Currently unable to install docker on Ubuntu 16.04. (when I have been able to previously). After running sudo apt-get install docker-ce (as per here) I get the following message:

Job for docker.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl status docker.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

invoke-rc.d: initscript docker, action "start" failed.

docker.service - Docker Application Container Engine Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/docker.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)

Drop-In: /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d └─10-machine.conf

Active: activating (auto-restart) (Result: exit-code) since Thu 2017-09-07 21:44:50 BST; 3ms ago Docs: https://docs.docker.com

Process: 15332 ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker daemon -H tcp:// -H unix:///var/run/docker.sock --storage-driver aufs --tlsverify --tlscacert /etc/docker/ca.pem --tlscert /etc/docker/server.pem --tlskey /etc/docker/server-key.pem --label provider=generic (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE) Main PID: 15332 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

systemctl status docker.service does not really give anymore detail. journalctl -xe shows the following (summary):

Sep 07 21:56:45 mpt systemd1: Starting Docker Socket for the API.

Sep 07 21:56:45 mpt systemd1: Listening on Docker Socket for the API.

Sep 07 21:56:45 mpt systemd1: docker.service: Start request repeated too quickly.

Sep 07 21:56:45 mpt systemd1: Failed to start Docker Application Container Engine.

-- The result is failed. Sep 07 21:56:45 mpt systemd1: docker.socket: Unit entered failed state. Sep 07 21:56:46 mpt sudo[16052]: pam_unix(sudo:session): session closed for user root

When I run apt-get install again I get this message:

1 not fully installed or removed.1

(In addition to the error I previously mentioned.)

The solution to that was:

sudo apt-get remove docker*
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt autoremove

I had been trying to get to docker-machine to work from my laptop (Ubuntu 16.04) to this machine so I guess this could have caused some issue.

I'm a bit stuck. Any help and suggestions really appreciated.


1 Answer 1


I noticed the following files in /etc/systemd/system/

  • docker.service
  • docker.service.d
  • docker.socket

Removing these, in addition to the removal commands mentioned above resulted in the error going away.

  • I'm getting this error and those files were already missing. Mar 21, 2018 at 21:38

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