OS X Requirements

  • nodejs
  • gpg (1.4)
  • docker (optional)


There are a number of ways to install node on OS X. Brew users can simply

brew install nodejs

Node can also be installed manually by using the installer

Node’s source can also be downloaded and built. Building node is beyond the scope of this document.

gpg - GNU Privacy Guard

There are a number of ways to install gpg on OS X. Brew users can (as of 2017)

brew install gpg1

sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/gpg1 /usr/local/bin/gpg

The ln -s above used to not be an issue but as of 2017 brew ships with gpg2 as the default and it has an entirely different symmetric encryption model.

GPG can also be manually installed by visiting macgpg

GPG’s source can also be downloaded and built. Building gpg is beyond the scope of this document.

Docker (Optional)

Dev’s using clusternator only need to install Docker if they plan on working with Docker containers on their local system. In many cases this may not be necessary.

Best practice is to install the latest version of docker, as opposed to using a package manager like Brew. The installer is just as straightforward as any other mainstream installer.

Docker for OS X will also install Virtual Box, because Docker only works with the Linux kernel.

Once Docker is downloaded, and installed, run it, and it will create its initial environment/virtual machine.

Finding Your Docker VM’s IP

Docker containers run in a GNU/Linux virtual machine. Docker services are served from this machine, not the developer’s localhost. This means that in order to actually use a local Docker service the developer will need to determine the IP address of their virtual machine.

To find the IP, run from the CLI/Bash:

docker-machine ls

This will list all the Docker virtual machines (not to be confused with containers) running on the local system. Output might look something like:

NAME ACTIVE DRIVER STATE URL SWARM default * virtualbox Running tcp://

Given the above output, Docker instances will be found at, and the port/protocol will depend on the services that particular container is running, and how its ports have been mapped.

Starting Docker After Reboot

Docker for OS X depends on some environment variables being set, this process is mostly automatic.

To get Docker working after reboot:

  • Run “Docker Quick Start Terminal” OS X app
  • In a CLI/Bash run

docker-machine env defaul && \ eval "$(docker-machine env default)"

When/If Things Go Wrong (like a network change)

Sometimes things do not go as planned. Sometimes, like when a network changes, or when a laptop sleeps, OS X’s docker environment has issues. These often manifest as “network errors”.

Fortunately Max OS X’s Docker environment is virtual, and can be completely reset:

killall -9 VBoxHeadless && docker-machine restart default followed by

docker-machine env default && eval "$(docker-machine env default)"

It’s possible these can be combined into a one liner, but that does not translate nicely into markdown.

Stopping Docker

Sometimes the reader will want to completely stop Docker, and free up resources

  • Open Virtual Box application
  • Stop/Power off the default VM. This should be the only VM unless the reader uses Virtual Box for their own purposes