How To Start Docker Daemon Mac


As a Mac user, I’ve found Docker to be an invaluable tool for managing and running containers. To start the Docker daemon on Mac, follow the steps below.

Starting Docker Daemon on Mac

First, you’ll need to open the Docker application. If it’s not already in your dock, you can search for it using Spotlight or find it in your Applications folder. Once you’ve located the Docker application, go ahead and open it.

After opening the Docker application, you should see the whale icon appear in the menu bar at the top of your screen. Click on the whale icon to display the Docker menu, and then select “Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

In the Preferences window, navigate to the “General” tab. You’ll find an option to start Docker Desktop when you log in. Ensure that this option is checked if you want the Docker daemon to start automatically whenever you log in to your Mac.

After configuring the startup settings, you can directly start the Docker daemon by clicking on the whale icon in the menu bar and selecting “Start Docker Desktop” from the dropdown menu. Once the Docker Desktop is running, the whale icon will also indicate that Docker is up and running.

Command Line Option

If you prefer using the command line, you can start the Docker daemon by opening a terminal window and entering the following command:

open /Applications/

This command opens the Docker application, which in turn starts the Docker daemon.


Starting the Docker daemon on Mac can be done through the Docker application’s GUI or using the command line. Once the Docker daemon is running, you can seamlessly work with containers and deploy applications with ease. Whether it’s for development, testing, or production, Docker has become an indispensable part of my workflow as a Mac user.