Getting Began With Podman Desktop, an Open Supply Docker Desktop Various

Podman Desktop is a free different to Docker Desktop that’s one other nice choice for native growth use. It provides an analogous characteristic set whereas remaining solely open-source, letting you keep away from the licensing implications of utilizing Docker’s product.

On this article, you’ll discover ways to set up and get began with Podman Desktop to run containers and deploy to Kubernetes. The expertise shall be acquainted in the event you’ve beforehand used Docker Desktop nevertheless it must also be fast to choose up anew.

What Is Podman Desktop?

Podman is an OCI container engine that you should utilize as a substitute of Docker. The Podman CLI is deliberately much like Docker’s; you possibly can convert most instructions by merely substituting podman as a substitute of docker, comparable to podman run and podman push.

Podman Desktop is an official graphical interface for Podman’s performance. Along with wrapping the Podman CLI, it bundles additional options together with Kubernetes integration and third-party extensions. You need to use Desktop to conveniently work together with containers and associated sources in your workstation, if you wish to keep away from operating terminal instructions.

Getting Began

Be sure to’ve bought the common Podman CLI put in earlier than you begin utilizing Podman Desktop. Desktop must detect the CLI to handle your containers. Yow will discover detailed set up directions within the Podman docs.

Subsequent, obtain the most recent Podman Desktop launch from the challenge’s web site. Alternatively, use one of many following instructions to put in utilizing your system’s bundle supervisor:

  • Home windowswinget set up -e --id RedHat.Podman-Desktop
  • macOSbrew set up podman-desktop
  • Linuxflatpak set up --user flathub io.podman_desktop.PodmanDesktop

Now you possibly can launch Podman Desktop. You need to see Podman is efficiently detected. The homescreen may even show every other container environments accessible in your system, comparable to a Docker Engine set up.

image of the Podman Desktop dashboard

Exploring Podman Desktop

Podman Desktop’s interface is cut up into 5 fundamental sections which you’ll be able to change between utilizing the left sidebar. There’s additionally a separate Settings menu, accessed on the backside of the sidebar, the place you possibly can configure your container engines, allow HTTP proxies, and provide picture registry credentials.

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Operating Containers

The Containers tab is the place you’ll spend most of your time. It shows all of the containers that exist in your surroundings. To create a brand new container, press the purple “Create container” button within the top-right.

image of the Podman Desktop containers screen in its empty state

You’ll be prompted to decide on between constructing a Containerfile or Dockerfile, or beginning a container from an present picture:

image of creating a container in Podman Desktop

For those who select “From Containerfile/Dockerfile”, you’ll want to pick the trail to your file by clicking within the “Containerfile path” enter on the following display. You need to use any present Dockerfile; the Containerfile terminology is solely a extra generic different. Provide an preliminary tag to your picture within the “Picture Identify” discipline, then press the “Construct” button to construct your picture.

image of building an image in Podman Desktop

The construct command’s output shall be proven in an embedded terminal window. Click on the Accomplished button to proceed. You’ll be taken to the Pictures display the place your new picture shall be displayed. For those who decide to not construct a brand new picture, you’ll land on the Pictures display after you press the “From present picture” button within the container creation dialog.

Subsequent, hover over any picture and click on the play button that seems on the correct facet of the display:

image of images in Podman Desktop

Now you possibly can configure the properties of your new container occasion. Assign a reputation to your container, mount any volumes you require, and set surroundings variables on the “Fundamental” tab:

image of creating a container in Podman Desktop

The Superior tab helps you to connect a TTY, set the person that the container runs as, and alter the restart coverage that’ll apply:

image of creating a container in Podman Desktop

Networking configures the container’s community stack, together with its hostname, /and so on/hosts file entries, and DNS configuration:

image of networking settings when creating a container in Podman Desktop

Lastly, the Safety tab helps you to activate privileged mode (if you require it), modify the container’s kernel capabilities, and specify a read-only filesystem in the event you count on an immutable surroundings:

image of security settings when creating a container in Podman Desktop

When you’re finished configuring your container, click on the purple “Begin Container” button on the backside of the display to run it. It’ll present up again on the Containers display.

image of containers in Podman Desktop


Managing Containers

Hovering over containers reveals actions that allow you to cease or delete them. You can even use the checkboxes on the left facet to pick a number of containers and apply actions in bulk.

