After a computer restart and a Java runtime environment update, Docker Desktop hangs, with tray icon text "Docker is starting".

When using Docker in PowerShell, it says:

Sending build context to Docker daemon  3.072kB
Error response from daemon: open \\.\pipe\docker_engine_linux: The system cannot find the file specified.

Right-clicking on the tray-icon opens the menu without the chance to click on anything, and the menu does not disappear anymore. Docker Desktop does not show local images or containers.

What to do?


Just sharing this as a small note since I did not see the chance that waiting alone would be the trick in the end.

  • Wait for a couple of minutes (five to ten!) when it hangs, it could be just an update.

  • When the right-click menu has crashed and it still does not hide even after a good waiting time, it goes without saying that you need to restart the computer (or force restart Docker Desktop, untested). You will not damage Docker Desktop if you restart while it might update in the background, since in my case, I did that and it just updated again after restart.

I waited in the settings menu of Docker Desktop, with the "loading circle" going on, and I guess that is not needed. You can just wait anywhere. Thus, there seems to be no need to re-install Docker Desktop in such a case.

It is likely that it took so long to start Docker just because there was an auto update running - and no information about this. It hung after a restart of a computer (and then after updating Java JRE, which I thought to be the reason at first), and it is likely that the computer restart triggered the Docker Desktop auto update, see this remark which happened in the same time frame.


On my side I had a similar issue on my Windows machine.

It was probably caused by a forced shutdown after sleep mode (perhaps no more battery).

I tried many things like restarting the Services but it was not working when I started to watch the folder .docker in my home directory.

I did this:

  • I first stopped my Docker Desktop process
  • then I deleted the file named .token_seed.lock in ${USER_HOME}/.docker/
  • Start the Docker Desktop from the shortcut

and after that my Docker was running without any issue and my stored images were correctly displayed (and starting / stopping properly).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.