Why Isn’t Docker for Windows Starting?!?

The one-command solution you’ve been looking for.

Why Isn’t Docker for Windows Starting?!?
Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

I’m starting my Master’s in Library and Information Science degree this month, and among the career pathways available to me is that of database administrator!

I’m great at picking up skills in the tech field, so it’s time to get deep and dirty with Docker… only there’s a problem. After installing Docker, the program just sits there saying “Docker for Desktop Starting…” and it never actually starts!

Docker is a type of program for your computer that allows you to run other programs within something called “containers.”

Think of containers like cargo containers on a ship.

Inside each cargo container, a different activity is taking place: a dance recital in one, and a video gaming session in another.

The containers provided by Docker allow these different activities to take place without affecting one another, or anything else! It’s a really useful and fun system. But only if it starts!

Solving the “Docker for Desktop Starting…” loading error

Luckily, this error is easy to fix.

The problem is caused by something called “WSL” (Windows Subsystem for Linux). This is a feature within the Windows OS that allows Linux environments to operate easily, without complex solutions like dual-booting.

Basically, WSL2 doesn’t automatically install, but Docker for desktop expects it to already be installed. So, we need to install it.

  1. Completely quit Docker.
  2. Open Windows PowerShell in Administrator mode.
  3. Type this command wsl --update
  4. Wait for the update to complete.
  5. Restart Docker.
  6. You’re good to go!

Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, a librarian, independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for as little as $2.50 a month!

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