How to Set Up Docker for Mac


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I have a lot of software, and Docker is the way to run all of it. But using Docker can be confusing at first. This article walks you through everything from downloading and installing Docker for Mac, setting up your first project with an example Python script running on Linux machine as well as how to set up Docker Compose so that multiple projects are easier to manage.

Docker is a software containerization platform that allows users to run containers on their Mac. It has many benefits, such as easy deployment and portability. The “download docker for mac” can be used to download the latest version of Docker for Mac OS X.

How to Set Up Docker for Mac

Docker can be installed and operated on all major operating systems; if you have a Mac and aren’t sure where to start, our Docker for Mac guide will help you out. You’ll learn how to install and configure Docker on Mac.

This article will walk you through every step of the installation process and have you up and running with Docker containers on your Mac in no time.


This will be an interactive presentation. If you want to follow along, make sure you have these items:

  • macOS 10.14 or later is required. MacOS Big Sur, version 11.5.1, will be used in this lesson.

Using Homebrew to install Docker Engine

Although you can install Docker in a variety of methods, the Homebrew package manager is perhaps the most convenient on macOS. Make sure you have Homebrew installed before you begin.

There are two methods to install Docker on macOS using the Homebrew package manager. You may either install Docker Desktop or merely the Docker engine. Let’s start with the Docker Engine installation.

Install the Docker Engine as follows:

1. Run the following command in the macOS terminal. This command instructs Homebrew to get and install the docker package. Homebrew will discover the most recent version for you.

brew install docker #Install Docker Engine

How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacUsing Brew to install the Docker Package

2. Download and install the virtualbox and docker-machine packages. On macOS, Docker needs both of these to function properly.

#Install Docker Machine docker-machine brew install

1647494845_158_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacUsing Brew to install the Docker Machine package

#Install VirualBox using brew install virtualbox —cask

Note the —cask option on the VirtualBox install line. Homebrew uses the —cask option to install graphical interface programs. The —cask option must be provided in the command since VirtualBox is a graphical interface program.

1647494846_704_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacBrew installs the VirtualBox package.

3. You’ll probably get a warning after installing VirtualBox that macOS has prevented the installation. Click Open Security Preferences to authorize the installation.

1647494847_53_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacChoosing Security Preferences

4. Select the Details option, select the Oracle America, Inc box, and then click OK. VirtualBox belongs to Oracle.

1647494848_671_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacViewing particular application developer information

1647494848_37_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-Macallowing the developer from Oracle America, Inc. to load

Use Docker Stop Containers Without Breaking Anything!

Using Homebrew to install Docker Desktop

Docker Desktop is your buddy if you prefer a graphical interface to Docker. Docker Desktop may be installed if Docker Engine has not yet been installed.

Docker Engine cannot be installed with Docker Desktop. As previously stated, the Docker engine needs VirtualBox, which may clash with Docker Desktop. VirtualBox versions previous to 4.3.30 are incompatible with Docker Desktop.

To install Docker Desktop, do the following in the terminal:

  1. Execute the command shown below. Note that installing graphical interface programs with Homebrew requires the —cask option.

brew install —cask docker #Install Docker Desktop

1647494849_475_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacBrew to install Docker Desktop

2. Run the following command in your terminal when Homebrew has finished installing Docker.

#Start Docker Desktop and go to /Applications/

3. To launch Docker Desktop, click the Open button. When you initially start Docker Desktop, you’ll receive this question.

1647494850_569_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacStart the Docker program.

4. When requested, accept privileged access (sudo access) to enable Docker Desktop to set up internal networking for the containers to communicate with one another. By selecting OK, the Docker helper tool, which coordinates numerous Docker actions for the Docker Engine, will be installed.

1647494851_607_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-Macgranting Docker Desktop access

1647494852_203_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacThe administrator password must be entered.

Using a Disk Image to Install Docker Desktop on Mac

This guide is for you if you choose to install Docker on macOS using a disk image (DMG file). Depending on the kind of processor you have, installing Docker through a disk image is a bit different (Intel or Apple). When appropriate, the tutorial will issue a callout to distinguish.

Running the About This Mac utility will reveal the processor.

Open a terminal and let’s get started installing Docker Desktop from a disk image.

1. Rosetta is exclusively for Apple CPUs. Rosetta is a program that mimics some Intel processor features, allowing apps designed for Intel processors (such as Docker) to function on Macs using Apple CPUs.

—install-rosetta #Install Rosetta 2 softwareupdate

2. Go to the Docker Desktop for Mac installation page in your web browser. Select the button that corresponds to your Mac’s processor type.

1647494853_898_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacDocker Desktop for Mac Download

3. To launch the Docker Desktop installation, double-click the disk image file once it has been downloaded. The Docker Desktop program and the Applications folder on your Mac will appear in a menu screen. To finish the installation, click and drag the Docker Desktop icon into the Applications folder. is added to the Applications folder.

4. Start the Docker program. The security prompts will be the same as in stages three and four of the preceding section. You’re done after clicking through those screens!

Docker for Mac Configuration

Now that Docker has been successfully installed on your Mac, it’s time to set up some basic Docker Desktop configurations. All Docker containers and apps running in your Docker instance are managed using the Docker Desktop Dashboard.

To go to the Preferences page, open Docker Desktop and select the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Dashboard.

1647494854_893_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacDocker Desktop for Mac’s Settings dialog opens.

You’ll find numerous sections on the Preferences page with elements to tweak Docker’s behavior. Following are some significant settings.

System Requirements

Select ADVANCED from the Resources menu header. The Advanced section covers the setup for Docker Desktop’s hardware resources.

You may alter the hardware resources accessible to Docker Desktop using the sliders.

  • CPUs – The number of processors that Docker Desktop has access to. The default setting on your Mac is half of the maximum number. This value should be increased to improve container and application performance.
  • RAM – The amount of memory Docker Desktop has available. This value is set to 2 GB by default.
  • Swap — The size of the Docker Desktop swap file. The default is 1 GB, although this may be changed depending on container and application needs.
  • Disk Image Size – The amount of local disk space Docker Desktop has.
  • Disk Image Location — The Docker Desktop disk image’s file system location.

1647494855_638_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacDocker Desktop Resource Adjustment

Sharing of files

Select Sharing of files under the Resources —> ADVANCED menu heading. The locations listed are the folders shared between the local file system on your Mac and any running Docker containers and applications.

How to Copy Files to Your Docker Container Using Docker cp

To add a place, click here.

1. Click the plus icon in the bottom right of the Sharing of files screen.

1647494856_350_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacAdjusting Sharing of files for Docker Desktop

2. Click Open and choose the folder you want to share with Docker Desktop.

1647494857_196_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacAdding a shared folder

3. Click the Apply & Restart button to apply the changes.

1647494858_847_How-to-Set-Up-Docker-for-MacRestarting Docker Desktop after making the modifications

It’s worth noting that sharing too many folders with Docker will slow down your system.


Installing Docker on your Mac is the first step toward understanding the container architecture concept. Docker for Mac will allow you to explore and test running Docker containers and apps.

In your new Docker Mac environment, what containers will you install?

The “brew install docker” is a command-line tool that allows users to download and install the Docker application on their Mac.

Related Tags

  • docker hub
  • install docker on mac
  • docker desktop for mac
  • uninstall docker mac
  • install docker on mac terminal

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