First Impresseions of Docker for Mac Beta

While this isn’t exactly fresh news anymore, I believe this tool is awesome enough that we should dig into it. Note, that the Docker for Mac Beta is still closed however, they seem to be rolling it out fairly quickly. If you haven’t done so yet, you can sign up here:

Why is it awesome?

There are a couple of reasons:

  1. First and foremost there is no longer a VM in the way of interacting with the Docker Daemon. Well…that isn’t quite true as the Docker Daemon is running within a very thin Alpine Linux VM via an xyhve hypervisor. However, it is very transparent and so far in terms of file mount speed and general usability, boot2docker / vagrant based solutions are dead to me.
  2. It really is a native Mac OSX application. As you will see below it is very easy to download and install the .dmg and it has no external dependencies that are required. Oh….and it has automatic updates baked right into it. 
  3. It only takes few minutes to have Docker for Mac beta app downloaded and installed and it just fits right into the development workflow. 

Download and Install “Docker for Mac” 

When you’re selected for the beta you will receive an email that includes a link to the download page and a key that will allow you to activate your beta. Once you have it download you can drag the Docker for Mac beta into your applications folder.

Now that you have installed the “Docker beta” app you can start it up. Upon first usage you will be prompted to enter your invite token. This is part of the welcome email you would have received. 
There are a few other prompts but I won’t bore you with minor details. In very short order you will have Docker up and running!

Using “Docker for Mac” the first time

To use Docker open up the terminal app and let’s check that docker is running with a version check and just to make sure I’m not tricking you let’s prove that it isn’t a docker-machine backed VM that is exposing the Docker Daemon:

Making configuration changes 

There is a handy settings option that is available from the application which allows some basic tweaking to allotted cpu / memory.
There is also a very nice CLI that allows you to interact with the Docker app. These are exposed by the “pinata” command.

I would imagine over time more of these configuration options will make it into the app settings page, but for now we can easily make changes via the command line.