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Basic Setup and Use of Podman

Podman is a utility provided as part of the libpod library. It can be used to create and maintain containers. The following tutorial will teach you how to set up Podman and perform some basic commands with Podman.

NOTE: the code samples are intended to be run as a non-root user, and use sudo where root escalation is required.

Install Podman on Fedora from RPM Repositories

Fedora 27 and later provide Podman via the package manager.

sudo dnf install -y podman

Install Podman on Fedora from Source

Many of the basic components to run Podman are readily available from the Fedora RPM repositories. In this section, we will help you install all the runtime and build dependencies for Podman, acquire the source, and build it.

Installing build and runtime dependencies

sudo dnf install -y git runc libassuan-devel golang golang-github-cpuguy83-go-md2man glibc-static \
                                  gpgme-devel glib2-devel device-mapper-devel libseccomp-devel \
                                  atomic-registries iptables skopeo-containers containernetworking-cni \

Building and installing podman

First, configure a GOPATH (if you are using go1.8 or later, this defaults to ~/go), then clone and make libpod.

export GOPATH=~/go
mkdir -p $GOPATH
git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
sudo make install PREFIX=/usr

You now have a working podman environment. Jump to Familiarizing yourself with Podman to begin using Podman.

Install podman on Ubuntu

The default Ubuntu cloud image size will not allow for the following exercise to be done without increasing its capacity. Be sure to add at least 5GB to the image. Instructions to do this are outside the scope of this tutorial. For this tutorial, the Ubuntu artful-server-cloudimg image was used.

Installing build and runtime dependencies

Installing base packages

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libdevmapper-dev libglib2.0-dev libgpgme11-dev golang libseccomp-dev \
                        go-md2man libprotobuf-dev libprotobuf-c0-dev libseccomp-dev python3-setuptools

Building and installing conmon

First, configure a GOPATH (if you are using go1.8 or later, this defaults to ~/go), then clone and make libpod.

export GOPATH=~/go
mkdir -p $GOPATH
git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
mkdir bin
make bin/conmon
sudo install -D -m 755 bin/conmon /usr/libexec/podman/conmon

Adding required configuration files

sudo mkdir -p /etc/containers
sudo curl -o /etc/containers/registries.conf
sudo curl -o /etc/containers/policy.json

Installing CNI plugins

git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
sudo mkdir -p /usr/libexec/cni
sudo cp bin/* /usr/libexec/cni

Installing runc

git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
make BUILDTAGS="seccomp"
sudo cp runc /usr/bin/runc

Building and installing Podman

git clone $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/
sudo make install PREFIX=/usr

Familiarizing yourself with Podman

Running a sample container

This sample container will run a very basic httpd server that serves only its index page.

sudo podman run -dt -e HTTPD_VAR_RUN=/var/run/httpd -e HTTPD_MAIN_CONF_D_PATH=/etc/httpd/conf.d \
                  -e HTTPD_MAIN_CONF_PATH=/etc/httpd/conf \
                  -e HTTPD_CONTAINER_SCRIPTS_PATH=/usr/share/container-scripts/httpd/ \

Because the container is being run in detached mode, represented by the -d in the podman run command, podman will print the container ID after it has run.

Listing running containers

The Podman ps command is used to list creating and running containers.

sudo podman ps

Note: If you add -a to the ps command, Podman will show all containers.

Inspecting a running container

You can "inspect" a running container for metadata and details about itself. We can even use the inspect subcommand to see what IP address was assigned to the container.

$ sudo podman inspect -l | grep IPAddress\":
        "IPAddress": "",

Note: The -l is convenience arguement for latest container. You can also use the container's ID instead of -l.

Testing the httpd server

Now that we have the IP address of the container, we can test the network communication between the host operating system and the container using curl. The following command should display the index page of our containerized httpd server.

curl http://<IP_address>:8080

Viewing the container's logs

You can view the container's logs with Podman as well:

$ sudo podman logs --latest - - [07/Feb/2018:15:22:11 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.55.1" "-" - - [07/Feb/2018:15:22:30 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.55.1" "-" - - [07/Feb/2018:15:22:30 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.55.1" "-" - - [07/Feb/2018:15:22:31 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.55.1" "-" - - [07/Feb/2018:15:22:31 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 612 "-" "curl/7.55.1" "-"

Viewing the container's pids

And you can observe the httpd pid in the container with top.

$ sudo podman top <container_id>
    0 31873 31863  0 09:21 ?        00:00:00 nginx: master process nginx -g daemon off;
  101 31889 31873  0 09:21 ?        00:00:00 nginx: worker process

Checkpointing the container

Checkpointing a container stops the container while writing the state of all processes in the container to disk. With this a container can later be restored and continue running at exactly the same point in time as the checkpoint. This capability requires CRIU 3.11 or later installed on the system. To checkpoint the container use:

sudo podman container checkpoint <container_id>

Restoring the container

Restoring a container is only possible for a previously checkpointed container. The restored container will continue to run at exactly the same point in time it was checkpointed. To restore the container use:

sudo podman container restore <container_id>

After being restored, the container will answer requests again as it did before checkpointing.

curl http://<IP_address>:8080

Stopping the container

To stop the httpd container:

sudo podman stop --latest

You can also check the status of one or more containers using the ps subcommand. In this case, we should use the -a argument to list all containers.

sudo podman ps -a

Removing the container

To remove the httpd container:

sudo podman rm --latest

You can verify the deletion of the container by running podman ps -a.

Integration Tests

For more information on how to setup and run the integration tests in your environment, checkout the Integration Tests

More information

For more information on Podman and its subcommands, checkout the asciiart demos on the page.