diagnostics, crash reports, and usage data. This information helps Docker improve and troubleshoot the application. Clear the check box to opt out. Docker may periodically prompt you for more information.

  • Show weekly tips. Select to display useful advice and suggestions about using Docker.

  • Open Docker Desktop dashboard at startup. Select to automatically open the dashboard when starting Docker Desktop.

  • Use Enhanced Container Isolation. Select to enhance security by preventing containers from breaching the Linux VM. For more information, see Enhanced Container Isolation

  • Use Docker Compose V2. Select to enable the docker-compose command to use Docker Compose V2. For more information, see Migrate to Compose V2.


The Resources tab allows you to configure CPU, memory, disk, proxies, network, and other resources.


On the Advanced tab, you can limit resources available to Docker.

Advanced settings are:

  • CPUs. By default, Docker Desktop is set to use half the number of processors available on the host machine. To increase processing power, set this to a higher number; to decrease, lower the number.

  • Memory. By default, Docker Desktop is set to use 25% of your host’s memory. To increase the RAM, set this to a higher number; to decrease it, lower the number.

  • Swap. Configure swap file size as needed. The default is 1 GB.

  • Disk image size. Specify the size of the disk image.

  • Disk image location. Specify the location of the Linux volume where containers and images are stored.

You can also move the disk image to a different location. If you attempt to move a disk image to a location that already has one, you are asked if you want to use the existing image or replace it.

File sharing

Use File sharing to allow local directories on your machine to be shared with Linux containers. This is especially useful for editing source code in an IDE on the host while running and testing the code in a container.

By default the /home/<user> directory is shared. If your project is outside this directory then it must be added to the list, otherwise you may get Mounts denied or cannot start service errors at runtime.

File share settings are:

  • Add a Directory. Click + and navigate to the directory you want to add.

  • Remove a Directory. Click - next to the directory you want to remove

  • Apply & Restart makes the directory available to containers using Docker’s bind mount (-v) feature.

Tips on shared folders, permissions, and volume mounts

  • Share only the directories that you need with the container. File sharing introduces overhead as any changes to the files on the host need to be notified to the Linux VM. Sharing too many files can lead to high CPU load and slow filesystem performance.
  • Shared folders are designed to allow application code to be edited on the host while being executed in containers. For non-code items such as cache directories or databases, the performance will be much better if they are stored in the Linux VM, using a data volume (named volume) or data container.


To configure HTTP proxies, switch on the Manual proxy configuration setting. This setting is used for logging into Docker, for pulling and pushing images, and for container Internet access. If the proxy requires authorization then Docker Desktop dynamically asks the developer for a username and password. All passwords are stored securely in the OS credential store. Note that only the Basic proxy authentication method is supported so we recommend using an https:// URL for your HTTP/HTTPS proxies to protect passwords while in transit on the network. Docker Desktop supports TLS 1.3 when communicating with proxies.

To prevent developers from accidentally changing the proxy settings, see Settings Management.


Docker Desktop uses a private IPv4 network for internal services such as a DNS server and an HTTP proxy. In case the choice of subnet clashes with something in your environment, specify a custom subnet using the Network setting.

Docker Engine

The Docker Engine tab allows you to configure the Docker daemon used to run containers with Docker Desktop.

You configure the daemon using a JSON configuration file. Here’s what the file might look like:

  "builder": {
    "gc": {
      "defaultKeepStorage": "20GB",
      "enabled": true
  "experimental": false,
  "features": {
    "buildkit": true

You can find this file at $HOME/.docker/daemon.json. To change the configuration, either edit the JSON configuration directly from the dashboard in Docker Desktop, or open and edit the file using your favorite text editor.


Only the Docker Desktop daemon uses the configuration file under $HOME/.docker. If you manually install Docker Engine alongside Docker Desktop, the manually installed instance uses a daemon.json configuration file in a different location. Refer to Configure the daemon for more information about how to configure the Docker daemon on a manually installed Docker Engine.

To see the full list of possible configuration options, see the dockerd command reference.

Select Apply & Restart to save your settings and restart Docker Desktop.


Docker Desktop includes a standalone Kubernetes server, so that you can test deploying your Docker workloads on Kubernetes. To enable Kubernetes support and install a standalone instance of Kubernetes running as a Docker container, select Enable Kubernetes.

Select Show system containers (advanced) to view internal containers when using Docker commands.

Select Reset Kubernetes cluster to delete all stacks and Kubernetes resources.

For more information about using the Kubernetes integration with Docker Desktop, see Deploy on Kubernetes.

Software Updates

The Software Updates tab notifies you of any updates available to Docker Desktop. When there’s a new update, click the Release Notes option to learn what’s included in the updated version.

Turn off the check for updates by clearing the Automatically check for updates check box. This disables notifications in the Docker menu and the notification badge that appears on the Docker Dashboard. To check for updates manually, select the Check for updates option in the Docker menu.

To allow Docker Desktop to automatically download new updates in the background, select Always download updates. This downloads newer versions of Docker Desktop when an update becomes available. After downloading the update, click Apply and Restart to install the update. You can do this either through the Docker menu or in the Updates section in the Docker Dashboard.


Use the Extensions tab to:

  • Enable Docker Extensions
  • Allow only extensions distributed through the Docker Marketplace
  • Show Docker Extensions system containers

For more information about Docker extensions, see Extensions.

Features in development

On the Feature control tab you can control your settings for Beta features and Experimental features.

You can also sign up to the Developer Preview program from the Features in development tab.

Beta features

Beta features provide access to future product functionality. These features are intended for testing and feedback only as they may change between releases without warning or remove them entirely from a future release. Beta features must not be used in production environments. Docker doesn’t offer support for beta features.

Enable containerd

Turns on the experimental containerd image store. This brings new features like faster container startup performance by lazy-pulling images, and the ability to run Wasm applications with Docker.

Experimental features

On the Experimental features tab, you have the option to allow feature flags. These are features that Docker is currently experimenting with. This is switched on by default.

These features are intended for testing and feedback only as they may change between releases without warning or remove them entirely from a future release. Docker doesn’t offer support for experimental features.