Podman vs Docker: Which One to Choose?

In case you’re on the earth of virtualization and containerization, you’ve got most likely come throughout Podman and Docker and could also be questioning how they differ from one another.

On this put up, we discover the variations between Docker and Podman and attempt to uncover which one is best for you!

Dock employee

dock worker

Docker is a containerization know-how that permits dependency administration inside a challenge in any respect ranges (growth and deployment).

Obtainable on Linux, Home windows and Mac OS, the Docker mechanism revolves round containers and their orchestration, and that is the place containerization differs from virtualization.

Docker has two predominant constructing blocks: Docker CLI and Docker Daemon.

Docker daemon:

It’s a fixed background course of that helps handle Docker photos, containers, networks, and storage volumes. Docker makes use of the Docker Engine REST API to speak with the Docker daemon, accessed by way of the HTTP protocol.

Docker CLI:

Dock worker
Picture credit score: Redhat

It’s the Docker command line consumer for interacting with the Docker daemon. It is what you utilize once you run a Docker command.

Docker’s operation is predicated on the Linux kernel and its options, similar to cgroups and namespaces. These features separate the processes in order that they’ll run independently because the function of containers is to run a number of processes and functions individually.

This makes it potential to optimize the usage of the infrastructure with out decreasing the safety degree in comparison with the person methods.

All container instruments like Docker include an image-based deployment mannequin. This mannequin simplifies sharing an utility or set of companies throughout a number of environments.

As well as, Docker helps automate the deployment of functions inside a container surroundings. With these numerous instruments, customers achieve full entry to functions and might speed up deployment, handle variations and assign.


Podman (the POD MANager) builds, runs, and manages OCI containers and container photos. It’s developed by Purple Hat and initially supposed for its enterprise Linux 8. It’s used for container administration and acts because the official successor to Docker.


Purple Hat due to this fact discontinued help for Docker, however assured that the change can be simple for customers, as Podman is predicated on Docker, though it was initially supposed solely as a debugging instrument.

It manages the complete container ecosystem utilizing the libpod library. As a result of Podman solely works on Linux platforms, a REST API and shoppers are at the moment in growth that may enable Mac and Home windows methods to name the service.

Nevertheless, there may be at the moment a Varlink-based distant consumer that works on Mac or Home windows platforms that enables distant communication with a Linux-based Podman server. The libpod library helps a number of strategies to add photos securely, together with belief and picture verification.

It additionally helps pods to handle teams of containers collectively and a number of picture codecs, together with OCI and Docker picture codecs.

In very small and manageable environments, Podman may even function a precursor to Kubernetes. It bridges the hole between the distinctive administration of particular person situations from the early days of container hype and trendy orchestration with Kubernetes.

Bold container customers can already benefit from the subsequent degree with the pods. The development and operation of a Kubernetes cluster is now not essential. Within the easiest case, newly designed pods could be examined and improved in particular person operations. Even a later change to Kubernetes is feasible.

The order podman generate kube gives the corresponding configuration information. These then serve one-to-one as enter for the Kubernetes instrument kubectl.

Present variations of Podman may even create configuration information for systemd – a deal with for anybody utilizing the ever-present init successor for container orchestration.

Picture credit score: Redhat

Podman vs Docker: Variations

Docker has rapidly established itself because the hobbyhorse for container administration. Nevertheless, Docker has many benefits and particularly the quickly rising repertoire of photos, but additionally disadvantages and potential safety dangers. As well as, Docker is now not supported as a container for Kubernetes.

The truth that containers, not like digital methods, don’t want their kernel is normally seen as one of many nice benefits. Nevertheless, it poses a significant safety threat to Docker as a result of Docker containers can solely be run with root privileges.

It permits processes working within the containers to entry the kernel with root privileges and thus assault the host system.

The primary distinction turns into obvious once you first use it. Whereas Docker requires the Docker daemon to be began first, a Podman container could be began straight from the command line. So there isn’t a background course of and the applying is simply run when wanted.

