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Docker install mac os

Install Docker Desktop on Mac

Docker Desktop for Mac is the Community version of Docker for Mac. You can download Docker Desktop for Mac from Docker Hub.

By downloading Docker Desktop, you agree to the terms of the Docker Software End User License Agreement and the Docker Data Processing Agreement.

What to know before you install

README FIRST for Docker Toolbox and Docker Machine users

If you are already running Docker on your machine, first read Docker Desktop for Mac vs. Docker Toolbox to understand the impact of this installation on your existing setup, how to set your environment for Docker Desktop on Mac, and how the two products can coexist.

Relationship to Docker Machine: Installing Docker Desktop on Mac does not affect machines you created with Docker Machine. You have the option to copy containers and images from your local default machine (if one exists) to the Docker Desktop HyperKit VM. When you are running Docker Desktop, you do not need Docker Machine nodes running locally (or anywhere else). With Docker Desktop, you have a new, native virtualization system running (HyperKit) which takes the place of the VirtualBox system. To learn more, see Docker Desktop for Mac vs. Docker Toolbox.

System requirements

Your Mac must meet the following requirements to successfully install Docker Desktop:

Mac hardware must be a 2010 or a newer model, with Intel’s hardware support for memory management unit (MMU) virtualization, including Extended Page Tables (EPT) and Unrestricted Mode. You can check to see if your machine has this support by running the following command in a terminal: sysctl kern.hv_support

If your Mac supports the Hypervisor framework, the command prints kern.hv_support: 1 .

macOS must be version 10.13 or newer. That is, Catalina, Mojave, or High Sierra. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of macOS.

If you experience any issues after upgrading your macOS to version 10.15, you must install the latest version of Docker Desktop to be compatible with this version of macOS.

Note: Docker supports Docker Desktop on the most recent versions of macOS. That is, the current release of macOS and the previous two releases. Docker Desktop currently supports macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, and macOS High Sierra.

As new major versions of macOS are made generally available, Docker stops supporting the oldest version and support the newest version of macOS (in addition to the previous two releases).

At least 4 GB of RAM.

VirtualBox prior to version 4.3.30 must not be installed as it is not compatible with Docker Desktop.

What’s included in the installer

The Docker Desktop installation includes Docker Engine, Docker CLI client, Docker Compose, Notary, Kubernetes, and Credential Helper.

Install and run Docker Desktop on Mac

Double-click Docker.dmg to open the installer, then drag the Docker icon to the Applications folder.

Double-click Docker.app in the Applications folder to start Docker. (In the example below, the Applications folder is in “grid” view mode.)

The Docker menu in the top status bar indicates that Docker Desktop is running, and accessible from a terminal.

If you’ve just installed the app, Docker Desktop launches the onboarding tutorial. The tutorial includes a simple exercise to build an example Docker image, run it as a container, push and save the image to Docker Hub.

Click the Docker menu () to see Preferences and other options.

Select About Docker to verify that you have the latest version.

Congratulations! You are now successfully running Docker Desktop.

If you would like to rerun the tutorial, go to the Docker Desktop menu and select Learn.

Uninstall Docker Desktop

To unistall Docker Desktop from your Mac:

  1. From the Docker menu, select Troubleshoot and then select Uninstall.
  2. Click Uninstall to confirm your selection.

Note: Uninstalling Docker Desktop will destroy Docker containers and images local to the machine and remove the files generated by the application.

Switch between Stable and Edge versions

Docker Desktop allows you to switch between Stable and Edge releases. However, you can only have one version of Docker Desktop installed at a time. Switching between Stable and Edge versions can destabilize your development environment, particularly in cases where you switch from a newer (Edge) channel to an older (Stable) channel.

For example, containers created with a newer Edge version of Docker Desktop may not work after you switch back to Stable because they may have been created using Edge features that aren’t in Stable yet. Keep this in mind as you create and work with Edge containers, perhaps in the spirit of a playground space where you are prepared to troubleshoot or start over.

Experimental features are turned on by default on Edge releases. However, when you switch from a Stable to an Edge release, you must turn on the experimental features flag to access experimental features. From the Docker Desktop menu, click Preferences > Command Line and then turn on the Enable experimental features toggle. Click Apply & Restart for the changes to take effect.

To safely switch between Edge and Stable versions, ensure you save images and export the containers you need, then uninstall the current version before installing another. For more information, see the section Save and Restore data below.

Save and restore data

You can use the following procedure to save and restore images and container data. For example, if you want to switch between Edge and Stable, or to reset your VM disk:

Use docker save -o images.tar image1 [image2 . ] to save any images you want to keep. See save in the Docker Engine command line reference.

