Fix Docker Error: Failed Port Allocation

When attempting to run a Docker container with docker container run ..., you may see this error:

Bind for failed: port is already allocated

Whenever you see this error, it means that the container is unable to bind the container's exposed port to the port on the host machine.

# Solution

This is an easy fix with two steps:

  1. run lsof -i :8000 (replace 8000 with the port that's allocated in your error).

    lsof -i :8000
    com.docke 1596 chaseadamsio   20u  IPv4 0x677313baaeffcfd7      0t0  TCP *:irdmi (LISTEN)
    com.docke 1596 chaseadamsio   21u  IPv6 0x677313ba9b203357      0t0  TCP localhost:irdmi (LISTEN)

    If the output has COMMAND of com.docker (as above), proceed to step 2.

    lsof -i :8000
    node    46205 chaseadamsio   19u  IPv4 0x677313ba9d523357      0t0  TCP localhost:irdmi (LISTEN)

    If the output has COMMAND that's anything else, make a note of the PID for the process serving on that port and proceed to step 3.

  2. run docker ps to get a list of running containers.

     docker ps
     CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                  COMMAND                   CREATED             STATUS                            PORTS                    NAMES
     20c6837d446e        crccheck/hello-world   "/bin/sh -c 'trap \"eā€¦"   4 seconds ago       Up 3 seconds (health: starting)>8000/tcp   web-test

    Under PORT you'll see a mapping of the HOST PORT ( -> CONTAINER PORT (8000/tcp). The port from your failure will be on one of the containers. Make a note of the CONTAINER ID and run docker stop <CONTAINER ID>. If you no longer need the container, run docker rm <CONTAINER ID> to clean it up.

  3. With the PID from step 1 in hand, run ps <PID> to make sure the process serving on that port is okay to kill.

    If it is, first, check any open Terminal windows to make sure the process isn't running as a part of some other script. If it is, ctrl-c to send a SIGINT. If it isn't running in a Terminal window and you're confident that it's okay to kill, run kill <PID>. If you're not sure what it is, restart your host machine and see if it restarts. If the process restarts on machine booting, consider running your container on a different port.

After you've gone through the steps above, when you attempt to run docker container run... you should make it a little further through starting up your container.

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