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    Starting a Linux instance

    Run limactl start <INSTANCE> to create and start the first instance. The <INSTANCE> name defaults to “default”.

    $ limactl start
    ? Creating an instance "default"  [Use arrows to move, type to filter]
    > Proceed with the current configuration
      Open an editor to review or modify the current configuration
      Choose another template (docker, podman, archlinux, fedora, ...)
    INFO[0029] READY. Run `lima` to open the shell.

    Choose Proceed with the current configuration, and wait until “READY” to be printed on the host terminal.

    For automation, --tty=false flag can be used for disabling the interactive user interface.


    To create an instance “default” from a template “docker”:

    limactl create --name=default template://docker
    limactl start default

    See also the command reference:

    Executing Linux commands

    Run limactl shell <INSTANCE> <COMMAND> to launch <COMMAND> on the VM:

    limactl shell default uname -a

    See also the command reference:

    For the “default” instance, this command can be shortened as lima <COMMAND>.

    lima uname -a

    The lima command also accepts the instance name as the environment variable $LIMA_INSTANCE.

    SSH can be used too:

    $ limactl ls --format='{{.SSHConfigFile}}' default
    $ ssh -F /Users/example/.lima/default/ssh.config lima-default

    Shell completion

    • To enable bash completion, add source <(limactl completion bash) to ~/.bash_profile.
    • To enable zsh completion, see limactl completion zsh --help