Use docker export -o myContainner1.tar container1 to export containers you want to keep. See export in the Docker Engine command line reference.

Uninstall the current version of Docker Desktop and install a different version (Stable or Edge), or reset your VM disk.

Use docker load -i images.tar to reload previously saved images. See load in the Docker Engine.

Use docker import -i myContainer1.tar to create a filesystem image corresponding to the previously exported containers. See import in the Docker Engine.

For information on how to back up and restore data volumes, see Backup, restore, or migrate data volumes.


Docker Desktop for Mac user manual

Welcome to Docker Desktop! The Docker Desktop for Mac user manual provides information on how to configure and manage your Docker Desktop settings.

For information about Docker Desktop download, system requirements, and installation instructions, see Install Docker Desktop.

This page contains information about the Docker Desktop Stable release. For information about features available in Edge releases, see the Edge release notes.


The Docker Preferences menu allows you to configure your Docker settings such as installation, updates, version channels, Docker Hub login, and more.

Choose the Docker menu > Preferences from the menu bar and configure the runtime options described below.


On the General tab, you can configure when to start and update Docker:

Start Docker Desktop when you log in: Automatically starts Docker Desktop when you open your session.

Automatically check for updates: By default, Docker Desktop automatically checks for updates and notifies you when an update is available. You can manually check for updates anytime by choosing Check for Updates from the main Docker menu.

Include VM in Time Machine backups: Select this option to back up the Docker Desktop virtual machine. This option is disabled by default.

Securely store Docker logins in macOS keychain: Docker Desktop stores your Docker login credentials in macOS keychain by default.

Send usage statistics: Docker Desktop sends diagnostics, crash reports, and usage data. This information helps Docker improve and troubleshoot the application. Clear the check box to opt out.

Click Switch to the Edge version to learn more about Docker Desktop Edge releases.


The Resources tab allows you to configure CPU, memory, disk, proxies, network, and other resources.


On the Advanced tab, you can limit resources available to Docker.

Advanced settings are:

CPUs: By default, Docker Desktop is set to use half the number of processors available on the host machine. To increase processing power, set this to a higher number; to decrease, lower the number.

Memory: By default, Docker Desktop is set to use 2 GB runtime memory, allocated from the total available memory on your Mac. To increase the RAM, set this to a higher number. To decrease it, lower the number.

Swap: Configure swap file size as needed. The default is 1 GB.

Disk image size: Specify the size of the disk image.

Disk image location: Specify the location of the Linux volume where containers and images are stored.

You can also move the disk image to a different location. If you attempt to move a disk image to a location that already has one, you get a prompt asking if you want to use the existing image or replace it.

File sharing

Use File sharing to allow local directories on the Mac to be shared with Linux containers. This is especially useful for editing source code in an IDE on the host while running and testing the code in a container. By default the /Users , /Volume , /private , /tmp and /var/folders directory are shared. If your project is outside this directory then it must be added to the list. Otherwise you may get Mounts denied or cannot start service errors at runtime.

File share settings are:

Add a Directory: Click + and navigate to the directory you want to add.

Apply & Restart makes the directory available to containers using Docker’s bind mount ( -v ) feature.

There are some limitations on the directories that can be shared:

  • The directory must not exist inside of Docker.

For more information, see:


Docker Desktop detects HTTP/HTTPS Proxy Settings from macOS and automatically propagates these to Docker. For example, if you set your proxy settings to http://proxy.example.com , Docker uses this proxy when pulling containers.

Your proxy settings, however, will not be propagated into the containers you start. If you wish to set the proxy settings for your containers, you need to define environment variables for them, just like you would do on Linux, for example:

For more information on setting environment variables for running containers, see Set environment variables.


You can configure Docker Desktop networking to work on a virtual private network (VPN). Specify a network address translation (NAT) prefix and subnet mask to enable Internet connectivity.

Docker Engine

The Docker Engine page allows you to configure the Docker daemon to determine how your containers run.

Type a JSON configuration file in the box to configure the daemon settings. For a full list of options, see the Docker Engine dockerd commandline reference.

Click Apply & Restart to save your settings and restart Docker Desktop.

Command Line

On the Command Line page, you can specify whether or not to enable experimental features.

Experimental features provide early access to future product functionality. These features are intended for testing and feedback only as they may change between releases without warning or can be removed entirely from a future release. Experimental features must not be used in production environments. Docker does not offer support for experimental features.

