Podman vs Docker

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Oct 16, 2023

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Both Docker and Podman are excellent container management engines for creating, running and controlling containers. Containerization provided programmers with an efficient approach to building, testing, and deploying applications. The advantages of containers over conventional VMs are mobility, consistency, efficiency, and reduced overhead.

Quite some time has passed since Docker entered the containerization industry. Its value has been established, increasing demand for it in the labour market. Docker is indeed the most well-known container engine available.

Other technologies, like Podman, appear to improve on this and address some specific issues we have with containerization, given that containers are now widely used and accepted.

Choosing the appropriate containerization tools has also become a more important decision when deciding on system architecture, as it will affect the company's overall business and the technology budget. Here is a complete guide on Docker vs Podman, which will help you make an informed decision.

All About Docker

Many people use the Docker platform to build, deploy, and manage containers. Developers can use a system-independent method of software deployment with Docker containers. Applications running in containers are cross-platform because Docker runs the same docker containers on all OSes.

Docker is open-source virtualization software designed to simplify the lives of developers. It is a type of PaaS (platform-as-a-service) solution whose primary goal is to isolate virtual environments for deploying, constructing, and testing applications that are frequently incompatible with or not intended to function with the current OS.

In the developer community, Docker is practically a synonym for containerization. Docker has developed into a complete container system that includes orchestration, load balancing, networking, etc.

Benefits of Docker

Docker makes development quick, simple and cross-platform portable while assisting developers in getting rid of tedious, recurring configuration activities. The entire Docker ecosystem consists of UIs, CLIs, APIs, and security that are designed to function in concert with one another throughout the complete application delivery lifecycle.

In addition to being the established reference technology, Docker is the industry's top choice since its affiliated tools manage every container orchestration task, from load balancing to networking.

The following features make Docker a very reliable and practical tool for developers.

Improved portability that works smoothly

In any desktop, data centre, and cloud environment, Docker containers function without change.

Even smaller and more detailed updates

Only one process can execute at a time inside a Docker container. This enables the development of applications that can function normally even while one of its components is offline for maintenance or updating.

Creating containers automatically

Docker can quickly create and build a container automatically by utilizing code templates.

Container versioning

With Docker, you can keep track of every revision of any container image, and thanks to sophisticated versioning support, you can easily roll back any modifications. Even just the differences (delta) between an old version and a new one can be uploaded.

Reuse of Docker containers

Base pictures from previously created containers can be used as a starting point when creating new containers.

Libraries for shared containers

Developers can produce unique docker images with Docker and upload them to the public registry. Because of this, Docker has created a sizable public registry repository in the form of an open-source Docker hub. Developers can easily use this open-source registry to begin creating and deploying containerized apps.

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All About PodMan

A daemon-less architecture is used by the Linux native container orchestration tool Podman (also known as Pod Manager) to create, build, and run your application. Podman employs a fully compliant OCI-compliant containerization process to deploy app container images and containers.

RedHat created Podman, a daemon-less, rootless container engine, as a Docker substitute. Podman can only employ specific system components when they are required because of the modular design. Its rootless approach to container management enables non-root users to operate containers.

Nearly identical to Docker is the Podman container ecosystem. Developers can easily construct, maintain, edit, and execute containers and the related images in a production-ready environment thanks to Podman's comprehensive CLI and features, which are similar to those of Docker.

Benefits of PodMan

  • OCI and Docker images, among other formats for container images, are supported by Podman, which also assists you in managing them completely.
  • It provides a full container management lifecycle, starting with creation and ending with removal, checkpointing and restoring (through CRIU), and operating.
  • Full management of container networking is possible using Podman.
  • Resource sharing between pods and container groups is supported by Podman, which also permits resource isolation for pods and containers.
  • It offers complete support for Docker-compatible CLI, allowing for both local and remote container execution.
  • In contrast to Docker, it lacks a daemon manager, a decision chosen to improve security and ensure minimal resource usage while Podman is not active.
  • In order for third-party tools to utilize Podman's capabilities, it also expands support for REST API.
  • It is compatible with various OSes and may run in virtual machines on both Windows and Mac.
  • The fact that Podman is 'Rootless' is yet another unique idea. As a result, Podman can grant a user access to a container without specifically requesting that they have root or super admin privileges. The idea of user namespaces is used by IT to manage permission-level issues.

Difference: Docker Vs Podman


In contrast to Docker, Podman is a daemonless system. Containerd is a daemon thread that Docker uses. Docker employs containerd to retrieve any docker images that are stored in either public or private repositories. Conman is used by Podman instead of Docker. Even while both Conman and containerd hand over container construction to a low-level container runtime like runc, Conman has a lower memory requirement.


A security flaw exists because the Docker daemon operates with elevated root access. By enabling non-privileged users to execute containers using user namespaces, rootless containers get around this problem. Because rootless containers can be managed and operated, Podman is more dependable.


While comparing PodMand vs Docker, one major factor that distinguishes Podman from Docker is fork-exec. Fork-exec model refers to the fact that Podman initially runs as a process, forks when the container is created and forms a second process that has all the components needed for the operating container.

Podman uses fork-exec to do a thorough user audit log on the system.

Docker creates containers using a client-server architecture (using a daemon process), which makes the daemon a single point of failure because the container is created as a child of the daemon. Due to its lack of demons, Podman does behave in this way.

In short, Podman, as opposed to Docker, uses a fork-exec model and logs changes in the auditd system. With Docker, however, there is no recording.

Root Privileges

Docker will require root access to run the processes because a daemon is required to manage its containers.

Because Podman lacks a daemon, it has a (daemon-less architecture). It doesn't need root access to run its containers.

Building Images

Docker is in itself a self-sufficient, independent platform. Without using any other third-party tools, it can run containers and create images on its own.

Alternatively, Podman is explicitly made to run containers, not to develop them. Buildah steps in at this point. Open-source software called Buildah facilitates the creation of Open Container Initiative (OCI) container images.

Buildah can assist Podman in creating its OCI container images.

Podman vs Docker: Which Should I Use?

Go with Docker when:

  • Your preference is a well-documented tool.
  • Your requirement is container orchestration support.

Podman is best, in case:

  • Your main focus is security.
  • You plan to switch to Kubernetes in the future.

Docker vs Podman: The Bottomline

Recent updates to both tools have practically equalized them in terms of features and security. Architectural distinctions still exist, but neither approach significantly benefits from them. It will boil down to developer adoption and specific requirements of the businesses.

A solution architect of any business is required to make a more knowledgeable choice on the best containerization tools. Certainly, knowing the different containerization tools like Podman and Docker and the difference between Podman vs Docker will help in this regard. You may arm and upskill yourself with this DevOps course if you want to pursue a career as a DevOps engineer and ensure that you are well-acquainted with the Podman, Docker culture and environment.


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