Podman (an abbreviation of Pod Manager) is Linux-native container orchestration tool that uses a daemon-less architecture to create, build and run your application. Podman containerization process is fully compliant with Open container initiatives (OCI), which it leverages to deploy your app container images and containers.
Podman container ecosystem is almost equivalent to Docker. Podman has got all the CLI and functions like docker, facilitating developers to create, maintain, modify, and run the container and their associated images in a production-ready environment.
What makes Podman different from other container engines?
Podman stands out from other container engines because it is daemonless. Daemons are processes that run in the background of your system to do the heavy lifting of running containers without a user interface. Think of daemons as the intermediary communicating between the user and the container itself.
While daemons can be a convenient way to manage your container environment, they can also introduce security vulnerabilities. Many daemons run with root privileges In Linux systems, the root account acts as a superuser with administrative access (while also bypassing the need for admin verification) to read files, install programs, edit applications, and more. This makes daemons an ideal target for hackers who want to gain control of your containers and infiltrate the host system.
Podman cuts out the daemon and allows regular users to run containers without interacting with a root-owned daemon, or allows for the use of rootless containers. By going rootless, users can create, run, and manage containers without requiring processes with admin privileges, making your container environment more accessible while reducing security risks. Additionally, Podman launches each container with a security enhanced linux(SELinux) label, giving administrators more control over what resources and capabilities are provided to container processes.
Podman is a good alternative to Docker, offering a range of benefits over Docker, including a daemon-less architecture, rootless mode. Podman is emerging as a viable alternative that offers many advantages for modern application development.