Container runtimes on macOS (and Linux) with minimal setup.
- Intel and M1 Macs support
- Simple CLI interface
- Docker and Containerd support
- Port Forwarding
- Volume mounts
Colima is available on Homebrew and Nix. Check here for other installation options.
# Homebrew brew install colima # Nix nix-env -i colima
Or stay on the bleeding edge (only Homebrew)
brew install --HEAD colima
If upgrading from v0.2.2 or lower, it is required to start afresh by deleting existing instance.
colima delete # delete existing instance colima start
Start Colima with defaults
For more usage options
colima --help colima start --help
On initial startup, Colima initiates with a user specified runtime that defaults to Docker.
Docker client is required for Docker runtime. Installable with brew
brew install docker.
You can use the
docker client on macOS after
colima start with no additional setup.
colima start --runtime containerd starts and setup Containerd. You can use
colima nerdctl to interact with
Containerd using nerdctl.
It is recommended to run
colima nerdctl install to install
nerdctl alias script in $PATH.
kubectl is required for Kubernetes. Installable with
brew install kubectl.
To enable Kubernetes, start Colima with
colima start --with-kubernetes
Interacting with Image Registry
For Docker runtime, images built or pulled with Docker are accessible to Kubernetes.
For Containerd runtime, images built or pulled in the
k8s.io namespace are accessible to Kubernetes.
Customizing the VM
The default VM created by Colima has 2 CPUs, 2GiB memory and 60GiB storage.
The VM can be customized by passing
colima start. If VM is already created, stop
the VM and apply the flags when starting it.
NOTE that only cpu and memory can be changed at anytime. Disk size cannot be changed after the VM is created.
create VM with 1CPU, 2GiB memory and 10GiB storage.
colima start --cpu 1 --memory 2 --disk 10
modify an existing VM to 4CPUs and 8GiB memory.
colima stop colima start --cpu 4 --memory 8
To provide container runtimes on macOS with minimal setup.
What is with the name?
Colima means Containers in Lima.
Since Lima is aka Linux on Mac. By transitivity, Colima can also mean Containers on Linux on Mac.
Can it run alongside Docker for Mac?
No, except when started with Containerd runtime. Colima assumes to be the default Docker context and will conflict with
Docker for Mac. You should run either, not both.
Yes, from version v0.3.0, Colima can run alongside Docker for Mac.
How to customize Docker config e.g. add insecure registries?
On first startup, Colima generates Docker daemon.json file at
Simply modify the daemon.json file accordingly and restart Colima.
How does it compare to minikube, Kind, K3d?
Yes, you can create a Kubernetes cluster with minikube (with Docker driver), Kind or K3d instead of enabling Kubernetes in Colima. Those are better options if you need multiple clusters, or do not need Docker and Kubernetes to share the same images and runtime.
Minikube with Docker runtime can expose the cluster's Docker with
minikube docker-env. But there are some caveats.
Kubernetes is not optional, even if you only need Docker.
All of minikube's free drivers for macOS fall-short in one of performance, port forwarding or volumes. While port-forwarding and volumes are non-issue for Kubernetes, they can be a deal breaker for Docker-only use.
Are M1 macs supported?
Colima supports and works on M1 macs but not rigorously tested as the author do not currently possess an M1 device. Feedbacks would be appreciated.
- Testing on M1 Macs
Sponsoring the Project
If you (or your company) are benefiting from the project and would like to support the contributors, kindly support the project on Patreon.