Podman Desktop: A GUI That Makes Container Management Easy

Podman Desktop is a new cross-platform desktop integrated app with a unified UI that significantly simplifies working with Podman containers.

Containers have become a sacred term in the IT industry in recent years. You probably don’t realize it, but under the hood, containers power a large chunk of Internet services today.

Since Docker succeeded in establishing itself as the industry standard for service containerization, Red Hat has collaborated with the Open Source community to develop an alternative that addresses Docker’s drawbacks. The result of this collaboration is Podman.

In short, Podman (Pod Manager) is an open-source daemonless container engine, an alternative to Docker, for developing, managing, and running OCI containers on Linux systems.

Until recently, however, Docker had one significant advantage: the integrated graphical container development and management environment, the Docker Desktop app. But recently, Podman received a similar tool. Please meet Podman Desktop.

What’s Podman Desktop?

During KubeCon North America 2022, held October 24-28 in Detroit, Michigan, the Podman community unveiled Podman Desktop, a new developer tool.

Podman Desktop running on Linux
Podman Desktop running on Linux

Podman Desktop leverages the Podman Engine, enabling you to work with containers from your local environment conveniently and quickly. It allows you to run containers on any machine in minutes with just a few clicks. In addition, it combines all of Podman’s features with the extra benefit of a user-friendly GUI.

With Podman Desktop, you can:

  • List, search, inspect, connect, run and stop containers
  • Build, pull and push images
  • Manage Podman resources – view allocated memory, CPU, and storage
  • Create and start Pods with Podman
  • Import Docker Desktop extensions
  • Control from the system tray icon

You can learn more about the project by visiting its website or checking its official documentation.

How to Install Podman Desktop on Linux

Podman Desktop is a cross-platform app. This means it works the same on different operating systems and is available for installation on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

To work with it, you need your computer’s latest version of Podman Engine. Why? Because when started, the app searches the system for the Podman Engine and prompts you to install it if it is not found.

This article will look at how to quickly and easily install Podman Desktop on Linux. Of course, the simplest method is to use Flatpak.

Things are a lot simpler here. First, run the following command in the terminal to enable the Flathub remote if it is not already enabled:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepoCode language: JavaScript (javascript)

Then, run the following command to install Podman Desktop on your Linux system:

sudo flatpak install flathub io.podman_desktop.PodmanDesktopCode language: CSS (css)
Installing Podman Desktop as a Flatpak package on Linux
Installing Podman Desktop as a Flatpak package on Linux

Finally, you can run it directly from your application launcher.

Podman Desktop Application Launcher

Or from the terminal by typing:

flatpak run io.podman_desktop.PodmanDesktopCode language: CSS (css)
Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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