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A list of common issues and solutions for Podman

1) Variety of issues - Validate Version

A large number of issues reported against Podman are often found to already be fixed in more current versions of the project. Before reporting an issue, please verify the version you are running with podman version and compare it to the latest release documented on the top of Podman's

If they differ, please update your version of PODMAN to the latest possible and retry your command before reporting the issue.

2) No such image or Bare keys cannot contain ':'

When doing a podman pull or podman build command and a "common" image cannot be pulled, it is likely that the /etc/containers/registries.conf file is either not installed or possibly misconfigured.


$ sudo podman build -f Dockerfile
STEP 1: FROM alpine
error building: error creating build container: no such image "alpine" in registry: image not known


$ sudo podman pull fedora
error pulling image "fedora": unable to pull fedora: error getting default registries to try: Near line 9 (last key parsed ''): Bare keys cannot contain ':'.


  • Verify that the /etc/containers/registries.conf file exists. If not, verify that the containers-common package is installed.
  • Verify that the entries in the [] section of the /etc/containers/registries.conf file are valid and reachable.
    • i.e. registries = ['', '', '']

3) http: server gave HTTP response to HTTPS client

When doing a Podman command such as build, commit, pull, or push to a registry, tls verification is turned on by default. If authentication is not used with those commands, this error can occur.


$ sudo podman push alpine docker://localhost:5000/myalpine:latest
Getting image source signatures
Get https://localhost:5000/v2/: http: server gave HTTP response to HTTPS client


By default tls verification is turned on when communicating to registries from Podman. If the registry does not require authentication the Podman commands such as build, commit, pull and push will fail unless tls verification is turned off using the --tls-verify option. NOTE: It is not at all recommended to communicate with a registry and not use tls verification.

  • Turn off tls verification by passing false to the tls-verification option.
  • I.e. podman push --tls-verify=false alpine docker://localhost:5000/myalpine:latest

4) Rootless: could not get runtime - database configuration mismatch

In Podman release 0.11.1, a default path for rootless containers was changed, potentially causing rootless Podman to be unable to function. The new default path is not a problem for new installations, but existing installations will need to work around it with the following fix.


$ podman info
could not get runtime: database run root /run/user/1000/run does not match our run root /run/user/1000: database configuration mismatch


This problem has been fixed in Podman release 0.12.1 and it is recommended to upgrade to that version. If that is not possible use the following procedure.

To work around the new default path, we can manually set the path Podman is expecting in a configuration file.

First, we need to make a new local configuration file for rootless Podman.

  • mkdir -p ~/.config/containers
  • cp /usr/share/containers/libpod.conf ~/.config/containers

Next, edit the new local configuration file (~/.config/containers/libpod.conf) with your favorite editor. Comment out the line starting with cgroup_manager by adding a # character at the beginning of the line, and change the path in the line starting with tmp_dir to point to the first path in the error message Podman gave (in this case, /run/user/1000/run).

5) rootless containers cannot ping hosts

When using the ping command from a non-root container, the command may fail because of a lack of privileges.


$ podman run --rm fedora ping -W10 -c1
PING ( 56 data bytes

--- ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss


It is most likely necessary to enable unprivileged pings on the host. Be sure the UID of the user is part of the range in the /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ping_group_range file.

To change its value you can use something like: sysctl -w "net.ipv4.ping_group_range=0 2000000".

To make the change persistent, you'll need to add a file in /etc/sysctl.d that contains net.ipv4.ping_group_range=0 $MAX_UID.

6) Build hangs when the Dockerfile contains the useradd command

When the Dockerfile contains a command like RUN useradd -u 99999000 -g users newuser the build can hang.


If you are using a useradd command within a Dockerfile with a large UID/GID, it will create a large sparse file /var/log/lastlog. This can cause the build to hang forever. Go language does not support sparse files correctly, which can lead to some huge files being created in your container image.


If the entry in the Dockerfile looked like: RUN useradd -u 99999000 -g users newuser then add the --no-log-init parameter to change it to: RUN useradd --no-log-init -u 99999000 -g users newuser. This option tells useradd to stop creating the lastlog file.

7) Permission denied when running Podman commands

When rootless Podman attempts to execute a container on a non exec home directory a permission error will be raised.


