The Docker daemon configuration files

by | Nov 28, 2020 | Docker

Where are the Docker daemon configuration files located? How to restart the Docker daemon after applying changes to the configuration? How to change and activate the Docker configuration? These are frequently asked questions. But changes to the Docker configuration are seldom. In this way, we forget the answers. The daily marmot greets.

Proxy Settings

Most corporate environments use proxy servers to access the internet. Usually, Linux environment variables define proxy specifics. These environment variables are HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY, and NO_PROXY. In this way, Docker allows a Daemon specific configuration for these settings. Take a look at the following example!



The Docker daemon configuration files

The daemon configuration’s customization has many benefits—for example, the storage driver, network settings, or TLS certificates. If you are interested in the Docker IP pools, then take a look at this article. Or read the official docs here. Usually, you find the configuration at /etc/docker/daemon.json. The file contains all persistent settings, and they are boot safe. Alternatively,  you may use the Daemon command line parameters for evaluation purposes.


"bip": "",
"insecure-registries" : [""],

Restarting the Docker daemon

First, you must flush configuration changes by daemon-reload. Then restart the Docker daemon itself. Finally, verify if changes take effect. Here, we see the Docker environment.

Activate Docker configuration changes

shell> systemctl daemon-reload
shell> systemctl restart docker
shell> systemctl show docker --property Environment

Alternatively, directly restart the Docker daemon. Use “service docker restart” command wrapper or the “systemctl” command. Nevertheless, both commands do the same job.

shell> systemctl stop containerd
shell> systemctl stop docker.service
shell> systemctl start docker.service
shell> systemctl start containerd

Does the Docker configuration work?

There are no obvious errors in the configuration. In this way, we start a simple container. The Docker “hello-world” images is tiny and my preferred image. As a result, we should see the following output in the console:

docker hello-world

shell> docker run hello-world
Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.
To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
to your terminal.
To try something more ambitious, you can run an Ubuntu container with:
$ docker run -it ubuntu bash
Share images, automate workflows, and more with a free Docker ID:
For more examples and ideas, visit:


First, you need to know where the Docker daemon configuration is located. Second, change the Docker configuration and refer to official docs. And finally, do not forget to restart the Docker services. Otherwise, the changes will not affect.