Troubleshooting Poetry Installation on Mac M1 within Docker

Resolving Incorrect Package Installation Using Poetry on Mac M1 in Docker

In this comprehensive guide, we will address a common issue that developers often face when utilizing Poetry for package management within a Docker environment, specifically on the Mac M1 architecture. We will delve into strategies to ensure accurate package installations without encountering any setbacks.

What You Will Learn

By the end of this tutorial, you will have acquired the skills to troubleshoot and rectify incorrect package installations using Poetry on a Mac M1 chip within a Docker container.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When working on Python projects, efficient dependency management is essential. Poetry has gained popularity as a reliable tool for handling dependencies due to its user-friendly interface and robust functionality. However, running Poetry inside a Docker container on an Apple Silicon (M1) machine can sometimes result in unexpected issues such as installing incorrect package versions or binaries incompatible with the ARM architecture.

The key to resolving these challenges lies in understanding how Docker behaves differently on Apple’s M1 chip compared to traditional x86_64 processors and comprehending how Poetry resolves dependencies. By adjusting our Docker configuration and ensuring our environment is appropriately configured for cross-platform compatibility, we can achieve seamless package installations with Poetry even on an M1 chipset.

Code Solution

To tackle the issue effectively, utilize the following Dockerfile solution:

# Use an image compatible with your architecture (e.g., arm64)
FROM python:3.9-slim-buster

# Set necessary environmental variables required by the docker container
    PIP_NO_CACHE_DIR=off \
    POETRY_HOME="/opt/poetry" \

# Install poetry - respects $POETRY_VERSION & $POETRY_HOME
RUN curl -sSL | python -

# Copy your project definition files (pyproject.toml and optionally poetry.lock) into /app directory
COPY ./pyproject.toml ./poetry.lock* /app/

# Install only dependencies using poetry and skip dev-dependencies 
RUN poetry install --no-dev --no-interaction --no-ansi 

COPY . /app/

CMD ["python", ""]

# Copyright PHD

Detailed Explanation

This solution focuses on addressing compatibility issues by selecting an appropriate base image (python:3.9-slim-buster) known for better support across architectures, including ARM-based chips like Apple’s M1.

Setting up environmental variables is crucial; POETRY_HOME specifies where poetry binaries are installed, making them globally accessible within our container. Additionally, enabling POETRY_VIRTUALENVS_IN_PROJECT ensures that virtual environments are created within our project directory for organized encapsulation.

The pivotal step involves installing dependencies via poetry install –no-dev. This command directs Poetry to exclude development-specific dependencies that are unnecessary for production builds, thereby streamlining build processes and reducing potential conflicts during installation.

  1. How do I choose the right base image?

  2. Choosing a suitable base image depends largely on your application’s requirements. Prefer images officially supported by Python or those offering cross-architecture compatibility like those prefixed with ‘arm64v8/’ if targeting ARM architectures specifically.

  3. Why is setting PYTHONUNBUFFERED important?

  4. Setting PYTHONUNBUFFERED to 1 ensures that Python outputs are immediately flushed to the terminal without buffering. This immediate output aids debugging efforts, especially in containerized applications.

  5. What does setting PIP_NO_CACHE_DIR off imply?

  6. Disabling pip cache (PIP_NO_CACHE_DIR=off) reduces disk usage by preventing pip from storing downloaded packages locally, significantly decreasing build layer sizes.

  7. Can I still use development dependencies with this setup?

  8. Yes! Omitting the –no-dev flag during installation allows you to include development dependencies for local development or CI/CD pipelines where tools like linters or test frameworks are required.

  9. How can I verify if my installation was successful?

  10. After building your docker image, run it interactively (docker run -it <image_name> bash) and attempt importing installed packages or executing predefined scripts/tests included within your project.


Addressing incorrect package installations while utilizing Poetry within Docker containers, particularly on Mac M1 machines, demands a deep understanding of the nuances between different technologies involved�from hardware-level disparities to software configuration optimizations mentioned throughout this guide. Equipping developers with knowledge and tools to effectively navigate and solve these challenges enhances overall productivity in developing and deploying Python applications across diverse environments and setups.

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