From a safety perspective, that is good as a result of Podman is much less susceptible to assaults if the daemon does not have to run 24/7 with superuser privileges. Podman doesn’t want a background course of resulting from its structure, which is basically completely different from Docker.

Whereas Docker follows the client-server mannequin, the place the Docker consumer communicates with the Docker daemon by way of an API, Podman follows the fork-exec mannequin. Every container runs as a Podman little one course of.

On first run, a username house is created when Podman is run with regular consumer privileges. Within the username house, Podman runs with root privileges and has the privileges to mount file methods and create containers.

Accordingly, the Podman container has solely the rights that the executing consumer has. Utilizing usernamespaces implies that every consumer can create and handle their very own containers, however they don’t seem to be seen to different customers and the superuser.

As a result of Podman is operated independently of Docker, the builders have a whole lot of latitude and might reply to the needs of the group. Attention-grabbing additions to Podman embody the mount/unmount command and systemd integration.

The host can use the mount/unmount command to mount the container’s file system, for instance to open or modify information, after which unmount it.

Whereas monitoring the containers with systemd does not work because of the daemon in Docker with Podman, containers could be began, monitored, and even restarted by means of systemd.

As well as, Podman takes care of the podman generate systemd command, which generates a corresponding systemd service for the container in query, thus relieving the consumer of making the systemd companies, that means that the combination is obtainable on the host system.

One other essential distinction between Podman and Docker is that the latter doesn’t change firewall guidelines or the present dnsmasq set up resulting from its skill to create an inside community. Docker, however, has to override the firewall guidelines to permit communication between containers.

Pod man Dock employee
Structure Demon Daemon much less
Companies administration Systematized Docker engine
Firewall compatibility Overrides firewall guidelines Respects firewall guidelines
Platform Native help for Linux Linux, Home windows and Mac

When must you migrate from Docker to Podman?

In case you are deploying containers in a RHEL primarily based surroundings then you do not have many choices aside from utilizing Podman as it’s RHEL native. It’s also possible to migrate to or select Podman over Docker if in case you have small deployments with few containers.

Nevertheless, if you wish to make it much more complicated, have a number of containers and a stack of coordinating containers with docker-compose/podman-compose over a community. It’s higher to make use of Docker because it handles networking a lot better.

Equally, if you’re simply beginning to get into the container world then Docker is a greater choice in that case as it’s secure, properly established with correct documentation and has a shallow studying curve in comparison with Podman which nonetheless provides stability and lacks stability. doesn’t have well-defined documentation.

Migration from Podman to Docker

In case you’re on the command line, you’ll be able to change from Docker Engine to Podman fairly simply. In its easiest type, a $ alias docker=podman command normally works.

This assumes, after all, that the proper software program is put in on the system. Within the case of Linux, this isn’t an issue both; Prepared-made software program packages can be found for commercially accessible distributions.

Home windows or macOS are usually not supported working methods. The alias method works as a result of many Docker instructions have a Podman equal.

However there are additionally exceptions, as some Docker instructions haven’t any counterpart within the Podman world. Equally, some instructions behave in another way in Docker than within the Podman universe. At the moment, this solely impacts the dealing with of volumes which have already been arrange.

The change is a little more troublesome when graphical instruments similar to Docker Desktop are in use. It ought to primarily have an effect on builders who work with Home windows or macOS.

Docker Desktop customers must get used to the command line, and the identical goes for Docker compose. Nevertheless, there may be the podman-compose challenge. The software program is written in Python and serves as a substitute for Docker compose.

final phrases

The substitute of Docker by Podman could be thought-about virtually full. For customers and directors, most elements of this variation are simple. Many Docker features have similar equivalents in Podman.

An actual benefit is the shortage of a single daemon course of and root privileges, to not point out the pure use of container teams. Nevertheless, it’s price noting that Docker stays the predominant know-how in containers, however that is more likely to change in the long term.

It’s also possible to discover some Docker instructions to handle containers.

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