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Version: Next 🚧

Network (macOS)

Enable socket-vmnet


This is an experimental setting.

Network settings can be enabled or disabled from this view. Users have the initial option of enabling socket-vmnet which will allow for adding another guest IP that is accessible from the host and other guests. The enabled option also provides vmnet framework support for QEMU and does not depend on VDE.

vmnet and mDNSResponder

When using the vmnet framework with Rancher Desktop, the macOS component mDNSResponder will automatically start and make use of your machine's port 53. The port is used to get a routable IP address for the virtual machine running the application's container engine.

If you need access to port 53, or do not wish to make use of routable IP addresses, then you can achieve this by disabling Administrative Access from the Preferences dialog. Using vmnet requires starting a daemon via sudo, and with administrative access removed this will free port 53 from the mDNSResponder daemon.


Please note that with Administrative Access disabled, Rancher Desktop will no longer be able to create the Docker socket in the default location at /var/run/docker.sock. Instead, the application will create a docker context called rancher-desktop and switch to it automatically. Please be aware of this in the event you are running software that expects the default location and may not know about docker contexts.