Kitematic for boot2docker users

28 Aug 2015, 1 minute read

A while ago I switched from using boot2docker directly to the Kitematic Mac app. Although Kitematic generally makes life a bit easier when managing Docker containers, it was a bit of a pain to get it running.

After the Kitematic installation, the VM started but Kitematic had trouble connecting to it. The error messages showed boot2docker paths so I made the assumption they’d got in a tangle. Uninstalling boot2docker didn’t entirely solve the problem, as I was still unable to connect using the terminal. The error pointed us in the right direction:

FATA[0000] Couldn't read ca cert /Users/rb/.boot2docker/certs/boot2docker-vm/ca.pem: open /Users/rb/.boot2docker/certs/boot2docker-vm/ca.pem: no such file or directory

The other error I was hitting was a bit more vague, but still points to a certificate issue.

Get malformed HTTP response "\x15\x03\x01\x00\x02\x02". Are you trying to connect to a TLS-enabled daemon without TLS?

You may find it’s because the boot2docker environment variables are being set in your .profile, .bashrc or .zshenv, something like:

export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://
export DOCKER_CERT_PATH=/Users/rb/.boot2docker/certs/boot2docker-vm

To get the docker CLI playing nicely with our shiny new Kitematic instance, we just need to replace those lines with the following:

export DOCKER_HOST=tcp://
export DOCKER_CERT_PATH=~/.docker/machine/machines/dev

Note that if (like me) you’ve already removed/reinstalled Kitematic, you may find the IP (and possibly subnet) has moved from In my case it is now


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Hi, I'm Ryan

I care about code, building great teams and the community. I run Slate Horse but I'm still a full-stack developer. Previously co-organiser of JSOxford and OxRUG.

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