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Installation

Rancher Desktop is delivered as a desktop application. You can download it from the releases page on GitHub.

When run for the first time or when changing versions, Kubernetes container images are downloaded. It may take a little time to load on first run for a new Kubernetes version.

After Rancher Desktop is installed, users will have access to these supporting utilities:

macOS

Requirements

Rancher Desktop requires the following on macOS:

  • macOS Catalina 10.15 or higher.
  • Apple Silicon (M1) or Intel CPU with VT-x.
  • Persistent internet connection.

It is also recommended to have:

  • 8 GB of memory
  • 4 CPU

Additional resources may be required depending on the workloads you plan to run.

Installing Rancher Desktop on macOS

  1. Go to the releases page on GitHub.
  2. Find the version of Rancher Desktop you want to download.
  3. Expand the Assets section and download Rancher.Desktop-X.Y.Z.dmg, where X.Y.Z is the version of Rancher Desktop.
  4. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded the installer to and run the installer. This will usually be the Downloads folder.
  5. Double-click the DMG file.
  6. In the Finder window that opens, drag the Rancher Desktop icon to the Applications folder.
  7. Navigate to the Applications folder and double-click the Rancher Desktop to launch it.

After Rancher Desktop is installed, users will have access to these supporting utilities:

Uninstalling Rancher Desktop on macOS

  1. Open Finder > Applications.
  2. Find Rancher Desktop.
  3. Select it and choose File > Move to Trash.
  4. To delete the app, Finder > Empty Trash.

Windows

Requirements

Rancher Desktop requires the following on Windows:

  • Windows 10 build 1909 or higher. The Home edition is supported.
  • Running on a machine with virtualization capabilities.
  • Persistent internet connection.

Rancher Desktop requires Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows; this will automatically be installed as part of the Rancher Desktop setup. Manually downloading a distribution is not necessary.

It is also recommended to have:

  • 8 GB of memory
  • 4 CPU

Additional resources may be required depending on the workloads you plan to run.

Installing Rancher Desktop on Windows

  1. Go to the releases page on GitHub.
  2. Find the version of Rancher Desktop you want to download.
  3. Expand the Assets section and download the Windows installer. It will be called Rancher.Desktop.Setup.X.Y.Z.exe, where X.Y.Z is the version of Rancher Desktop.
  4. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded the installer to and run the installer. This will usually be the Downloads folder.
  5. Review the License Agreement and click I Agree to proceed with the installation.
  6. When the installation completes, click Finish to close the installation wizard.

Uninstalling Rancher Desktop on Windows

  1. From the taskbar, click the Start menu.
  2. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features.
  3. Find and select the Rancher Desktop entry.
  4. Click Uninstall and click it again when the confirmation appears.
  5. Follow the prompts on the Rancher Desktop uninstaller to proceed.
  6. Click Finish when complete.

Linux

Requirements

Rancher Desktop requires the following on Linux:

  • A distribution that can install .deb or .rpm packages, or AppImages.
  • A persistent internet connection.

It is also recommended to have:

  • 8 GB of memory
  • 4 CPU

Additional resources may be required depending on the workloads you plan to run.

Installation via .deb Package

Add the Rancher Desktop repository and install Rancher Desktop with:

curl https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:/Rancher:/stable/deb/Release.key | sudo apt-key add -
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:/Rancher:/stable/deb/ ./'
sudo apt update
sudo apt install rancher-desktop

Uninstalling .deb Package

You can remove the package, repository, and key with:

sudo apt remove --autoremove rancher-desktop
sudo add-apt-repository -r 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:/Rancher:/stable/deb/ ./'
sudo apt-key del <keyid>

where keyid is the line above the one containing isv:Rancher:stable when you run apt-key list. So if I have the following block for the Rancher Desktop Key:

pub   rsa2048 2021-10-29 [SC] [expires: 2024-01-07]
236E B3BE 8504 1EAE C40B 2641 2431 4E44 EE21 3962
uid [ unknown] isv:Rancher:stable OBS Project <isv:Rancher:stable@build.opensuse.org>

then my keyid is 236E B3BE 8504 1EAE C40B 2641 2431 4E44 EE21 3962.

Installing via .rpm Package

Note: RHEL, Fedora, and related distributions package QEMU, which Rancher Desktop uses on Linux, differently than other distributions. To use Rancher Desktop on these distributions, please use the AppImage.

To add the repository and install on openSUSE:

sudo zypper addrepo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/isv:/Rancher:/stable/rpm/isv:Rancher:stable.repo
sudo zypper install rancher-desktop

Uninstalling .rpm Package

Ensure that Rancher Desktop has exited (if not, it should appear in the dock) and do:

sudo zypper remove --clean-deps rancher-desktop
sudo zypper removerepo isv_Rancher_stable

Installing via AppImage

You may download the AppImage here.

In order to run it, simply make it executable and execute it. For better integration with your desktop, you may use AppImageLauncher.

Uninstalling AppImage

Simply delete the AppImage. That's it!