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Quick start

Get started with OrbStack, the fast, light, and simple way to run containers and Linux machines. OrbStack offers excellent performance and seamless integration with macOS.


Download OrbStack and open it, no installation needed.


OrbStack can also be installed as a Homebrew Cask if you prefer:

brew install orbstack
brew install orbstack

Getting started

OrbStack is ready to use out of the box:

docker run -p 80:80 docker/getting-started
docker run -p 80:80 docker/getting-started

To use full Linux machines, choose your favorite distro in the app to create a new machine, then double-click to start it or use the orb command.


Get started with these essential tips:

  • Docker: Compose and other tools are included. Features just work. Use volumes at ~/OrbStack/docker for optimal file system performance.
  • CPU usage: Minimize by stopping containers when not in use.
  • Memory usage: Decrease memory limit in Preferences for lower usage.
  • Network: Host networking, VPNs, DNS, IPv6, ping, traceroute, etc. just work.

For Linux machines

  • CLI and GUI: Use the orb command for the command line interface or the native Swift app for GUI.
  • File sharing: Access macOS files in Linux at the same paths or with /mnt/mac prefix. Access Linux files from macOS at ~/OrbStack or in the app.
  • SSH: Use ssh orb to Linux machines. For Visual Studio Code, install the "Remote - SSH" extension.
  • Integration: Run macOS commands and send notifications from Linux using the mac command. Link commands with mac link. SSH agent is forwarded automatically.

For more details, refer to the linked pages and explore the documentation. Enjoy OrbStack and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions, bug reports, or feature requests!