Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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Questions about Stable and Edge channels

How do I get the Stable or Edge version of Docker Desktop?

Use the download links for the channels given in the topic Download Docker Desktop for Windows.

This topic also has more information about the two channels.

What is the difference between the Stable and Edge versions of Docker Desktop?

Two different download channels are available for Docker Desktop:

  • The Stable channel provides a general availability release-ready installer for a fully baked and tested, more reliable app. The Stable version of Docker Desktop includes the latest released version of Docker Engine. The release schedule is synced with Docker Engine releases and hotfixes. On the Stable channel, you can select whether to send usage statistics and other data.

  • The Edge channel provides an installer with new features we are working on, but is not necessarily fully tested. It includes the experimental version of Docker Engine. Bugs, crashes, and issues can occur when using the Edge version, but you get a chance to preview new functionality, experiment, and provide feedback as the apps evolve. Edge releases are typically more frequent than for Stable, often one or more per month. Usage statistics and crash reports are sent by default. You do not have the option to disable this on the Edge channel.

Can I switch back and forth between Stable and Edge versions of Docker Desktop?

Yes, you can switch between versions to try out the Edge release to see what’s new, then go back to Stable for other work. However, you can have only one app installed at a time. Switching back and forth between Stable and Edge apps can destabilize your development environment, particularly in cases where you switch from a newer (Edge) channel to older version (Stable).

For example, containers created with a newer Edge version of Docker Desktop may not work after you switch back to Stable because they may have been created using Edge features that aren’t in Stable yet. Just keep this in mind as you create and work with Edge containers, perhaps in the spirit of a playground space where you are prepared to troubleshoot or start over.

To safely switch between Edge and Stable versions, ensure that you save images and export the containers you need, then uninstall the current version before installing another. The workflow is described in detail in the following section.

How to save and restore data

You can use the following procedure to save and restore images and container data, for example, if you want to switch between Edge and Stable, or reset your VM disk:

  1. Use docker save -o images.tar image1 [image2 ...] to save any images you want to keep. (See save in the Docker Engine command line reference.)

  2. Use docker export -o myContainner1.tar container1 to export containers you want to keep. (See export in the Docker Engine command line reference.)

  3. Uninstall the current version of Docker Desktop and install a different version (Stable or Edge), or reset your VM disk.

  4. Use docker load -i images.tar to reload previously saved images. (See load in the Docker Engine.

  5. Use docker import -i myContainer1.tar to create a filesystem image corresponding to previously exported containers. (See import in the Docker Engine.

This procedure explains how to backup and restore data volumes.

Experimental features

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 more information, see Experimental features.

To enable experimental features in the Docker CLI, edit the config.json file and set experimental to enabled.

To enable experimental features from the Docker Desktop menu, click Settings (Preferences on macOS) > Daemon and then select the Experimental features check box.


What kind of feedback are we looking for?

Everything is a fair game. We’d like your impressions on the download-install process, startup, functionality available, the GUI, usefulness of the app, command line integration, and so on. Tell us about problems, what you like, or functionality you’d like to see added.

We are especially interested in getting feedback on the swarm mode described in Docker Swarm. A good place to start is the tutorial.

What if I have problems or questions?

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

If you do not find a solution in Troubleshooting, browse issues on Docker Desktop for Windows issues on GitHub or create a new one. You can also create new issues based on diagnostics. To learn more about running diagnostics and about Docker Desktop for Windows GitHub issues, see Diagnose and Feedback.

Docker Desktop for Windows forum contains discussion threads. You can also create discussion topics there, but we recommend using the GitHub issues over the forums for better tracking and response.

How can I opt out of sending my usage data?

If you do not want to send usage data, use the Stable channel. For more information, see Stable and Edge channels (“What is the difference between the Stable and Edge versions of Docker Desktop?”).

How is personal data handled in Docker Desktop?

When uploading diagnostics to help Docker with investigating issues, the uploaded diagnostics bundle may contain personal data such as usernames and IP addresses. The diagnostics bundles are only accessible to Docker Inc. employees who are directly involved in diagnosing Docker Desktop issues. By default, Docker Inc. will delete uploaded diagnostics bundles after 30 days unless they are referenced in an open issue on the docker/for-mac or docker/for-win issue trackers. If an issue is closed, Docker Inc. will remove the referenced diagnostics bundles within 30 days. You may also request the removal of a diagnostics bundle by either specifying the diagnostics ID or through your GitHub ID (if the diagnostics ID is mentioned in a GitHub issue). Docker Inc. will only use the data in the diagnostics bundle to investigate specific user issues, but may derive high-level (non-personal) metrics such as the rate of issues from it.

Can I use Docker Desktop with the Swarm mode?

Yes! You can use Docker Desktop to test single-node features of swarm mode introduced with Docker Engine 1.12, including initializing a swarm with a single node, creating services, and scaling services. Docker “Moby” on Hyper-V serves as the single swarm node. You can also use Docker Machine, which is bundled with Docker Desktop, to create and experiment with a multi-node swarm. Check out the tutorial at Get started with swarm mode.

