Using Podman instead of Docker on macOS

PodmanDockerOCI ContainersContainerization
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  • Bonus

For some reason, people are moving away from Docker, and onto Podman. Whatever the reason, both Docker and Podman work on top of the same standard, founded by the Open Container Intitiative. Therefore, Podman should be a perfecly safe drop-in replacement for Docker.

On macOS, use Homebrew to install podman.

brew install podman

Then, using the podman utility, initialize a QEMU virtual machine by invoking this one simple command:

podman machine init


You should be able to list out the machine(s) that was created by the init command, by invoking

podman machine list

Finally, start the machine by invoking

podman machine start

Now you're all done!


If you wanted to ensure that the machine is running, then you can invoke the following command to see that

podman machine list

If you can't see any running virtual machines, then something's wrong, and I have no idea on how I can help you with that.


If you're familiar with Docker, then the list of commands available in Podman should equally match that of Docker.

You can alias podman for docker, in shell.

alias docker=podman
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