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After installing Docker Desktop app version 4.25 on my MacBook Pro running macOS Sonoma, I was prompted to install Rosetta 2. I verified that I had indeed downloaded the version of Docker Desktop for Apple Silicon, not Intel.

What part of Docker Desktop requires Rosetta?

I suppose it is not really a problem, but I am curious.

2 Answers 2

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There's a thread on the GitHub repository for Docker on this: Docker Desktop for Mac M1 (Apple Silicon) Still Requires Rosetta. In there, I found the following comment by StefanScherer, an engineer at Docker, providing a reason:

Thanks for opening this. We already have it on our internal board, and with the next release 4.3.0 we also made the UI part running natively on Apple silicon. We still have some external command line tools packaged that require Rosetta 2, but we're getting closer. 😄

This seems to be the reason why it is happening.


A few days later, StefanScherer comments:

Good news. Today we released Docker Desktop 4.3.0 which doesn't require Rosetta 2. See https://docs.docker.com/desktop/mac/apple-silicon/ for details.

So, apparently, the version of Docker Desktop you downloaded (4.25) is too old to fully support Apple Silicon (without Rosetta). Just update to 4.3.0 to use it without Rosetta.

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  • 4.25.x is higher than 4.3.x, so the poster has the latest version. Docker Desktop can use Rosetta to emulate Intel instead on arm64, which is a setting that can be toggled in the Docker Desktop application's settings.
    – TheGremlyn
    Nov 21, 2023 at 17:55
  • @TheGremlyn First, 4.25.x is not higher than 4.3.x as it got released before and secondly, the OP asks for: "What part of Docker Desktop requires Rosetta?", not: "How can I use Rosetta on Docker Desktop?"
    – Thinkr
    Nov 22, 2023 at 6:44
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    @Thinkr 25 > 3, right? 4.25.0 released on 2023-10-26, 4.3.0 released on 2021-12-02. docs.docker.com/desktop/release-notes Nov 22, 2023 at 12:15
  • @user2679436 Oh, yes, my bad. I thought it was 4.2.5...
    – Thinkr
    Nov 23, 2023 at 6:39
  • @Thinkr no part requires it because it can be turned off. Given the way the OP posed the question I figured the context of being able to do that would be relevant.
    – TheGremlyn
    Nov 23, 2023 at 19:09
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There's two aspects to it. First, the Docker application/tools. That apparently is already fully Apple Silicon native, so no Rosetta required. Secondly, the container images that will be run. Rosetta will still be required to run any non-arm64 (e.g. amd64) container image. If you only run images built for the arm64 architecture, your Docker will run fully Rosetta-free.

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  • Thanks for the explanation, where is written that for running container images any non-arm64 (e.g. amd64) do we need rosetta?
    – freedev
    Jan 31 at 7:23

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