Once you’ve setup Docker on your server, there’s an easy way to make sure Docker is running fine.

Ways to check Docker

Use docker info command

Whatever system you’ve installed Docker on, you can test Docker by running the command below

docker info

which should output something like …

 Context:    default
 Debug Mode: false
  buildx: Docker Buildx (Docker Inc., v0.9.1)
  compose: Docker Compose (Docker Inc., v2.13.0)
  dev: Docker Dev Environments (Docker Inc., v0.0.5)
  extension: Manages Docker extensions (Docker Inc., v0.2.16)
  sbom: View the packaged-based Software Bill Of Materials (SBOM) for an image (Anchore Inc., 0.6.0)
  scan: Docker Scan (Docker Inc., v0.22.0)

 Containers: 2
  Running: 0
  Paused: 0
  Stopped: 2
 Images: 1
 Server Version: 20.10.20
 Storage Driver: overlay2
  Backing Filesystem: extfs
  Supports d_type: true
  Native Overlay Diff: true
  userxattr: false
 Logging Driver: json-file
 Cgroup Driver: cgroupfs
 Cgroup Version: 1
  Volume: local
  Network: bridge host ipvlan macvlan null overlay
  Log: awslogs fluentd gcplogs gelf journald json-file local logentries splunk syslog
 Swarm: inactive
 Runtimes: io.containerd.runc.v2 io.containerd.runtime.v1.linux runc
 Default Runtime: runc
 Init Binary: docker-init
 containerd version: 9cd3357b7fd7218e4aec3eae239db1f68a5a6ec6
 runc version: 5fd4c4d144137e991c4acebb2146ab1483a97925
 init version: 
 Security Options:
   Profile: default
 Kernel Version: 5.15.82-0-virt
 Operating System: Alpine Linux v3.16
 OSType: linux
 Architecture: x86_64
 CPUs: 2
 Total Memory: 1.938GiB
 Name: colima
 Docker Root Dir: /var/lib/docker
 Debug Mode: false
 Registry: https://index.docker.io/v1/
 Experimental: false
 Insecure Registries:
 Live Restore Enabled: false

Use systemctl ensure Docker is started

If you’re running Docker on a systemd enabled system, you can use systemctl

sudo systemctl status docker

you should see an output with the line below

   Active: active (running) since ....

Using hello-world Docker image

Once Docker has been installed and started on your server / laptop / etc.

Just run the command below

docker run hello-world

you should get the output below

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:

Check the logs

If you are using Docker Desktop on a Mac, use this command

pred='process matches ".*(ocker|vpnkit).*" || (process in {"taskgated-helper", "launchservicesd", "kernel"} && eventMessage contains[c] "docker")'
/usr/bin/log stream --style syslog --level=debug --color=always --predicate "$pred"

above log are “super” verbose, but it’s really helpful to identify any potential problem


Above ways to test Docker is the list I have up to now, but I’m sure there are dozens of other way to check your Docker setup.

References and docs

Docker official documentation

Docker Desktop troubleshoot and diagnose guide