How to Install Podman on Ubuntu 22.04

Podman also called "Pod Manager" is an open-source tool used for creating and managing containers. It is part of the libpod library that doesn’t rely on the Docker daemon and is compatible with Docker. It is a simple and lightweight container runtime environment for Kubernetes. With the recent change in Docker License, podman can become a good alternative available to use in most Linux Systems.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to install and use Podman on Ubuntu 22.04 server.

Prerequisites

  • A server running Ubuntu 22.04.
  • A root password is configured on the server.

Install Podman on Ubuntu 22.04

By default, the Podman package is included in the Ubuntu default repository. You can install it by just running the following command:

apt install podman -y

Once the Podman is installed, you can verify it with the following command:

podman -v

You should see the Podman version in the following output:

podman version 3.4.4

You can also see the detailed information about Podman with the following command:

podman info

You should get the following output:

host:
  arch: amd64
  buildahVersion: 1.23.1
  cgroupControllers:
  - cpuset
  - cpu
  - io
  - memory
  - hugetlb
  - pids
  - rdma
  - misc
  cgroupManager: systemd
  cgroupVersion: v2
  conmon:
    package: 'conmon: /usr/bin/conmon'
    path: /usr/bin/conmon
    version: 'conmon version 2.0.25, commit: unknown'
  cpus: 2
  distribution:
    codename: jammy
    distribution: ubuntu
    version: "22.04"
  eventLogger: journald
  hostname: ubuntu2204
  idMappings:

Configure Podman Registry

By default, the Podman registry is not configured to download and install container images from the web. So you will need to configure it first.

nano /etc/containers/registries.conf

Add the following lines:

[registries.search]
registries=["registry.access.redhat.com", "registry.fedoraproject.org", "docker.io"]

Save and close the file when you are finished.

Download Images with Podman

Podman allows you to easily search and download images from the web. For example, to search a Debian image, run the following command:

podman search debian

You should get a list of all Debian images in the following output:

INDEX       NAME                                           DESCRIPTION                                      STARS       OFFICIAL    AUTOMATED
docker.io   docker.io/library/ubuntu                       Ubuntu is a Debian-based Linux operating sys...  14959       [OK]        
docker.io   docker.io/library/debian                       Debian is a Linux distribution that's compos...  4435        [OK]        
docker.io   docker.io/library/neurodebian                  NeuroDebian provides neuroscience research s...  93          [OK]        
docker.io   docker.io/bitnami/debian-base-buildpack        Debian base compilation image                    2                       [OK]
docker.io   docker.io/mirantis/debian-build-ubuntu-xenial                                                   0                       
docker.io   docker.io/mirantis/debian-build-ubuntu-trusty                                                   0                       
docker.io   docker.io/osrf/debian_arm64                    Debian arm64 Base Images                         1                       
docker.io   docker.io/rancher/debianconsole                                                                 1                       
docker.io   docker.io/dokken/debian-10                     Debian 10 image for use with kitchen-dokken      0                       
docker.io   docker.io/dokken/debian-9                      Debian 9 image for kitchen-dokken                0                       
docker.io   docker.io/ustclug/debian                       Official Debian Image with USTC Mirror           1                       
docker.io   docker.io/dokken/debian-8                      EOL: Debian 8 image for kitchen-dokken           0                       
docker.io   docker.io/dokken/debian-11                     Debian 11 image for use with kitchen-dokken      0                       
docker.io   docker.io/corpusops/debian-bare                https://github.com/corpusops/docker-images/      0                       
docker.io   docker.io/datadog/debian-i386                                                                   0                       
docker.io   docker.io/corpusops/debian                     debian corpusops baseimage                       0                       
docker.io   docker.io/osrf/debian_armhf                    Debian Armhf Base Images                         1                       
docker.io   docker.io/treehouses/debian                                                                     2                       
docker.io   docker.io/dokken/debian-7                      EOL DISTRO: For use with kitchen-dokken, Bas...  0                       
docker.io   docker.io/treehouses/debian-tags                                                                0                       
docker.io   docker.io/dokken/debian-12                                                                      0                       
docker.io   docker.io/dockage/debian-runit                 Docker image uses runit as a process supervi...  2                       [OK]
docker.io   docker.io/galaxy/debian32-wheel                                                                 0                       
docker.io   docker.io/galaxy/debian-wheel                                                                   0                       
docker.io   docker.io/dockage/debian                       Debian image that forms the base for some Do...  2                       [OK]

Next, download the latest Debian image from the internet using the following command:

podman pull debian

This will search and download the latest Debian image as shown below:

Getting image source signatures
Copying blob 23858da423a6 done  
Copying config 43d28810c1 done  
Writing manifest to image destination
Storing signatures
43d28810c1b4c28a1be3bac8e0e40fcc472b2bfcfcda952544ed99cb874d2b1a

You can now verify the downloaded image with the following command:

podman images

You should see the following output:

REPOSITORY                TAG         IMAGE ID      CREATED     SIZE
docker.io/library/debian  latest      43d28810c1b4  5 days ago  129 MB

Create and Manage Container Using Podman

With Podman, you can easily create and manage containers via the command line.

