How to install Multipass on macOS

See also: How to use VirtualBox in Multipass on macOS, How to use a different terminal on macOS


Check prerequisites

The default backend on macOS is qemu, wrapping Apple’s Hypervisor.framework. You can use any Mac (M1, M2, or Intel based) with macOS 10.15 Catalina or later installed.

Install, upgrade, uninstall

To install Multipass on macOS, you have two options: the installer package or brew. Upgrading and uninstallation options depend on this choice as well.

Using the installer package

Download the latest installer from here. You can also get pre-release versions from our GitHub releases page - it’s the .pkg package.

If you want Tab completion on the command line, install bash-completion@2 from brew and follow these instructions on updating your .bashrc file.

Activate the downloaded installer and it will guide you through the necessary steps. You will need an account with administrator privileges to complete the installation.

Multipass installer on macOS

To uninstall, run the script:

$ sudo sh "/Library/Application Support/com.canonical.multipass/"

Using brew

If you don’t have it already, install Brew. Then, to install Multipass simply execute:

$ brew install multipass

To uninstall while keeping your VMs and data, you can use:

$ brew uninstall multipass

Although Brew supports the --zap option to remove all data, it does not allow Multipass to remove all the VMs and data properly. The Multipass daemon needs to be alive and running to unregister VMs from certain backends (e.g. VirtualBox). However, Brew executes the zap procedure strictly after the uninstall step. By then, the Multipass daemon is no longer available.

This issue report has more information. The workaround is to remove VMs manually before uninstalling:

  1. multipass delete --purge --all
  2. brew uninstall --zap multipass # to destroy all other data, too


You’ve installed Multipass. Time to run your first commands! Use multipass version to check your version or multipass launch to create your first instance.

Last updated 12 days ago.