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Lima: Linux Machines

OpenSSF Best Practices

Lima launches Linux virtual machines with automatic file sharing and port forwarding (similar to WSL2).

The original goal of Lima was to promote containerd including nerdctl (contaiNERD ctl) to Mac users, but Lima can be used for non-container applications as well.

Lima also supports other container engines (Docker, Podman, Kubernetes, etc.) and non-macOS hosts (Linux, NetBSD, etc.).

Getting started

Set up (on macOS):

brew install lima
limactl start

To run Linux commands:

lima sudo apt-get install -y neofetch
lima neofetch

To run containers with containerd:

lima nerdctl run --rm hello-world

To run containers with Docker:

limactl start template://docker
export DOCKER_HOST=$(limactl list docker --format 'unix://{{.Dir}}/sock/docker.sock')
docker run --rm hello-world

To run containers with Kubernetes:

limactl start template://k8s
export KUBECONFIG=$(limactl list k8s --format 'unix://{{.Dir}}/copied-from-guest/kubeconfig.yaml')
kubectl apply -f ...

See for the further information.



Container environments:

  • Rancher Desktop: Kubernetes and container management to the desktop
  • Colima: Docker (and Kubernetes) on macOS with minimal setup
  • Finch: Finch is a command line client for local container development
  • Podman Desktop: Podman Desktop GUI has a plug-in for Lima virtual machines


Communication channels

Code of Conduct

Lima follows the CNCF Code of Conduct.

We are a Cloud Native Computing Foundation sandbox project.

The Linux Foundation® (TLF) has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of TLF trademarks, see Trademark Usage.