Run Docker with Colima in Macbook M1

1 minute read

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Foto de Kyle Petzer en Unsplash

As Docker Desktop is no longer free of license there’s as an alternative that is to use Colima which allows to run containers on macOS (and Linux).

Steps to install and use the VM

Install colima

The first step is to install Colima, which can be done effortlessly using Homebrew:

brew install colima

Run the VM

Once Colima is installed, initiate the virtual machine with the desired specifications:

colima start --cpu 4 --memory 8 --disk 60 docker


To ensure that Docker commands interact with Colima, you’ll need to configure the DOCKER_HOST environment variable. If you don’t already have a .zshenv file, create one:

  • create a .zshenv if not exist
touch .zshenv

  • open the .zshenv and add
export DOCKER_HOST=unix://$HOME/.colima/docker/docker.sock`

Expose VM as default Docker socket

Instead of setting the DOCKER_HOST variable environment you could alternatively create a symlink from the default Docker socket and your colima Docker socket

sudo ln -sfn /Users/$USER/.colima/docker/docker.sock /var/run/docker.sock

In the former example would be **docker** as defined when running the VM

When issuing the command ln -sfn <target> <source> you can identify your specific target and source, running

docker context ls

To stop the Colima virtual machine, use the following command:

colima stop

If you wish to delete a specific Colima profile, execute:

colima delete <profile_to_delete>

And to list the available profiles you can run the following command.

colima ls 


In this post we have seen how to run Docker with Colima in Macbook M1. Are you using any other alternative? I read you in the comments below.

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