Using Podman with Quarkus

Podman is a daemonless and rootless container engine for developing, managing, and running OCI Containers on your Linux system or other OS. Podman can be used the same way as Docker with the podman-docker package.

Installing Podman on Linux

The Podman package is available in several Linux distributions. To install it for your OS, please refer to the Podman installation guide. Below is the short installation instruction for popular Linux distributions:

sudo dnf install podman podman-docker docker-compose
Ubuntu (21.04 and later)
sudo apt install podman podman-docker docker-compose

After installation

Podman is a daemonless container engine. Most Quarkus Dev Services and Testcontainers expect a running Docker daemon listening at a Unix socket. That’s why the following steps are required.

# Enable the podman socket with Docker REST API
systemctl --user enable podman.socket --now
# Set the required envvars
export DOCKER_HOST=unix:///run/user/${UID}/podman/podman.sock

For a detailed explanation, see this blog article.

To make changes permanent, add the exported environment variables to the "init" file from your shell. For example, the bash shell uses the ~/.bashrc file:

echo "export DOCKER_HOST=unix:///run/user/${UID}/podman/podman.sock" >> ~/.bashrc
echo "export TESTCONTAINERS_RYUK_DISABLED=true" >> ~/.bashrc

Short names of images

Testcontainers and Quarkus Dev Services also expect the container service they make requests against to be non-interactive. In case you have multiple registries configured in your Docker or Podman configuration, and when using short image names, Podman responds with a prompt asking which registry should be used to pull images.

While we recommend you to avoid short names and always use fully specified names including the registry, Testcontainers unfortunately relies on short names internally for the time being. If you are using Testcontainers, either directly or through Dev Services, you need to disable this prompt by setting the short-name-mode="disabled" configuration property of Podman in /etc/containers/registries.conf.

Other operating systems

Containers are really Linux. As such, Linux containers cannot run natively on macOS or Windows. Therefore, the containers must run in a Linux virtual machine (VM), and a Podman client interacts with that VM. So a native hypervisor subsystem and virtualization software is used to run the Linux VM on the OS, and then containers are run within this VM.


macOS users can install Podman through Homebrew. Once you have set up brew, you can use the brew install command to install Podman and docker-compose:

brew install podman
brew install docker-compose
podman machine init
podman machine start
alias docker='podman'

For more details, please see the official Podman documentation and this article.


Please see the Podman for Windows guide for setup and usage instructions.