I am using macOS 10.14.6 and docker info shows me that the docker daemon is not running.

How do I start the docker daemon from terminal?

I have not found any information on doing so anywhere. On Linux you do something like sudo service docker stop, but this is incompatible with MacOS.


The docker setup does not work as in a normal Linux machine, on a Mac it is much more complicated. But it can be done!

  1. brew install --cask docker virtualbox
  2. brew install docker-machine
  3. docker-machine create --driver virtualbox default
  4. docker-machine restart
  5. eval "$(docker-machine env default)" # This might throw an TSI connection error. In that case run docker-machine regenerate-certs default
  6. (docker-machine restart) # maybe needed
  7. docker run hello-world

These steps are based on information given in these two questions:

  • 2
    I tried this and at the docker-machine create step it just got hung up "waiting for an IP" indefinitely, left the machine / VM in a locked unusable state. Oct 23 '20 at 19:48
  • I tried these instructions, but the docker daemon still wasn't started... To resolve the problem I had to use open --background -a Docker on my macbook... Aug 18 at 0:06
  • 1
    Instead of brew install --cask docker virtualbox, I had to do brew install --cask virtualbox. Otherwise, when later running docker-machine create --driver virtualbox default, I got Error with pre-create check: "VBoxManage not found. Make sure VirtualBox is installed and VBoxManage is in the path", which indicates VirtualBox isn't properly installed.
    – yair
    Sep 14 at 8:42

An alternative solition which worked for me:

  • remove docker and docker-compose installed by brew
  • install Docker Desktop for Mac
  • run it and pass admin credentials to start everything

It resolved issues with "docker deamon not running" as well as some other issues that the other answer didn't (e.g. ports were not redirected with docker installed using brew and worked smoothly with Docker Desktop installation).

  • 1
    .. and to stop docker, just click on the whale in your top mac bar thing, and select quit. Sometimes you have to do it several times (or maybe wait a bit?). That stops the docker daemon and frees up some memory.
    – matiu
    Feb 14 at 22:57
  • GUI work well no need to do "brew install docker-machine-*" Jun 12 at 22:33
  • 3
    At this time, on MBP M1, this was easiest for me: brew uninstall docker and then, brew install --cask docker . Aug 5 at 22:33

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