Podman Overview

People associate running pods with Kubernetes. And when they run containers in their development runtimes, they do not even think about the role pods could play—even in a localized runtime. Most people coming from the Docker world of running single containers do not envision the concept of running pods. There are several good reasons to consider using pods locally, other than using pods to naturally group your containers.

For example, suppose you have multiple containers that require the use of a MariaDB container. But you would prefer to not bind that database to a routable network; either in your bridge or further. Using a pod, you could bind to the localhost address of the pod and all containers in that pod will be able to connect to it because of the shared network name space.

Podman is a daemonless, open source, Linux native tool designed to make it easy to find, run, build, share and deploy applications using Open Containers Initiative (OCI) Containers and Container Images. Podman provides a command line interface (CLI) familiar to anyone who has used the Docker Container Engine. Most users can simply alias Docker to Podman (alias docker=podman) without any problems.

Similar to other common Container Engines (Docker, CRI-O, containerd), Podman relies on an OCI compliant Container Runtime (runc, crun, runv, etc) to interface with the operating system and create the running containers. This makes the running containers created by Podman nearly indistinguishable from those created by any other common container engine.

Containers under the control of Podman can either be run by root or by a non-privileged user. Podman manages the entire container ecosystem which includes pods, containers, container images, and container volumes using the libpod library. Podman specializes in all of the commands and functions that help you to maintain and modify OCI container images, such as pulling and tagging. It allows you to create, run, and maintain those containers and container images in a production environment.

There is a RESTFul API to manage containers. We also have a remote Podman client that can interact with the RESTFul service. We currently support clients on Linux, Mac, and Windows. The RESTFul service is only supported on Linux.

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