If you are running Podman or buildah on a home directory that is mounted noexec, then they will fail. With a message like:

podman run centos:7
standard_init_linux.go:203: exec user process caused "permission denied"


Since the administrator of the system setup your home directory to be noexec, you will not be allowed to execute containers from storage in your home directory. It is possible to work around this by manually specifying a container storage path that is not on a noexec mount. Simply copy the file /etc/containers/storage.conf to ~/.config/containers/ (creating the directory if necessary). Specify a graphroot directory which is not on a noexec mount point and to which you have read/write privileges. You will need to modify other fields to writable directories as well.

For example

cat ~/.config/containers/storage.conf
  driver = "overlay"
  runroot = "/run/user/1000"
  graphroot = "/execdir/myuser/storage"
    mount_program = "/bin/fuse-overlayfs"

8) Permission denied when running systemd within a Podman container

When running systemd as PID 1 inside of a container on an SELinux separated machine, it needs to write to the cgroup file system.


Systemd gets permission denied when attempting to write to the cgroup file system, and AVC messages start to show up in the audit.log file or journal on the system.


SELinux provides a boolean container_manage_cgroup, which allows container processes to write to the cgroup file system. Turn on this boolean, on SELinux separated systems, to allow systemd to run properly in the container.

setsebool -P container_manage_cgroup true

9) Newuidmap missing when running rootless Podman commands

Rootless Podman requires the newuidmap and newgidmap programs to be installed.


If you are running Podman or buildah as a not root user, you get an error complaining about a missing newuidmap executable.

podman run -ti fedora sh
cannot find newuidmap: exec: "newuidmap": executable file not found in $PATH


Install a version of shadow-utils that includes these executables. Note RHEL7 and Centos 7 will not have support for this until RHEL7.7 is released.

10) rootless setup user: invalid argument

Rootless Podman requires the user running it to have a range of UIDs listed in /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid.


An user, either via --user or through the default configured for the image, is not mapped inside the namespace.

podman run --rm -ti --user 1000000 alpine echo hi
Error: container create failed: container_linux.go:344: starting container process caused "setup user: invalid argument"


Update the /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid with fields for users that look like:

cat /etc/subuid

The format of this file is USERNAME:UID:RANGE

  • username as listed in /etc/passwd or getpwent.
  • The initial uid allocated for the user.
  • The size of the range of UIDs allocated for the user.

This means johndoe is allocated UIDS 100000-165535 as well as his standard UID in the /etc/passwd file.

You should ensure that each user has a unique range of uids, because overlapping UIDs, would potentially allow one user to attack another user.

You could also use the usermod program to assign UIDs to a user.

If you update either the /etc/subuid or /etc/subgid file, you need to stop all running containers and kill the pause process. This is done automatically by the system migrate command, which can also be used to stop all the containers and kill the pause process.

usermod --add-subuids 200000-201000 --add-subgids 200000-201000 johndoe
grep johndoe /etc/subuid /etc/subgid

11) Changing the location of the Graphroot leads to permission denied

When I change the graphroot storage location in storage.conf, the next time I run Podman I get an error like:

# podman run -p 5000:5000 -it centos bash

bash: error while loading shared libraries: /lib64/ cannot apply additional memory protection after relocation: Permission denied

For example, the admin sets up a spare disk to be mounted at /src/containers, and points storage.conf at this directory.


SELinux blocks containers from using random locations for overlay storage. These directories need to be labeled with the same labels as if the content was under /var/lib/containers/storage.


Tell SELinux about the new containers storage by setting up an equivalence record. This tells SELinux to label content under the new path, as if it was stored under /var/lib/containers/storage.

semanage fcontext -a -e /var/lib/containers /srv/containers
restorecon -R -v /src/containers

The semanage command above tells SELinux to setup the default labeling of /srv/containers to match /var/lib/containers. The restorecon command tells SELinux to apply the labels to the actual content.

Now all new content created in these directories will automatically be created with the correct label.

12) Anonymous image pull fails with 'invalid username/password'

Pulling an anonymous image that doesn't require authentication can result in an invalid username/password error.


If you pull an anonymous image, one that should not require credentials, you can receive and invalid username/password error if you have credentials established in the authentication file for the target container registry that are no longer valid.

podman run -it --rm docker:// ls
Trying to pull docker://[0000] Error pulling image ref //alpine:latest: Error determining manifest MIME type for docker://alpine:latest: unable to retrieve auth token: invalid username/password
Error: unable to pull docker:// unable to pull image: Error determining manifest MIME type for docker://alpine:latest: unable to retrieve auth token: invalid username/password

This can happen if the authentication file is modified 'by hand' or if the credentials are established locally and then the password is updated later in the container registry.


