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Docker Daemon - All You Need to Know About It

Throughout this blog, we will delve into various aspects of the Docker daemon, allowing developers and system administrators to optimize their workflows, achieve scalability, and ensure consistent deployment across diverse environments.

Watch this introductory video to learn Docker from the start:

What is Docker Daemon?

What is Docker Daemon?

Docker daemon, also known as Dockerd, is a crucial element of the Docker platform. It operates as a background service on the host machine, acting as a mediator between the Docker client and the Docker engine. 

The significant function of the Docker daemon is to oversee container lifecycle management, encompassing creation, execution, and monitoring tasks. Through seamless interaction with the underlying operating system, the Docker daemon enables efficient execution of container operations. 

By providing a centralized control point, it empowers users to effortlessly develop, deploy, and maintain applications within isolated container environments. Docker daemon significantly simplifies the entire application lifecycle process when utilizing Docker service.

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Why Do We Need Docker Daemon?

The Docker daemon plays a crucial role in the Docker ecosystem by managing containers and images on a host machine. It acts as the central processing unit, working closely with the underlying operating system to provision and control containers. 

When interacting with the Docker daemon through the Docker command-line interface (CLI), the client communicates with the daemon by making HTTP API requests. These requests are subsequently processed and executed by the daemon, which takes care of various tasks such as creating containers, starting and stopping containers, managing networking, and handling storage operations.

The Docker CLI acts as a user-friendly interface that converts commands into API calls that the daemon can understand. It is common for developers to have a local Docker daemon and client to create and manage containerized applications, ensuring consistency in their development environments.

Docker also facilitates the sharing of Docker images, either through local registries or public ones like Docker Hub. It allows developers to collaborate effectively and ensures everyone works in the same environment, promoting compatibility and reproducibility. 

Check out our Docker tutorial to learn more about Docker.

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How to Start the Daemon Manually?

How to Start the Daemon Manually?

To start the Docker daemon manually, you need to execute specific docker commands based on your operating system

To manually start the Docker daemon, follow these steps:

  • Linux:
    • Open the terminal.
    • Run the command sudo systemctl start docker.
    • The Docker daemon will begin running.
  • Windows:
    • Launch the Docker desktop application.
    • The Docker daemon will start automatically.
  • macOS:
    • Find and open the Docker application in the Applications folder.
    • The Docker daemon will start running.

Once the Docker daemon is up and running, you can interact with Docker using the following methods:

  • Command-line interface (CLI) tools, such as Docker CLI, let you execute commands in the terminal.
  • Graphical user interface (GUI) tools like Docker Desktop, offer a user-friendly interface for Docker interactions.

Preparing for interviews? Head on to prepare for some of the most asked Docker Interview Questions and Answers.

How to Configure the Docker Daemon?

How to Configure the Docker Daemon?

Configuring the Docker daemon by adjusting its settings which suit your specific requirements. Here are the steps to configure the Docker daemon:

  • Locate the Docker Daemon Configuration File: The location of the configuration file varies depending on the operating system. On Linux, it is commonly found at ‘/etc/docker/daemon.json’. On Windows, look for ‘C:\ProgramData\docker\config\daemon.json’.
  • Open the Configuration File: Use a text editor to open the Docker daemon configuration file. Ensure you have the necessary permissions to modify the file.
  • Modify the Configuration Settings: Within the configuration file, you can specify various parameters to customize the behavior of the Docker daemon. Some common configuration options include network settings, storage driver selection, resource limits, logging preferences, and security configurations.
  • Save the Changes: After making the desired modifications to the configuration file, save the changes and exit the text editor.
  • Restart the Docker Daemon: To apply the new configuration, you need to restart the Docker Daemon. On Linux, you can use the command ‘sudo systemctl restart docker’ to restart the service. On Windows, you can restart the Docker Desktop application, which will restart the Docker daemon automatically.
  • Verify the Configuration: After restarting the Docker daemon, you can check if the changes have been applied correctly by using commands such as docker info or docker version to display the Docker daemon’s current configuration.

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Docker Daemon Directory

The Docker daemon directory stores critical files and information related to Docker’s operation. On Linux, the default location for the Docker daemon directory is ‘/var/lib/docker/

Within this directory, you can find subdirectories containing Docker container data, images, volumes, and network configurations. The Docker daemon directory plays a vital role in managing and persisting the state of Docker containers and images. 

It is crucial to ensure sufficient disk space and backup strategies for the Docker daemon directory to prevent data loss and ensure smooth Docker operations. Regular monitoring and maintenance of the Docker daemon directory are recommended to manage disk usage efficiently and maintain the integrity of Docker’s data.


The Docker daemon is the backbone of containerization, offering benefits such as isolation and simplified deployment. The Docker daemon directory serves as the central storage for essential files like images and containers, enabling efficient management. Understanding the purpose of the Docker daemon, its manual startup process, configuration techniques, and the significance of the daemon directory is vital for taking advantage of Docker’s capabilities and achieving efficient and scalable container workflows.

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