How to develop for ESP32-C3 with Rust on macOS with Lima using Dev Container in VS Code

Lima is a solution for macOS for managing Linux VM on macOS which plays well with Dev Containers. It has several advantages over Docker Desktop for macOS or Podman.

Let’s see how it can be used for the development of software for embedded hardware like ESP32-C3 using source code from Ferrous Systems training:

git clone

Install Lima and Docker-CLI:

brew install lima docker

Create Linux VM with Dockerd (following instructions from Kevin O’Brien – Utilizing Docker CLI without Docker Desktop):

curl -O
limactl start ./docker.yaml
limactl shell docker
sudo systemctl enable ssh.service

There is one important tweak in the Lima configuration. It’s necessary to enable write operation otherwise, the workspace mounted from VS Code is read-only. Open file ~/.lima/docker/lima.yaml and add writable flag to desired folder:

- location: "~"
  writable: true

Restart Lima to apply changes.

limactl stop docker
limactl start docker

Create context for Docker-CLI to connect to dockerd running in the VM:

docker context create lima --docker "host=unix://${HOME}/.lima/docker/sock/docker.sock"
docker context use lima

Open VS Code with the installed Remote Container plugin and click Re-Open in Container:

cd espressif-trainings
code .

Open terminal in VS Code and build the example:

cd intro/hardware-check
cp cfg.toml.example cfg.toml
cargo build

Flashing of the resulting file could be done by espflash and mounting the device to Lima or using a tool like Adafruit WebSerial ESPTool. The file for flashing is located in the directory target/release.