To create a container from the Debian image, run the following command:

podman run -dit --name debian-container debian

Once the container is created, you can see the running container with the following command:

podman ps

You should see the following output:

CONTAINER ID  IMAGE                            COMMAND     CREATED        STATUS            PORTS       NAMES
533698eaf6f1  docker.io/library/debian:latest  bash        6 seconds ago  Up 6 seconds ago              debian-container

To connect to the Debian container, run the following command:

podman attach debian-container

You will get into the Debian container as shown below:

[email protected]:/# 

You can verify the container version with the following command:

cat /etc/os-release

You will get the following output:

PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION_ID="11"
VERSION="11 (bullseye)"
VERSION_CODENAME=bullseye
ID=debian
HOME_URL="https://www.debian.org/"
SUPPORT_URL="https://www.debian.org/support"
BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.debian.org/"

To exit from the container, run the following command:

[email protected]:/# exit

To stop the container, run the following command:

podman stop debian-container

To start the container, run the following command:

podman start debian-container

To delete the container, run the following command:

podman rm debian-container

To delete the Debian image, run the following command:

podman rmi debian

You will get the following output:

Untagged: docker.io/library/debian:latest
Deleted: 43d28810c1b4c28a1be3bac8e0e40fcc472b2bfcfcda952544ed99cb874d2b1a

You can list all Podman command options with the following command:

podman --help

You should see all useful options in the following output:

Manage pods, containers and images

Usage:
  podman [options] [command]

Available Commands:
  attach      Attach to a running container
  auto-update Auto update containers according to their auto-update policy
  build       Build an image using instructions from Containerfiles
  commit      Create new image based on the changed container
  container   Manage containers
  cp          Copy files/folders between a container and the local filesystem
  create      Create but do not start a container
  diff        Display the changes to the object's file system
  events      Show podman events
  exec        Run a process in a running container
  export      Export container's filesystem contents as a tar archive
  generate    Generate structured data based on containers, pods or volumes
  healthcheck Manage health checks on containers
  help        Help about any command
  history     Show history of a specified image
  image       Manage images
  images      List images in local storage
  import      Import a tarball to create a filesystem image
  info        Display podman system information
  init        Initialize one or more containers
  inspect     Display the configuration of object denoted by ID
  kill        Kill one or more running containers with a specific signal
  load        Load image(s) from a tar archive
  login       Login to a container registry
  logout      Logout of a container registry
  logs        Fetch the logs of one or more containers
  machine     Manage a virtual machine
  manifest    Manipulate manifest lists and image indexes
  mount       Mount a working container's root filesystem
  network     Manage networks
  pause       Pause all the processes in one or more containers
  play        Play containers, pods or volumes from a structured file
  pod         Manage pods
  port        List port mappings or a specific mapping for the container
  ps          List containers
  pull        Pull an image from a registry
  push        Push an image to a specified destination
  rename      Rename an existing container
  restart     Restart one or more containers
  rm          Remove one or more containers
  rmi         Removes one or more images from local storage
  run         Run a command in a new container
  save        Save image(s) to an archive
  search      Search registry for image
  secret      Manage secrets
  start       Start one or more containers
  stats       Display a live stream of container resource usage statistics
  stop        Stop one or more containers
  system      Manage podman
  tag         Add an additional name to a local image
  top         Display the running processes of a container
  unmount     Unmounts working container's root filesystem
  unpause     Unpause the processes in one or more containers
  unshare     Run a command in a modified user namespace
  untag       Remove a name from a local image
  version     Display the Podman version information
  volume      Manage volumes
  wait        Block on one or more containers

Getting Started with Podman

A detailed guide on how to use Podman to create images, volumes, and containers is available here: Getting Started with Podman: Manage Images, Containers and Volumes

Conclusion

Congratulations! you have successfully installed Podman on Ubuntu 22.04 server. You can now use Podman as an alternate tool for Docker to manage the container. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions. For more information about Podman, visit the Podman documentation page.

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