Notes to Self

Alex Sokolsky's Notes on Computers and Programming

Colima - Docker Desktop Alternative

Colima stands for Containers in Lima, which, in turn, stands for Linux on Mac. Hence Containers in Linux on Mac. Colima replaces Docker Engine. Once Colima is installed and configured, you can interact with it using a regular docker client.



If you need a GUI - look at Podman Desktop


brew install colima


brew install docker docker-compose

Do NOT install docker via brew with the --cask switch. That will install Docker Desktop instead of CLI.


colima start --cpu 4 --memory 8

If an app reports Cannot connect to the Docker daemon at unix:///var/run/docker.sock. Is the docker daemon running? to resolve:

export DOCKER_HOST=unix://$HOME/.colima/docker.sock

Troubleshooting the Colima VM

Under the hood, Colima runs an Ubuntu VM which may need to be recycled.

Update and Reboot the Colima VM

$ colima ssh
user@colima:~$ sudo apt update -y && sudo apt upgrade -y
user@colima:~$ reboot

Reset the Colima VM

A more brute-force approach is to delete the VM and provision a new one.

First look at the VM state and how many resources are allocated

$ colima ls
$ colima delete -f
$ colima start -v --cpu 4 --memory 8

Note the -v switch which will produce additional output that can be helpful.