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Clicking the three dots button on the far proper reveals an overflow menu with extra choices. Right here, you possibly can instantly restart your container, or rapidly launch a terminal session.

image of viewing a container's menu in Podman Desktop

Click on any container to view its particulars. This yields a tabbed interface the place you possibly can entry the container’s logs, podman examine output, and terminal session.

image of viiewing a container's details in Podman Desktop

Managing Pictures

Pictures are managed in an analogous means. Click on any picture to entry its particulars, together with its podman examine output and layer historical past.

image of viewing an image's history in Podman Desktop

Click on the “Pull Picture” button within the top-right of the Pictures display to tug a brand new distant picture into your surroundings. You’ll be prompted to enter the picture you need to pull, comparable to ubuntu:newest or

image of pulling an image in Podman Desktop

Podman will obtain the picture whenever you press the “Pull Picture” button. Progress is displayed in an inline terminal window.

image of pulling an image in Podman Desktop

To make use of photos in non-public registries, you want to arrange authentication credentials first. Press the “Handle Registries” button on the Pull Picture display, or navigate to Settings > Add Registries, then press the “Add registry” button within the backside proper. Enter your registry’s hostname and provide your username and password. Click on the Login button to authenticate.

image of supplying registry credentials in Podman Desktop

Managing Volumes

The Volumes display gives an summary of all of the persistent volumes you’ve created, together with their age and whole measurement:

image of volumes in Podman Desktop

Clicking a quantity reveals its podman examine output:

image of viewing volume details in Podman Desktop

You may delete a quantity by clicking the button within the top-right.

Utilizing Kubernetes

Podman has built-in Kubernetes assist. That is surfaced in Podman Desktop’s Pods display. Pods in Podman are equal to Kubernetes Pods, being a group of a number of containers which are grouped collectively. To deploy a Pod, click on the “Play Kubernetes YAML” button within the top-right.

image of Pods in Podman Desktop

Provide the trail to your YAML file on the display that seems:

image of creating a Pod in Podman Desktop

You need to use this easy Pod manifest in the event you don’t have one accessible:

apiVersion: v1
form: Pod
  identify: nginx
    - picture: nginx:newest

Whenever you click on the “Play” button, Podman will deploy the Pods outlined by your manifest. The created Pod IDs are proven within the embedded terminal window’s output.

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You’ll now see your Pod seem on the Pods display:

image of Pods in Podman Desktop

Pods are nonetheless containers operating in Podman. To deploy to a actual Kubernetes cluster, develop the Pod’s three dots menu and choose the “Deploy to Kubernetes” motion.

On the following display, select whether or not to exchange hostPort bindings with Kubernetes providers. That is  safer because it prevents Pods being instantly certain to ports in your cluster’s Nodes. Click on “Deploy” to launch your Pod into your lively Kubernetes cluster, as outlined by your ~.kube/config file. You may select a distinct cluster connection within the settings menu.

image of deploying to Kubernetes from Podman Desktop

Podman Desktop incorporates comfort options for transferring between native containers and Kubernetes clusters. The “Kube” tab on the container particulars display gives an auto-generated Kubernetes YAML file for any container in your surroundings, permitting you to deploy with out manually writing manifests.

image of viewing a container's Kubernetes manifest in Podman Desktop

Putting in Extensions

Podman Desktop helps most Docker Desktop extensions so you possibly can add customized performance. Extensions are distributed as container photos with specifically ready content material. Yow will discover them on Docker Hub by filtering to the Extension content material kind.


When you’ve discovered an extension you’d like to make use of, add it to Podman Desktop by heading to Settings > Desktop Extensions. Paste the extension’s picture identify into the enter discipline, then press the “Set up extension from the OCI picture” button. The set up logs shall be proven under.

image of installing an extension in Podman Desktop

The extension’s UI will then be accessible again in the principle Podman Desktop interface, beneath the Extensions sidebar merchandise.

image of using an extension in Podman Desktop


Podman Desktop is a graphical device for managing Podman container environments. You may work together with the containers, photos, and volumes in your machine, deploy Kubernetes manifests, and monitor logs, all inside a single interface. Podman Desktop’s additionally appropriate with Docker Desktop extensions so you possibly can entry extra integrations developed by the broader container ecosystem.

These capabilities imply Podman Desktop can typically be used as a drop-in substitute for Docker Desktop. You’ll want to stay with Docker in the event you depend on its collaboration, enterprise administration, and growth surroundings features, although. Podman doesn’t provide something comparable to those, as a substitute specializing in providing a quick, gentle, and open container expertise.

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