Container virtualization on ARM Macs: Docker Desktop now available


After a long beta phase, Docker is now in a first final version for new Macs with ARM-based Apple processors. Docker Desktop for Mac version 3.3.1 is available for download as a stand-alone version for Intel Macs and Macs with Apple chips.

A version of container virtualization that now also runs natively on M1 Macs gives developers more options for their local development environments and expands the development pipeline for ARM-based programs, as Docker announced.

There was great demand for a Docker version for Macs with Apple chips, says the manufacturer. No function on the public roadmap has received so much approval so far. Developers have been able to test the first versions of Docker on ARM Macs since December; there has been a lot of feedback and bug reports. So far, Apple has offered the MacBook Air, Mac mini and the MacBook Pro 13 “with their own M1 chips.

Docker allows the creation and operation of Linux containers. Also the new version of Docker Desktop for ARM-Macs supports multi-platform images, emphasized Docker, accordingly it is possible to work with images for ARM and x86 architectures. Docker currently requires the installation of Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation layer on ARM Macs, as Darwin / AMD64 binaries are still available. They want to fix that in a future release.

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

There are also images that lack the adaptation for ARM64, such as the mysql image, as Docker notes. You can run Intel images via emulation, but this could cause QEMU to crash on the M1 Macs and the container would then no longer be executed. Accordingly, it is recommended to use ARM64 containers in Docker on the new Macs, they are also faster and less memory-hungry. The tool works in containers ping not as expected, according to the developers, so one should open up curl or wget dodge.


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