How To Improve Docker macOS Performance? 5 Methods

On Mac, Docker’s performance doesn’t have quite a good reputation. It has historically been slower when blended with PHP apps. Many factors are responsible for this, including how file synchronization is performed in Docker.

Web application stacks are comparatively slower than other native environments. Compared to Linux machines, Docker for Mac has slower IO performance. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on the most effective ways to improve Docker macOS performance.

Why Is Docker Slower On Mac?

Since the starting days, Docker on Mac has had various performance-related issues. For example, underlying osxfs filesystem, volume performance problems, and the manner volumes used to mount. It may affect apps performing multiple IO operations.

In Docker, a volume is bind-mounted on Mac to a Docker container. This provides the outlook of the file system of the host. All writes in a container or host are reflected vice-versa. macOS gets overloaded for maintaining the consistency of the file system, which reduces performance. You obviously want to improve the MacBook’s performance. In case you want to go beyond fixing just the Docker, check the video below:

Ways to Improve Docker Performance on Mac

If you have been experiencing slow Mac performance for many years, clean install macOS Ventura or other versions you’re using. Make sure to have all Information needed to perform a clean install properly on your Mac. However, to speed up Docker on Mac, you can use the following tips.  

Volume Optimizations

Key performance optimizations include changing the guarantee that file system data is accurately copied to both the host and container. By default, Docker consistently guarantees that the host, as well as the container file system, mirror each other.

But, consistent reflection is not necessarily required. There can be some temporary discrepancies and delays for improved performance. However, some workloads may need improved consistency. Docker offers 3 options – Cached, Consistent, and Delegated.

Options for Volume Definition

As mentioned above, Docker provides 3 options for setting volume definition consistency. According to some sources, changing volume options can make Docker on macOS faster. Consistent is the default option that provides the perfect consistency to the host and container.

In the Cached option, the view of the host is highly authoritative. It allows slight delays before any container update is visible on the host. In a delegated case, the container becomes authoritative. It permits delays until updates within the container are visible on the host.   

Expanding System Resources

Another way to improve Docker macOS performance is to increase the resources of your system. By default, Docker requires 2GB of RAM. So, upgrade the RAM of the Docker desktop by adding a further 2GB of RAM. This will eventually enhance memory-intensive functions.

Alongside RAM, you may also try increasing the CPU amount mainly while increasing input or output load. Docker will coordinate too many file system events and various actions between the container and the host. Increasing system resources can reduce the I/O load.

Reset Your Changes/Settings

Sometimes things turn worse due to altering some settings. Possibly, containers would not start after changing CPU or memory settings. So, reset the settings by starting the Docker Desktop and clicking the bug symbol. It will open a troubleshooting panel.

Here, you’ll get the option to restart Docker on Mac. The second option will land you on a support page. The third option provides a shortcut to restart Kubernetes. The fourth will remove cached data. The Fifth will reset the settings, and the last one will uninstall Docker.   

Make Use of Shared Caches

When you work on projects that use Yarn and Composer, starting a Docker container will provide a new instance. The project’s starting builds will slow down when downloading payloads, and HTTP requests put huge latency.

So, the next trick you can implement for improved Docker performance is to blind-mount the Docker cache into the container. Next, use that volume across all the identical projects. This will make Docker get Composer packages from the internal cache rather than the web.

Other Key Considerations

The important tips and tricks to make Docker perform effectively on your Mac are not limited to the above points. There are many more performance optimizations that you can make. It depends on the context of every type of setup. Reset to factory default if Docker doesn’t work.

Another common thing you can consider to speed up Docker is to ensure that the Docker application runs the updated version. Also, make sure that Macintosh HD or other key drive is formatted in the form of APFS. This latest HDD format has some performance optimizations.

The Conclusion

So, here is what you can try to boost up the Docker performance on your macOS. Docker for Mac computers is available with an easier setup. But, it is comparatively slow and takes up a huge amount of disk space.

When adding extra memory does not work out effectively, adjust Docker’s experimental features available in the menu. Improving Docker’s performance can save you a lot of valuable time in the long term.

David Huner
David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover. After completing his graduation from the University Of Phoenix, he started gather his knowledge mostly on latest technologies that keeps his life smart and cool. Now he wants to spread his knowledge with people who loves technologies.

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