What is the difference between dockerd and com.docker.service in Docker for Windows? Or rather I should ask: why do I need (if I need) com.docker.service running?

Intention: I want to use Docker only with command line in Windows environment in Windows container mode, control it with PS scripts etc. etc.

For me the role of com.docker.service is unclear.

I am able to run dockerd process and pull and run containers, when com.docker.service is stopped. When I start it - nothing happens (or maybe I don't notice the change).


1 Answer 1


dockerd is a persistent process that manages containers. Docker uses different binaries for the daemon and client. ( from Docker site ). Docker Daemon is a server which interacts with the operating system and performs all kind of services. The Docker Daemon listens for REST API request and performs the operation. Its process running on the background.

Docker service is the utility we use when we run any docker commands e.g. docker run (docker container run), docker images, docker ps etc. It allows us to run these commands which a human can easily understand.

  • 1
    Maybe I misunderstood something, but you don't need com.docker.service (Docker Desktop Service) running to use Docker commands. That puzzles me. I can run just: Start-Process -FilePath 'C:\Program Files\Docker\Docker\resources\dockerd.exe' -Verb RunAs and then use docker pull or docker run perfectly fine. It seems to me that Docker Desktop Service main purpose is managing VMs, like MobyLinuxVM when switching to Linux container mode. Also I don't need the service running when I change the isolation mode on Windows containers, just dockerd process. It needs further investigation. Mar 10, 2019 at 16:57
  • Can you try stopping the docker service by going to services manager in windows and execute the docker commands? it would be great if you can let me know, if Docker commands are running after stopping the Docker service
    – Sunil
    Mar 10, 2019 at 17:04
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    The service is not running, but dockerd process is. I have Docker Desktop GUI disabled. I am able to run Docker commands, pull and run images and switch istolation mode (to hyperv or process) in Windows containers mode. The only time I need Docker service running is when I need to switch to Linux container mode. Mar 10, 2019 at 20:45

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