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How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

Docker, the linchpin of containerization, which offers efficiency and scalability. However, developers often encounter perplexing challenges, and one notorious hitch is the enigmatic “Docker Failed to Compute Cache Key” error. In this comprehensive blog, we embark on a journey to unravel the complexities of this issue. From understanding the root causes to implementing effective solutions, this guide is your compass to navigate through the intricacies of Docker cache management and get your containers back on track.

SupportFly is one of the reliable docker consulting service providers that can assist you with every step of the procedure if you want to deal with this issue in an easy and trouble-free manner.

Understanding the Cache Mechanism in Docker

How Docker Cache Works

Docker relies on caching to expedite builds. Each line in a Dockerfile generates a cache key. When a change occurs, Docker invalidates the cache, leading to a rebuild from that point onward.

Common Causes of Cache Key Failure

  • Frequent changes in files or dependencies.
  • Modifications to build context.
  • Issues related to building arguments.

Troubleshoot- Docker failed to Compute Cache Key Not Found Error

When the docker build command is executed in a directory that does not contain the Dockerfile, the Docker failed to compute cache key error.

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

The Dockerfile can be found in the directory that is a child directory of the directory structure that was shown before.

Wrong Execution of the Docker Build

Taking into consideration the directory structure presented before, the first mistake we made was that we attempted to run docker-build while in the parent directory, despite the fact that the Dockerfile was located in the child directory.

This is the wrong directory:

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

After executing the docker-build command, the error that will appear in output is as follows:–

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

Read More: About docker overlay2 cleanup

Fix Error: Docker Failed to Compute Cache Key

At this point, we have a better understanding of the issue and difficulty that is connected to the manner in which the docker-build command is being executed. Executing the Dockerfile that is found in the child directory is therefore our primary objective. Please follow the troubleshooting steps that are listed below:

1. To begin, we will need to navigate to the parent directory and then switch to it.–

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

2. After that, we need to run the subsequent docker-build command, making sure to mention the Docker file that is located in the child directory:

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

Therefore, the command that was just shown will help us in addressing the Docker failed to compute cache key. The only thing that was missing was an indication of the exact location of the Dockerfile, which was already present in the appropriate directory.

Note:It is recommended that you make use of the explicit docker-file path in order to avoid issues caused by the fuzziness of Visual Studio.

Look for the missing directory

If the previous process does not help to resolve the issue, then you need to carefully review the logs and go through the errors.

Another error can show up in the logs, claiming that the cannot be found.

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

The problem, as far as we can see, lies in one of these two possibilities:

  1. Either the directory is missing in its entirety or just a portion of it is there. can be found in the child directory.
  2. Or else something is missing from our search. is a Python script.

In order to solve this issue, we need to make sure that all of the files in the project directory have been examined.

Other troubleshooting options:

  • Conduct an in-depth examination of the.dockerignore file. It’s probable that it overlooked the necessary files for the copy operation, which is what caused the error about not being able to compute the cache key.
  • Similar issues can happen if we set the Docker system to Windows and then add support for Docker. Even running it within Visual Studio resulted in unexpected results.

Since Docker is installed under the Windows Subsystem for Linux, we have the ability to switch the operating system to Linux in this scenario (WSL). After that, proceed to the terminal where you start to execute the commands. If we relocate the folder that contains the Solutions or the Root folder, we will be able to remove the issue.

Thereafter, we can build Docker in this way:

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

After that, enter the docker run command:

How to Fix “Docker failed to Compute Cache key” Error

This will remove the error.

Also Read: Our blog post on docker exec format error

Other Strategies for Resolving the Issue: Docker failed to compute cache key

1. Strategic Use of Build Arguments

Introduces build arguments strategically to handle dynamic scenarios. This ensures that changes in build context or file contents doesn’t hinder cache efficiency.

2. Leveraging Docker Layer Caching

Organize your Dockerfile instructions to minimize changes in frequently updated steps. Prioritize instructions that change less often to maximize caching benefits.

3. Isolating Dynamic Content

If specific content changes frequently but doesn’t directly impact the build process, consider isolating it from the main build context. Thoughtful directory structuring can be beneficial.

4. Implementing Multi-Stage Builds

Multi-stage builds help separate the build environment from the runtime environment. This not only optimizes image size but aids in controlling cache invalidation.

5. Optimizing Dockerfile Instructions

Review and rearrange Dockerfile instructions to maximize caching. Place instructions that change more frequently later in the Dockerfile to minimize cache invalidation.

Also Check: Our blog post docker swarm vs docker compose

Best Practices for Efficient Cache Management

1. Regular Dockerfile Reviews

Periodically review and optimize your Dockerfiles. Ensure that instructions are logically organized, and consider the frequency of changes in each step.

2. Automation in CI/CD Pipelines

Integrate cache management strategies into your CI/CD pipelines. Automated processes can efficiently catch and resolve cache-related issues.


The “Docker Failed to Compute Cache Key” error is a puzzle that demands a systematic approach. By understanding Docker’s cache mechanism, implementing effective resolution strategies, and adhering to best practices, developers can not only overcome this challenge but also enhance their mastery of Docker’s containerization capabilities. Docker’s unparalleled flexibility continues to reshape development landscapes, and with the right knowledge, developers can confidently navigate through any cache-related complexities.

In conclusion, we have now discussed the Docker failed to compute cache key along with the various reasons and the Troubleshooting methods for effectively removing the error in a few quick and easy steps with the help of our Docker support services admins. If you have any questions about this error, please contact our Docker support services team.