Docker for MacOS with Homebrew

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f61a34325b8> #<Tag:0x00007f61a3432360>

(Paul Price) #1

I haven’t updated the stack build on my Mac for quite some time, as it takes a while. However, I’ve been wanting more recent images for developing on master, and I’d like to be able to stay up to date with the stack without much effort, so when @mwv mentioned some Docker problems in Slack, it triggered an interest in getting that working on my Mac.

I use Homebrew on my Mac, and prefer to use that instead of downloading images from various vendors. So here’s how I installed Docker using Homebrew and used it to run the latest version of the LSST stack:

brew install docker
brew install docker-machine
brew services start docker-machine
brew install virtualbox  # Requires SystemPreferences intervention
docker-machine create default --virtualbox-cpu-count 6 --virtualbox-memory 8192

# Create "docker" group and put me in it
sudo dseditgroup -o create docker
sudo dseditgroup -o edit -a price -t user docker

# Run this to set environment before running docker
eval $(docker-machine env default)


  • The brew install virtualbox command requires intervention in the “System Preferences” --> “Security & Privacy”: you need to give permission for the installation.
  • The eval $(docker-machine env default) line needs to be run before you use docker run; you may want to put it in your ~/.bashrc.

Once Docker’s installed and set up, you can follow the instructions for using the LSST stack images, e.g.:

docker run -ti -v ~/LSST:/home/lsst/LSST lsstsqre/centos:7-stack-lsst_distrib-w_2018_10

(K-T Lim) #2

An alternative that does require downloading an image from the vendor but does not require brew is to use Docker Community Edition, a single-DMG app install of docker, docker-machine, a menubar widget, etc.

(Michael Wood-Vasey) #3

@price Thanks for posting the clear instructions for going the homebrew route instead of the Docker application DMG image route. Nice to have documentation of different options.

(Paul Price) #4

I’ve put the following in my ~/.bashrc and found them helpful:

lsst_latest_weekly () {
    date +'w_%Y_%U'

eval "$(docker-machine env default)"

lsstDocker () {
    docker run -ti -v ~/docker:/home/lsst -v ~/LSST:/home/lsst/LSST lsstsqre/centos:7-stack-lsst_distrib-$(lsst_latest_weekly)

The result is that when I run lsstDocker, I get the latest weekly LSST-DM Docker, with a persistent home dir and my laptop’s LSST product repos.

(Paul Price) #5

Craig Loomis tells me that there’s no need to use a VirtualBox on OSX, but there’s an alternate method.

Without having installed docker, docker-machine or virtualbox (if you did install them, then brew uninstall them), you can do:

brew cask install docker

and it will install “Docker for Mac” in your Applications. Start that up, and then you can use Docker without the constraints of a Virtualbox. (And you can still manage it through brew.)

(Paul Price) #6

To get x11 (e.g., for ds9) working, found this useful page. A summary:

  • XQuartz -> Preferences -> Security -> enable “Allow connections from network clients”
  • Quit XQuartz and restart
  • In a terminal, run: xhost +
  • Add to your docker run command-line -e DISPLAY=docker.for.mac.localhost:0.

To use ds9, you’ll also have to download the CentOS 7 binary (put it in a mapped volume), and you’ll need to install the libXft package: docker exec -ti --user=root <CONTAINER_HASH> yum install libXft -y.