Change Docker Desktop settings on Linux
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
This page provides information on how to configure and manage your Docker Desktop settings.
To navigate to Settings either:
- Select the Docker 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.
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 Docker Compose V2. Select to enable the
docker-composecommand to use Docker Compose V2. For more information, see Docker 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.
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 (
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.
Your proxy settings, however, are not propagated into the containers you start. If you wish to set the proxy settings for your containers, you need to define environment variables for them, just like you would do on Linux, for example:
$ docker run -e HTTP_PROXY=http://proxy.example.com:3128 alpine env PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin HOSTNAME=b7edf988b2b5 TERM=xterm HOME=/root HTTP_PROXY=http://proxy.example.com:3128
For more information on configuring the Docker CLI to automatically set proxy variables for both
docker run and
see Configure the Docker client.
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.
The Docker Engine tab allows you to configure the Docker daemon to determine how your containers run.
Type a JSON configuration file in the box to configure the daemon settings. For a full list of options, see the Docker Engine dockerd commandline reference.
Click Apply & Restart to save your settings and restart Docker Desktop.
Experimental features provide early access to future product functionality. These features are intended for testing and feedback only as they may change between releases without warning or can be removed entirely from a future release. Experimental features must not be used in production environments. Docker does not offer support for experimental features.
For a list of current experimental features in the Docker CLI, see Docker CLI Experimental features.
From the Experimental features tab, you can sign up to the Developer Preview program.
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.
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.settings, preferences, proxy, file sharing, resources, kubernetes, Docker Desktop, Linux