Getting Started with Colima
April 12, 2023
Colima is a new container platform that aims to simplify the container experience for developers. Built on top of Docker Compose, Colima is designed to be a lightweight and user-friendly alternative to Docker. In this article, we will walk through how to get started with Colima on macOS and Linux.
Before we start, make sure that you have the following:
- A macOS or Linux machine
- Homebrew (for macOS) or APT package manager (for Linux)
- Basic knowledge of Docker and Docker Compose
Step 1: Install Colima
To install Colima on macOS, run the following command in your terminal:
brew install colima
For Linux, run the following commands:
echo "deb [trusted=yes] https://apt.fury.io/colima/ /" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/colima.listsudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get install colima
Step 2: Initialize Colima
Once Colima is installed, you need to initialize it. To do this, run the following command in your terminal:
This will create a new directory called
.colima in your home directory, which contains the configuration files and other settings for Colima.
Step 3: Start Colima
To start Colima, run the following command in your terminal:
This will start the Colima daemon, which runs in the background and manages your containers.
Step 4: Test Colima
To test that Colima is working correctly, run the following command:
colima run hello-world
This will pull the official
hello-world Docker image and run it inside a Colima container.
Step 5: Run Docker Compose with Colima
Since Colima is built on top of Docker Compose, you can use Docker Compose to manage your containers with Colima. To do this, create a new
docker-compose.yml file in your project directory and add your container configuration. For example:
version: '3'services:web:image: nginxports:- "8080:80"
Then, run the following command to start the containers:
colima compose up
This will start the containers defined in your
docker-compose.yml file, using Colima as the container platform.
When Colima is initially started, it uses a user-specified runtime, which defaults to Docker. However, Colima also supports Containerd and Kubernetes as alternative runtimes.
To use Docker as a runtime, the Docker client must be installed. On macOS, the client can be installed using the following command:
brew install docker
After starting Colima, the Docker client can be used with no additional setup.
To use Containerd as a runtime, start Colima with the
--runtime containerd flag. This will initiate and set up Containerd. You can then use
colima nerdctl to interact with Containerd using
It is recommended to run
colima nerdctl install to install the
nerdctl alias script in
To use Kubernetes as a runtime,
kubectl must be installed. On macOS,
kubectl can be installed using the following command:
brew install kubectl
To enable Kubernetes, start Colima with the
colima start --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 either by passing additional flags to colima start. e.g. --cpu, --memory, --disk, --runtime. Or by editing the config file with colima start --edit.
- create VM with 2CPU, 4GiB memory and 10GiB storage.
colima start --cpu 2 --memory 4 --disk 10
- modify an existing VM to 4CPUs and 8GiB memory.
colima stopcolima start --cpu 4 --memory 8
- create VM with Rosetta 2 emulation. Requires v0.5.3 and MacOS >= 13 (Ventura)
colima start --arch aarch64 --vm-type=vz --vz-rosetta
Colima is a promising alternative to Docker for macOS and Linux users who want a lightweight and easy-to-use container platform. With its simplified user interface and compatibility with Docker Compose, Colima provides developers with a familiar development experience while also providing the benefits of a simplified user interface. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can quickly get started with Colima and start managing your containers with ease.