Depending upon which container tool was used to establish the credentials, use podman logout or docker logout to remove the credentials from the authentication file.

13) Running Podman inside a container causes container crashes and inconsistent states

Running Podman in a container and forwarding some, but not all, of the required host directories can cause inconsistent container behavior.


After creating a container with Podman's storage directories mounted in from the host and running Podman inside a container, all containers show their state as "configured" or "created", even if they were running or stopped.


When running Podman inside a container, it is recommended to mount at a minimum /var/lib/containers/storage/ as a volume. Typically, you will not mount in the host version of the directory, but if you wish to share containers with the host, you can do so. If you do mount in the host's /var/lib/containers/storage, however, you must also mount in the host's /var/run/libpod and /var/run/containers/storage directories. Not doing this will cause Podman in the container to detect that temporary files have been cleared, leading it to assume a system restart has taken place. This can cause Podman to reset container states and lose track of running containers.

For running containers on the host from inside a container, we also recommend the Podman remote client, which only requires a single socket to be mounted into the container.

14) Rootless 'podman build' fails EPERM on NFS:

NFS enforces file creation on different UIDs on the server side and does not understand user namespace, which rootless Podman requires. When a container root process like YUM attempts to create a file owned by a different UID, NFS Server denies the creation. NFS is also a problem for the file locks when the storage is on it. Other distributed file systems (for example: Lustre, Spectrum Scale, the General Parallel File System (GPFS)) are also not supported when running in rootless mode as these file systems do not understand user namespace.


$ podman build .
ERRO[0014] Error while applying layer: ApplyLayer exit status 1 stdout:  stderr: open /root/.bash_logout: permission denied
error creating build container: Error committing the finished image: error adding layer with blob "sha256:a02a4930cb5d36f3290eb84f4bfa30668ef2e9fe3a1fb73ec015fc58b9958b17": ApplyLayer exit status 1 stdout:  stderr: open /root/.bash_logout: permission denied


Choose one of the following:

  • Setup containers/storage in a different directory, not on an NFS share.
    • Create a directory on a local file system.
    • Edit ~/.config/containers/libpod.conf and point the volume_path option to that local directory.
  • Otherwise just run Podman as root, via sudo podman

15) Rootless 'podman build' fails when using OverlayFS:

The Overlay file system (OverlayFS) requires the ability to call the mknod command when creating whiteout files when extracting an image. However, a rootless user does not have the privileges to use mknod in this capacity.


podman build --storage-driver overlay .
Getting image source signatures
Copying blob edf72af6d627 done
Copying blob 3e4f86211d23 done
Copying blob 8d3eac894db4 done
Copying blob f7277927d38a done
Copying config 5e13f8dd4c done
Writing manifest to image destination
Storing signatures
Error: error creating build container: Error committing the finished image: error adding layer with blob "sha256:8d3eac894db4dc4154377ad28643dfe6625ff0e54bcfa63e0d04921f1a8ef7f8": Error processing tar file(exit status 1): operation not permitted
$ podman build .
ERRO[0014] Error while applying layer: ApplyLayer exit status 1 stdout:  stderr: open /root/.bash_logout: permission denied
error creating build container: Error committing the finished image: error adding layer with blob "sha256:a02a4930cb5d36f3290eb84f4bfa30668ef2e9fe3a1fb73ec015fc58b9958b17": ApplyLayer exit status 1 stdout:  stderr: open /root/.bash_logout: permission denied


Choose one of the following:

  • Complete the build operation as a privileged user.
  • Install and configure fuse-overlayfs.
    • Install the fuse-overlayfs package for your Linux Distribution.
    • Add mount_program = "/usr/bin/fuse-overlayfs under [storage.options] in your ~/.config/containers/storage.conf file.

16) rhel7-init based images don't work with cgroups v2

The systemd version shipped in rhel7-init doesn't have support for cgroups v2. You'll need at least systemd 230.


sh# podman run --name test -d && sleep 10 && podman exec test systemctl status
Failed to get D-Bus connection: Operation not permitted
Error: non zero exit code: 1: OCI runtime error


You'll need to either:

  • configure the host to use cgroups v1
  • update the image to use an updated version of systemd.

17) rootless containers exit once the user session exits

You need to set lingering mode through loginctl to prevent user processes to be killed once the user session completed.


Once the user logs out all the containers exit.


You'll need to either:

  • loginctl enable-linger $UID

or as root if your user has not enough privileges.

  • sudo loginctl enable-linger $UID
You can’t perform that action at this time.