Homebrew Docker Desktop


As part of my job at Workiva I work quite a bit with containers and I need to install Docker Desktop on my Mac running Big Sur. Instead of just downloading and installing the DMG from Docker, I instead wanted to install just the command line with Homebrew.

The first step, of course, is to install Homebrew. I won’t replicate those instructions here. Once you’ve done that and checked the installation, proceed with the following instructions.


Homebrew’s package index. Names: Docker Desktop, Docker Community Edition, Docker CE App to build and share containerized applications and microservices.

  • Apr 16, 2019 (update 2021–01–10)NOTE: Some kind reader reported me that this seems not working for Mac with Apple silicon M1. I am sorry but I am not going to inspect in a short period. For M1 user, please.
  • Sep 02, 2021 As announced on 31 August 2021, Docker Desktop will turn into Docker Personal and it will be only available freely for small businesses, personal use, education, and non-commercial open source.
  • Jul 19, 2017 Docker can probably be a good fit for your usecase. One of the pros of Docker is the ability to quickly set-up and tear-down. Here's an example: Because containers have their own filesystem that is isolated from your host, you can start up a mysql:5.6 container, perform whatever operations you need to do for your testing, and stop the container.

Install docker and docker-machine

Install the actual docker and docker-machine packages using Homebrew:

Install virtualbox

Docker will need a virtualization system for running containers, I use virtualbox. Install it using Homebrew:

You may need to provide your administrator password to complete the installation. In addition, you will also probably need to allow the virtualbox system extension permission to run. A popup will open the Security & Privacy tab in System Preferences. Authenticate if needed and allow the extension to run. A restart will be required to load the extension.

Configure docker and docker-machine

The next step is to configure docker-machine to use virtualbox as the default virtualization environment:

After a bunch of output, a default configuration environment will be available, and the docker daemon will be running with the default environment. You can list the default machine with the docker-machine ls command.

To configure the docker command which docker-machine instance to use, execute the following command in your terminal:

Homebrew Docker Desktop Software

Finally, test to make sure that everything is installed correctly by running the hello-world container. Docker will download the container from Docker Hub and you should see output from the container:

Homebrew docker desktop version

Homebrew Docker Desktop Windows 10

Starting and stopping the docker-machine

I prefer to control when the docker-machine is running. Use the following commands to start and stop the background docker daemon:

Shell aliases

I have a few aliases defined in my .zshrc to help control docker-machine and configure docker:

Homebrew Docker Desktop For Mac

It’s always best to reconfigure docker after starting the machine in case new IP addresses have been allocated. Also, I prefer up and down instead of start and stop for some odd reason.

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