How to switch from Docker Desktop to Colima for local development

blue and red cargo ship on sea during daytime

What is Colima?

Per the official documentation:

  • “Colima means Containers in Lima.”1
  • “Colima is basically a higher level usage of Lima and utilizes Lima to provide Docker, Containerd and/or Kubernetes.”2
  • “Since Lima is aka Linux on Mac. By transitivity, Colima can also mean Containers on Linux on Mac.”3

Per ChatGPT:

“It is a platform for managing and deploying Docker containers, which provides features such as orchestration, scaling, and automation.”

Why switch to Colima?

I found this blog post from the DDEV maintainer, Randy Fay, where we can see that the performance gains of Colima over the Docker Desktop alternative are significant. Colima is an open-source tool.

The recipe

Take a database backup, of your sites, so you can reimport them later.

Uninstall Docker Desktop following the steps at

In the terminal, we will need to run the following commands:

brew install docker #This is needed only if docker is not already installed.

brew install colima

colima start --cpu 4 --memory 6 --disk 100


I have been using Colima for more than a week now, and working on web projects feels faster than when I used the docker desktop alternative. I have not had any issues so far, so I think that I will make Colima one of my favorite docker add-ons from now.

If you are wondering how it can be used with real PHP projects, I recommend looking at this post where I explain how to use DDEV for setting up WordPress and Drupal projects locally.