How do I connect to the remote Docker Engine API?

You might need to provide the location of the Engine API for Docker clients and development tools.

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

This sets DOCKER_HOST and DOCKER_CERT_PATH environment variables to the given values (for the named pipe or TCP socket, whichever you use).

See also Docker Engine API and the Docker Desktop for Windows forums topic How to find the remote API.


Can I change permissions on shared volumes for container-specific deployment requirements?

No, at this point, Docker Desktop does not enable you to control (chmod) the Unix-style permissions on shared volumes for deployed containers, but rather sets permissions to a default value of 0777 (read, write, execute permissions for user and for group) which is not configurable.

For workarounds and to learn more, see Permissions errors on data directories for shared volumes.

Why doesn’t nodemon pick up file changes in a container mounted on a shared drive?

Currently, inotify does not work on Docker Desktop. This is a known issue. For more information and a temporary workaround, see inotify on shared drives does not work in Troubleshooting.

Docker Desktop supports symbolic links (symlinks) created within containers. Symlinks resolve within and across containers. Symlinks created outside of Docker do not work.

To learn more about the reasons for this limitation, see the following discussions:


How do I add custom CA certificates?

Starting with Docker Desktop 1.12.1, 2016-09-16 (Stable) and Beta 26 (2016-09-14 1.12.1-beta26), all trusted Certificate Authorities (CA) (root or intermediate) are supported. Docker recognizes certs stored under Trust Root Certification Authorities or Intermediate Certification Authorities.

Docker Desktop creates a certificate bundle of all user-trusted CAs based on the Windows certificate store, and appends it to Moby trusted certificates. Therefore, if an enterprise SSL certificate is trusted by the user on the host, it is trusted by Docker Desktop.

To learn more about how to install a CA root certificate for the registry, see Verify repository client with certificates in the Docker Engine topics.

How do I add client certificates?

You can add your client certificates in ~/.docker/certs.d/<MyRegistry>:<Port>/client.cert and ~/.docker/certs.d/<MyRegistry>:<Port>/client.key. You do not need to push your certificates with git commands.

When the Docker Desktop application starts, it copies the ~/.docker/certs.d folder on your Windows system to the /etc/docker/certs.d directory on Moby (the Docker Desktop virtual machine running on Hyper-V).

You need to restart Docker Desktop after making any changes to the keychain or to the ~/.docker/certs.d directory in order for the changes to take effect.

The registry cannot be listed as an insecure registry (see Docker Daemon). Docker Desktop ignores certificates listed under insecure registries, and does not send client certificates. Commands like docker run that attempt to pull from the registry produce error messages on the command line, as well as on the registry.

To learn more about how to set the client TLS certificate for verification, see Verify repository client with certificates in the Docker Engine topics.

Why does Docker Desktop sometimes lose network connectivity, causing push or pull commands to fail?

Networking is not yet fully stable across network changes and system sleep cycles. Quit and start Docker Desktop to restore connectivity.

Can I use VirtualBox alongside Docker Desktop?

Unfortunately, VirtualBox (and other hypervisors like VMWare) cannot run when Hyper-V is enabled on Windows.

Can I share local drives and filesystem with my Docker Machine VMs?

No, you cannot share local drives with Docker Machine nodes when using Docker Desktop with Hyper-V. Shared drives can be made available to containers, but Docker Desktop does not support mounts for nodes you created with docker-machine.

For more about sharing local drives with containers using Docker Desktop, see Shared drives in the Getting Started topic.

To learn more about using Docker Desktop and Docker Machine, see What to know before you install in the Getting Started topic. For more about Docker Machine itself, see What is Docker Machine?, and the Hyper-V driver for Docker Machine.

Windows Requirements

How do I run Windows containers on Docker Desktop on Windows Server?

See About Windows containers and Windows Server.

A full tutorial is available in docker/labs at Getting Started with Windows Containers.

Why is Windows 10 Home not supported?

Docker Desktop requires the Hyper-V feature which is not available in the Windows Home edition.

Why is Windows 10 required?

Docker Desktop uses the Windows Hyper-V features. While older Windows versions have Hyper-V, their Hyper-V implementations lack features critical for Docker Desktop to work.

Why does Docker Desktop fail to start when firewalls or anti-virus software is installed?

Some firewalls and anti-virus software might be incompatible with Hyper-V and some Windows 10 builds (possibly, the Anniversary Update), which impacts Docker Desktop. See details and workarounds in Docker fails to start when firewall or anti-virus software is installed in Troubleshooting.

How do I uninstall Docker Toolbox?

Now that you have Docker Desktop, you might decide that you do not need the legacy Docker Toolbox anymore. For details on how to perform a clean uninstall of Toolbox on Windows, see How to uninstall Toolbox in the Toolbox Windows topics.

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