Install Docker Desktop on Mac

This page contains information about system requirements, download URLs, and instructions on how to install Docker Desktop for Mac.

Docker Desktop for Mac with Intel chip Docker Desktop for Mac with Apple silicon

For checksums, see Release notes.

Docker Desktop terms

Commercial use of Docker Desktop in larger enterprises (more than 250 employees OR more than $10 million USD in annual revenue) requires a paid subscription.

System requirements

Your Mac must meet the following requirements to install Docker Desktop successfully.

Mac with Intel chip

  • macOS must be version 11 or newer. That is Big Sur (11), Monterey (12), or Ventura (13). We recommend upgrading to the latest version of macOS.


    Docker supports Docker Desktop on the most recent versions of macOS. That is, the current release of macOS and the previous two releases. As new major versions of macOS are made generally available, Docker stops supporting the oldest version and supports the newest version of macOS (in addition to the previous two releases).

  • At least 4 GB of RAM.

  • VirtualBox prior to version 4.3.30 must not be installed as it is not compatible with Docker Desktop.

Mac with Apple silicon

  • Beginning with Docker Desktop 4.3.0, we have removed the hard requirement to install Rosetta 2. There are a few optional command line tools that still require Rosetta 2 when using Darwin/AMD64. See the Known issues section. However, to get the best experience, we recommend that you install Rosetta 2. To install Rosetta 2 manually from the command line, run the following command:

    $ softwareupdate --install-rosetta

For more information, see Docker Desktop for Apple silicon.

Install and run Docker Desktop on Mac

Install interactively

  1. Double-click Docker.dmg to open the installer, then drag the Docker icon to the Applications folder.

  2. Double-click in the Applications folder to start Docker.

  3. The Docker menu (whale menu) displays the Docker Subscription Service Agreement window.

    Here’s a summary of the key points:

    • Docker Desktop is free for small businesses (fewer than 250 employees AND less than $10 million in annual revenue), personal use, education, and non-commercial open source projects.
    • Otherwise, it requires a paid subscription for professional use.
    • Paid subscriptions are also required for government entities.
    • The Docker Pro, Team, and Business subscriptions include commercial use of Docker Desktop.
  4. Select Accept to continue. Docker Desktop starts after you accept the terms.

    Note that Docker Desktop will not run if you do not agree to the terms. You can choose to accept the terms at a later date by opening Docker Desktop.

    For more information, see Docker Desktop Subscription Service Agreement. We recommend that you also read the FAQs.

Install from the command line

After downloading Docker.dmg, run the following commands in a terminal to install Docker Desktop in the Applications folder:

$ sudo hdiutil attach Docker.dmg
$ sudo /Volumes/Docker/
$ sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/Docker

As macOS typically performs security checks the first time an application is used, the install command can take several minutes to run.

The install command accepts the following flags:

  • --accept-license: accepts the Docker Subscription Service Agreement now, rather than requiring it to be accepted when the application is first run
  • --allowed-org=<org name>: requires the user to sign in and be part of the specified Docker Hub organization when running the application
  • --user=<username>: Performs the privileged configurations once during installation. This removes the need for the user to grant root privileges on first run. For more information, see Privileged helper permission requirements. To find the username, enter ls /Users in the CLI.
  • --admin-settings: Automatically creates an admin-settings.json file which is used by admins to control certain Docker Desktop settings on client machines within their organization. For more information, see Settings Management.
    • It must be used together with the --allowed-org=<org name> flag.
    • For example: --allowed-org=<org name> --admin-settings='{"configurationFileVersion": 2, "enhancedContainerIsolation": {"value": true, "locked": false}}'

Runtime permission requirements

For some functions, Docker Desktop may require elevated privileges. The user is informed and prompted for authorization whenever such configuration must be performed. Docker Desktop permission requirements provides details on each configuration and use case.

Where to go next