Run x86/amd64 based images on Apple M1/M2 Macs

Ravi Yasakeerthi
2 min readSep 12, 2023

Recently, I have been involved in migrating one of our CI pipelines from Jenkins to some other Tool. During the process, I had to debug an integration test that involved running multiple container images using docker-compose.

Ideally, to debug this test locally, I would need to run the docker-compose on my local machine. However, since I’m using an Apple M1, some of the images are not working/supported as expected. For example, Oracle XE images cannot run on the new Apple M chips via Docker Desktop.

As a workaround, we can use colima (containers on lima)

You can install it via brew

brew install colima

To start it

colima start --cpu 2 --memory 4 --disk 50 --arch x86_64

Now, your docker runtime is ready to run any x86_64 container images on your Mac M1/M2.

To set your default preferences, you can edit the config file using the following command.

colima start --edit

Known issue on M2 (Ventura)

Downgrading qemu from 8.1.0 to 8.0.4 works for me.

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