To enable experimental features in the Docker CLI, edit the config.json file and set experimental to enabled.

To enable experimental features from the Docker Desktop menu, click Settings (Preferences on macOS) > Command Line and then turn on the Enable experimental features toggle. Click Apply & Restart.

For a list of current experimental features in the Docker CLI, see Docker CLI Experimental features.

On both Docker Desktop Edge and Stable releases, you can toggle the experimental features on and off. If you toggle the experimental features off, Docker Desktop uses the current generally available release of Docker Engine.

You can see whether you are running experimental mode at the command line. If Experimental is true , then Docker is running in experimental mode, as shown here. (If false , Experimental mode is off.)


Docker Desktop includes a standalone Kubernetes server that runs on your Mac, so that you can test deploying your Docker workloads on Kubernetes.

The Kubernetes client command, kubectl , is included and configured to connect to the local Kubernetes server. If you have kubectl already installed and pointing to some other environment, such as minikube or a GKE cluster, be sure to change context so that kubectl is pointing to docker-desktop :

If you installed kubectl with Homebrew, or by some other method, and experience conflicts, remove /usr/local/bin/kubectl .

To enable Kubernetes support and install a standalone instance of Kubernetes running as a Docker container, select Enable Kubernetes. To set Kubernetes as the default orchestrator, select Deploy Docker Stacks to Kubernetes by default.

Click Apply & Restart to save the settings. This instantiates images required to run the Kubernetes server as containers, and installs the /usr/local/bin/kubectl command on your Mac.

When Kubernetes is enabled and running, an additional status bar item displays at the bottom right of the Docker Desktop Settings dialog.

The status of Kubernetes shows in the Docker menu and the context points to docker-desktop .

By default, Kubernetes containers are hidden from commands like docker service ls , because managing them manually is not supported. To make them visible, select Show system containers (advanced) and click Apply and Restart. Most users do not need this option.

To disable Kubernetes support at any time, clear the Enable Kubernetes check box. The Kubernetes containers are stopped and removed, and the /usr/local/bin/kubectl command is removed.

For more about using the Kubernetes integration with Docker Desktop, see Deploy on Kubernetes.


On Docker Desktop Mac, the Restart Docker Desktop, Reset to factory defaults, and other reset options are available from the Troubleshoot menu.

For information about the reset options, see Logs and Troubleshooting.


The Docker Desktop Dashboard enables you to interact with containers and applications and manage the lifecycle of your applications directly from your machine. The Dashboard UI shows all running, stopped, and started containers with their state. It provides an intuitive interface to perform common actions to inspect and manage containers and existing Docker Compose applications. For more information, see Docker Desktop Dashboard.

Add TLS certificates

You can add trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) (used to verify registry server certificates) and client certificates (used to authenticate to registries) to your Docker daemon.

Add custom CA certificates (server side)

All trusted CAs (root or intermediate) are supported. Docker Desktop creates a certificate bundle of all user-trusted CAs based on the Mac Keychain, and appends it to Moby trusted certificates. So if an enterprise SSL certificate is trusted by the user on the host, it is trusted by Docker Desktop.

To manually add a custom, self-signed certificate, start by adding the certificate to the macOS keychain, which is picked up by Docker Desktop. Here is an example:

Or, if you prefer to add the certificate to your own local keychain only (rather than for all users), run this command instead:

Note: You need to restart Docker Desktop after making any changes to the keychain or to the

/.docker/certs.d directory in order for the changes to take effect.

For a complete explanation of how to do this, see the blog post Adding Self-signed Registry Certs to Docker & Docker Desktop for Mac.

Add client certificates

You can put your client certificates in

When the Docker Desktop application starts, it copies the

/.docker/certs.d folder on your Mac to the /etc/docker/certs.d directory on Moby (the Docker Desktop xhyve virtual machine).

You need to restart Docker Desktop after making any changes to the keychain or to the

/.docker/certs.d directory in order for the changes to take effect.

The registry cannot be listed as an insecure registry (see Docker Engine. Docker Desktop ignores certificates listed under insecure registries, and does not send client certificates. Commands like docker run that attempt to pull from the registry produce error messages on the command line, as well as on the registry.

Directory structures for certificates

If you have this directory structure, you do not need to manually add the CA certificate to your Mac OS system login:

The following further illustrates and explains a configuration with custom certificates:

You can also have this directory structure, as long as the CA certificate is also in your keychain.

To learn more about how to install a CA root certificate for the registry and how to set the client TLS certificate for verification, see Verify repository client with certificates in the Docker Engine topics.