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When completing the installation of Docker Desktop 4.25, the Advanced Settings offers a choice:

Choose how to configure the installation of Docker's CLI tools:

System (requires password)
Docker CLI tools are installed under /usr/local/bin.

User
Docker CLI tools are installed under $HOME/.docker/bin. Note: You need to manually add $HOME/.docker/bin to your PATH. Learn more⁠

Being new to Linux & Docker, I would like to know the trade-offs between these two options.

I am guessing from the "System" name that the first option would make the CLI tools available to all users on this host OS. In contrast, I assume the second option would make the CLI tools available on to my particular user, not other users on the host OS. The user-specific install is already privileged, so no superuser password needed, while the all-users option does require a superuser password. Is this correct?

Are there any other ramifications to choosing one option over the other?

I did read the documentation. But that doc offers little guidance, with no pros and cons.


I am using macOS Sonoma 14.1 on a MacBook Pro, M1 Pro chip.

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    In addition to the installation, updates will also require superuser password if you pick the System installation.
    – muru
    Nov 8, 2023 at 1:41

1 Answer 1

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  • Yes, you are right about that. In system-wide installs, all users can access Docker CLI. However, if they do not have sudo or root access, they would not be able to install system-wide binaries.

  • Key note: A system-wide install might have permission issues, especially in shared environments, whereas user-specific installs avoid these issues.

If you want user-level control, you can consider using user-specific install.

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