How to fix docker ‘Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket’

Problem:

You are running a command like docker ps but you get this error message:

Got permission denied while trying to connect to the Docker daemon socket at unix:///var/run/docker.sock: Get http://%2Fvar%2Frun%2Fdocker.sock/v1.39/containers/json: dial unix /var/run/docker.sock: connect: permission denied

Solution:

As a quick fix, running the command as root (sudo docker ps) will solve the issue temporarily.

The issue here is that the user you’re running the command as is not a member of the docker group. In order to add it to the docker group, run

sudo usermod -a -G docker $USER

After that, you need to log out from the server/computer (e.g. end the SSH session) and log back in.

Running groups should show you that you now belong to the docker group:

$ groups
uli sudo www-data lxd docker # Check if docker appears here!

After that, retry running the command (e.g. docker ps) – the error should now have disappeared