Docker socket is not found while using Intellij IDEA and Docker desktop on MacOS

EDITED 2022-10-31

Release notes for Docker Desktop (4.13.1) (and following versions), states that, there is no need to create the symlink anymore, citing notes:

Added back the /var/run/docker.sock symlink on Mac by default, to increase compatibility with tooling like tilt and docker-py. Fixes docker/for-mac#6529.

The official fix now is to UPGRADE your Docker Desktop installation.

For the Docker Desktop (4.13.0) version:

By default Docker will not create the /var/run/docker.sock symlink on the host and use the docker-desktop CLI context instead. (see:

That will prevent IntelliJ from finding Docker using the default context.

You can see the current contexts in your machine by running docker context ls, which should produce an output like:

NAME                TYPE    DESCRIPTION                               DOCKER ENDPOINT                                KUBERNETES ENDPOINT                                 ORCHESTRATOR
default             moby    Current DOCKER_HOST based configuration   unix:///var/run/docker.sock                    https://kubernetes.docker.internal:6443 (default)   swarm
desktop-linux *     moby                                              unix:///Users/<USER>/.docker/run/docker.sock

As a workaround that will allow IntelliJ to connect to Docker you can use the TCP Socket checkbox and put in the Engine API URL the value that appears under DOCKER ENDPOINT in the active context.

The case for this example will be: unix:///Users/<USER>/.docker/run/docker.sock

Then IntelliJ will be able to connect to Docker Desktop.

EDITED 2023-07-17

If the option in “Settings > Advanced > Allow the default Docker socket to be used” is already enabled and the socket is not available try disabling it and re-enabling it.

**Hacky option**

Another way to make IntelliJ (and other components that rely on the default config) to find Docker will be to manually create a symlink to the new DOCKER ENDPOINT by running:

sudo ln -svf /Users/<USER>/.docker/run/docker.sock /var/run/docker.sock

In that way all the components looking for Docker under /var/run/docker.sock will find it.

Leave a Comment