Posting this as a problem and then answering it in case it helps someone else.

The sequence of events:

  1. I had 3 sites running under Craft Nitro 2 and Docker 3.x
  2. I became aware that Docker had moved to version 4.x and so downloaded and installed it
  3. I sandboxed my Docker 3 and all seemed to be fine under Docker 4, and carried on working for some days
  4. I decided to do some housekeeping and deleted my sandboxed Docker 3
  5. Now Docker 4 would not see any containers at all and was stuck on “Docker Engine waiting…”
  6. On the command line I could see via nitro context that my 3 sites were still known, at least in the hosts file
  7. After thrashing around with Docker restart and Clean / Purge data I was none the wiser…

Turns out all I needed to do was nitro init, which:

  • Recreated the Nitro proxy and myql containers
  • Recreated containers for my 3 sites

What had gone was all the databases, but I'm guessing that's only because I was dumb enough to Clean / Purge data. In my case that's OK as I can reinstate from somewhere else.

Long story short, if your Docker containers go missing, try nitro init first!

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