How to Replace Docker Desktop with Ubuntu Multipass

5 min readSep 4

When Docker decided to change the Docker Desktop pricing model I found that, while reasonable, it was an additional reoccurring cost for basic tooling that remained easily accessible and free on other platforms so I set on a search for alternatives.

Ubuntu Multipass is one of numerous alternatives that can replace Docker Desktop on Macs and Windows.

Getting Started

The following steps have been tested on an Intel Macbook w/ 16gb of ram after removing Docker Desktop.

Installing Multipass

Ideally, use brew install multipass, however there’s currently a bug (sftp server: handle_stat: cannot stat #2203) which results in log files filling your hard drive. As of time of writing it is recommended to use the package referenced in the issue.

Configuring a Shell

The following configuration values can be modified, but those presented have been tested successfully with a large application stack. Additionally, changing the shell name will require changes to commands that follow in this guide.

multipass launch --name development --cpus 4 --mem 8g --disk 100G

Entering the Shell

multipass shell development

All command from this point forward, unless specified otherwise, are to be done from within the multipass shell.

Installing Docker

curl -fsSL -o
sudo apt install docker-compose

Optionally, Configure Sudoless Docker

sudo apt-get install -y uidmap install
echo "export DOCKER_HOST=unix:///run/user/1000/docker.sock" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Optionally, Configure AWS

sudo apt install awscli
aws configure
$(aws ecr get-login --no-include-email --region us-west-2)

Can't. Stop. Coding.

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