Podman Desktop: A Docker Alternative for Developers


What is podman?

Podman is an open source container, pod, and container image management engine. It was first released in 2017 by Red Hat and has since become a popular alternative to Docker.

Podman Desktop

Podman Desktop is a recently released graphical user interface (GUI) for Podman, supporting various operating systems like Linux, Windows, and macOS. It provides a user-friendly interface similar to Docker Desktop, making it easy for developers familiar with Docker to transition to Podman.


Podman provides a command line interface (CLI) familiar to anyone who has used the Docker Engine. Most users can simply alias Docker to Podman (alias docker=podman) without any problems

Here are some examples of Podman commands that are similar to Docker commands:

Example of running an nginx container:

podman run -d -p 8080:80 --name app nginx

podman ps -a

CONTAINER ID  IMAGE                           COMMAND               CREATED        STATUS        PORTS                 NAMES

3110f7c73e97  docker.io/library/nginx:latest  nginx -g daemon o...  2 seconds ago  Up 2 seconds>80/tcp  app




Podman Desktop emerges as a powerful and user-friendly tool for managing containers. If you prioritize security and efficient resource utilization, Podman Desktop is definitely worth exploring.


As a DevOps using Podman on Mac M1, I have observed the following:

However, Podman also has some limitations:

It can encounter issues when running docker-compose.yml files. To address this, you must install Docker's docker-compose or switch to using Kubernetes configuration files with Podman.

Notes: This article reflects my personal experience using Podman on Mac M1. Your experience may vary depending on your operating system and computer configuration.





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