Docker Releases First Version of Container Platform for Apple M1 Machines

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The Docker container platform now runs natively on Apple’s new M1 hardware, with its Arm architecture. The software had to be rewritten for that platform; it was Docker’s most requested new feature ever.

Docker was already working on Apple M1 hardware using Rosetta, the compatibility layer in macOS that translates between different instruction sets. However, that translation costs extra computing power, making it not a suitable permanent solution. That is why the Docker company worked on a native version of Docker, which after several release candidates now receives a general availability release. It writes that in a blog post.

Docker does not yet run flawlessly on M1 hardware. Rosetta 2 is still required because some binaries have not yet been converted from the Darwin/AMD64 instruction set they came from. In addition, the makers of Docker containers themselves must also provide compatibility for Arm64, which is not always the case yet. A prominent example of this is mysql; that still doesn’t work without emulating amd64 anyway. Docker proposes mariadb as an interim alternative.

The makers expect that the shortcomings of Docker itself and the containers will be eliminated in the future. That and more notes are in the release notes.

Docker is a kind of virtualization program, but with a minimalistic approach. A Docker image is a bundle of an application and all necessary libraries and dependencies, but not an operating system around it. The result is, among other things, less intensive use of disk space and computing power. Docker is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

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