Hassio won't start - "Failed to start Docker application container engine"

Any help much appreciated…

I’ve had Hassio running on a Pi 3 with SD card for many months without any major problems until a week or so ago. Hassio now fails to start and SSH access does not work. I’m unsure how to debug the problem.

As far as I can tell, Hassio is failing to start from HassOS. When I connect the Pi to a monitor and watch the boot sequence, I see an initial failure:

[FAILED] Failed to start Docker Container Application Engine

The boot process continues after that with a few more failures, until the Pi is eventually restarted auttomatically and the boot process starts again. This is an apparently infinite loop.

CTRL-C and CTRL-Z don’t interrupt the boot process, so I can’t use systemctl as advised after the failure. If I stop autoboot early on, I get dumped into a HassOS prompt, but I’m unsure if there’s anything I can do to debug from there.

A screenshot of the failure:
Google Photos

OK. I did a fresh install of Hassio and restored from a snapshot. All is working again.

But, I’d still like to understand what broke in the first place. Any ideas?


Having the same issue as well today. I was simply restarted the Home Assistant after making a few changes and decided to reboot Hass.io. Now nothing :frowning: I have a backup of my config files but not a recent snapshot.

Same for me, I wanted to fresh install Hass.io on a rasp Pi3 B+ and face the exact same issue. Something wrong with the latest version maybe ?

I hadn’t updated in a couple of months when my system broke, so I don’t think that it’s tied to the latest release.

But when you install the .img it will start downloading the latest version right ?

As the infinite loop is locked here at the beginning of the update of UTMP (?) I wondered…

If I understand your point correctly…

I actually wasn’t trying to install an img. All I was doing was power cycling an existing installation. The existing installation stopped responding/working. My first attempt to get it to work was to power cycle. That’s when the boot failure became evident.

Sorry, I thought you did a clean install on your Rasp and got this failure ! :sweat_smile:

Well, that is definitely not the same issue…

No, a clean install fixed the problem. Interesting that it’s the same symptom from an apparently different cause. I wonder it they’re still related somehow.

I am having the same issue. I am running HASSIO on a VM on Windows 10. My desktop lost power and on reboot the HASSIO install appears to be corrupted (only thing I can think that happened at this point, it was working fine before and after it started having this issue). I have a snapshot created but never found a good way to get it off the system, is it still possible and if so, does anyone know how to pull it off at this point?

I was running on a Pi. Fortunately, my snapshot files on the SD card survived. I was able to get to them by putting the SD in a Linux machine.

I’ve taken this opportunity to move my HASSIO set-up to a Docker container on an Ubuntu 18.04 system. I’m still learning about that set-up. However, I can access my Hassio files, including snapshots from the host system mapped to the directory /usr/share/hassio.

That may not help you find the files in Windows 10. But, maybe your Hassio files will be mapped to a Windows directory somewhere outside of the VM. Good luck.

BTW, I’ve now started using the Google Drive Sync add-on for Hassio snapshots in case this happens again. Works perfectly so far.

I wondered too but not competent at all… I was stuck with that failure as I couldn’t load any snapshot from there :laughing:
As I did not find any solution, I looked over my SD card today. It turned out it was the problem…

My next step would be to make the installation more reliable. (Hassio was running for just 2 months, and I guess the more I will use Hassio, the less reliable it is going to be with this set up)

Wishing you luck guys in your investigations ! :smirk:

I have the same issue (stuck at boot if I manually reboot HassOS) with HassOS 2.7 and 2.8 so I’ve revert back to 2.6.
Which HassOS release do you run?

Sorry, not sure which it was. I gave up, formatted the card and moved everything to Linux server.

Just to let you know that for me the SD card was guilty. I upgraded with a new one and everything is fine…

Wishing you luck in your investigations ! :hugs:

I am having the same issue. I am running HASSOS with 2.11 on Pi 3.
It’s the third time that happens to me.

I have changed the sd card and it seems that everything is going well even much faster, although the other card after analyzing it did not have any error apparently

Having the same issue every other days … Every time after a power failiure.

I have the same problem after a reboot I get the same problem. The last one I installed was grafana. Till the power got unplugged and reboot it happens for me. still don’t know how to switch the pi 3 off in a correct way. I am not sure it is with grafana. but it works first from the begining till it get a reboot it happens for me. The Pi3 keeps in a boot loop and restart the pi 3 every time now. Any idea what it is?

Same issue (happened 4 months ago, happened today). I running Hassio on a NUC.