Trying to setup docker from brew, however the engine does not seem to be included in any of the official formulas.

brew install docker-machine docker-compose

So these only installs the clients? Is there no keg with the engine/daemon?


The following steps work fine on macOS Sierra 10.12.4. Note that after brew installs Docker, the docker command (symbolic link) is not available at /usr/local/bin. Running the Docker app for the first time creates this symbolic link. See the detailed steps below.

  1. Install Docker.

    brew install --cask docker
  2. Launch Docker.

    • Press + Space to bring up Spotlight Search and enter Docker to launch Docker.
    • In the Docker needs privileged access dialog box, click OK.
    • Enter password and click OK.

    When Docker is launched in this manner, a Docker whale icon appears in the status menu. As soon as the whale icon appears, the symbolic links for docker, docker-compose, docker-credential-osxkeychain and docker-machine are created in /usr/local/bin.

    $ ls -l /usr/local/bin/docker*
    lrwxr-xr-x  1 susam  domain Users  67 Apr 12 14:14 /usr/local/bin/docker -> /Users/susam/Library/Group Containers/
    lrwxr-xr-x  1 susam  domain Users  75 Apr 12 14:14 /usr/local/bin/docker-compose -> /Users/susam/Library/Group Containers/
    lrwxr-xr-x  1 susam  domain Users  90 Apr 12 14:14 /usr/local/bin/docker-credential-osxkeychain -> /Users/susam/Library/Group Containers/
    lrwxr-xr-x  1 susam  domain Users  75 Apr 12 14:14 /usr/local/bin/docker-machine -> /Users/susam/Library/Group Containers/
  3. Click on the docker whale icon in the status menu and wait for it to show Docker is running.

    enter image description here
    enter image description here

  1. Test that docker works fine.

    $ docker run hello-world
    Unable to find image 'hello-world:latest' locally
    latest: Pulling from library/hello-world
    78445dd45222: Pull complete
    Digest: sha256:c5515758d4c5e1e838e9cd307f6c6a0d620b5e07e6f927b07d05f6d12a1ac8d7
    Status: Downloaded newer image for hello-world:latest
    Hello from Docker!
    This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.
    To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
     1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
     2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
     3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
        executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
     4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
        to your terminal.
    To try something more ambitious, you can run an Ubuntu container with:
     $ docker run -it ubuntu bash
    Share images, automate workflows, and more with a free Docker ID:
    For more examples and ideas, visit:
    $ docker version
     Version:      17.03.1-ce
     API version:  1.27
     Go version:   go1.7.5
     Git commit:   c6d412e
     Built:        Tue Mar 28 00:40:02 2017
     OS/Arch:      darwin/amd64
     Version:      17.03.1-ce
     API version:  1.27 (minimum version 1.12)
     Go version:   go1.7.5
     Git commit:   c6d412e
     Built:        Fri Mar 24 00:00:50 2017
     OS/Arch:      linux/amd64
     Experimental: true


Please try running

brew install docker

This will install the Docker engine, which will require Docker-Machine (+ VirtualBox) to run on the Mac.

If you want to install the newer Docker for Mac, which does not require virtualbox, you can install that through Homebrew’s Cask:

brew install --cask docker 
open /Applications/


To install Docker for Mac with homebrew:

brew install homebrew/cask/docker

To install the command line completion:

brew install bash-completion
brew install docker-completion
brew install docker-compose-completion
brew install docker-machine-completion


Docker desktop will not be installed if you run brew install docker. If you’ve already installed it this way, first uninstall with brew uninstall docker.

To install Docker Desktop, run:

brew install homebrew/cask/docker

Launch docker from your /Applications folder once and enter your password, then you can run commands like docker --version to verify the CLI is working.

For reinstall docker, you should run:

brew reinstall homebrew/cask/docker


Docker Desktop for Mac is not a suitable choice for enterprise docker users as it requires a paid license to use. Rancher Desktop is a viable open-source alternative for Docker Desktop for all three major OS.

Since this question is specifically targeted at Mac OS users, I have added the steps to make it work on Mac OS.

  1. First install Docker using homebrew.
    brew install docker

  2. Install Rancher Desktop.

  3. In Kubernates Settingschange container runtime to dockerd.