Build the extensions for multiple architectures

It is highly recommended that, at a minimum, your extension is supported for the following architectures:

  • linux/amd64
  • linux/arm64

Docker Desktop retrieves the extension image according to the user’s system architecture. If the extension does not provide an image that matches the user’s system architecture, Docker Desktop is not able to install the extension. As a result, users can’t run the extension in Docker Desktop.

Build and push for multiple architectures

If you created an extension from the docker extension init command, the Makefile at the root of the directory includes a target with name push-extension.

You can do make push-extension to build your extension against both linux/amd64 and linux/arm64 platforms, and push them to DockerHub.

For example:

$ make push-extension

Alternatively, if you started from an empty directory, use the command below to build your extension for multiple architectures:

$ docker buildx build --push --platform=linux/amd64,linux/arm64 --tag=username/my-extension:0.0.1 .

You can then check the image manifest to see if the image is available for both architectures using the docker buildx imagetools command:

$ docker buildx imagetools inspect username/my-extension:0.0.1
MediaType: application/vnd.docker.distribution.manifest.list.v2+json
Digest:    sha256:f3b552e65508d9203b46db507bb121f1b644e53a22f851185d8e53d873417c48

  MediaType: application/vnd.docker.distribution.manifest.v2+json
  Platform:  linux/amd64

  MediaType: application/vnd.docker.distribution.manifest.v2+json
  Platform:  linux/arm64


For more information, see Multi-platform images page.

Adding multi-arch binaries

If your extension includes some binaries that deploy to the host, it’s important that they also have the right architecture when building the extension against multiple architectures.

Currently, Docker does not provide a way to explicitly specify multiple binaries for every architecture in the metadata.json file. However, you can add architecture-specific binaries depending on the TARGETARCH in the extension’s Dockerfile.

The example below shows an extension that uses a binary as part of its operations. The extension needs to run both in Docker Desktop for Mac and Windows.

In the Dockerfile, we download the binary depending on the target architecture:


FROM alpine AS dl
RUN apk add --no-cache curl tar
RUN <<EOT ash
    mkdir -p /out/darwin
    curl -fSsLo /out/darwin/kubectl "$(curl -Ls${TARGETARCH}/kubectl"
    chmod a+x /out/darwin/kubectl
RUN <<EOT ash
    if [ "amd64" = "$TARGETARCH" ]; then
        mkdir -p /out/windows
        curl -fSsLo /out/windows/kubectl.exe "$(curl -Ls"

FROM alpine
LABEL org.opencontainers.image.title="example-extension" \
    org.opencontainers.image.description="My Example Extension" \
    org.opencontainers.image.vendor="Docker Inc." \
    com.docker.desktop.extension.api.version=">= 0.1.0"

COPY --from=dl /out /

In the metadata.json file, we specify the path for every binary on every platform:

  "icon": "docker.svg",
  "ui": {
    "dashboard-tab": {
      "title": "Example Extension",
      "src": "index.html",
      "root": "ui"
  "host": {
    "binaries": [
        "darwin": [
            "path": "/darwin/kubectl"
        "windows": [
            "path": "/windows/kubectl.exe"

As a result, when TARGETARCH equals:

  • arm64, the kubectl binary fetched corresponds to the arm64 architecture, and is copied to /darwin/kubectl in the final stage.
  • amd64, two kubectl binaries are fetched. One for Darwin and another for Windows. They are copied to /darwin/kubectl and /windows/kubectl.exe respectively, in the final stage.


The binary destination path for darwin is darwin/kubectl in both cases. The only change is the architecture-specific binary that is downloaded.

When the extension is installed, the extension framework copies the binaries from the extension image at /darwin/kubectl for Darwin, or /windows/kubectl.exe for Windows, to a specific location in the user’s host filesystem.


Can I develop extensions that run Windows containers?

Although Docker Extensions is supported on Docker Desktop for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the extension framework only supports linux containers. Therefore, you must target linux as the OS when you build your extension image.