This an unofficial docker helper made to simplify docker usage on OSX.

What is docker-osx

Docker on OS X in three steps:

  1. Install VirtualBox and Vagrant.

  2. Put the docker-osx script somewhere on your path:

    curl > /usr/local/bin/docker-osx
    chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-osx
  3. Run:

    docker-osx shell
    docker version

This script acts as both an installer and as Virtual machine manager. On first run, it installs an OS X binary of the Docker client and starts a virtual machine with the Docker daemon running. It then sets up the shell environment so the Docker client knows to talk to the Docker daemon on the virtual machine.

The virtual machine that Docker runs on is given the hostname localdocker. For example, if you run docker run -p 8000:8000 ..., then that will be available at localdocker:8000 from OS X.

Additional commands

docker-osx provide additional commands as shortcuts for controlling the Vagrant VM:

docker-osx start

Start the local Virtual Machine

docker-osx ssh

Open a console on the Vagrant virtual machine.

docker-osx destroy

Destroy the local Virtual Machine

docker-osx halt

Stop the Vagrant VM. You'll probably want to do this after you've finished working with Docker project to save RAM.

docker-osx shell

Start the virtual machine and open a shell with DOCKER_HOST environment variable configured.

Override defaults

The docker-osx script has several options that can be overridden by adding a new file $HOME/.docker-osx/defaults. When docker-osx starts the VM, it will source this file.

When modifying the defaults for docker-osx, currently, it is best to destroy any already-created VM and configure a new one with the changes.

An example defaults file follows:

# $HOME/.docker-osx/defaults


The installed location of the docker client.

Default: /usr/local/bin/docker


The IP that the docker host will be mapped to on your machine.



The domain name added to /etc/hosts, pointing at the DOCKER_IP.

Default: localdocker


The port that docker will be listening on.

Default: 4243


The version of docker that will be installed when provisioning the vagrant vm.

Default: 0.7.6


The URL used to download the docker client.



The URL used to download the vagrant box.




boot2docker provide an init script with most of docker-osx features and a dynamic team:


Copyright 2013 Julien Duponchelle

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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