Podman for macOS (sort of)

Podman for macOS (sort of)

I have a problem. My daily laptop is a MacBook Pro, which is great unless you want to dual boot into Linux and develop on containers. While it is simple enough to install Red Hat CodeReady Containers, what I really needed was a way to run Buildah, Podman, and skopeo on macOS without having to water and feed a Linux VM.

Look no further: Podman-machine has somewhat solved this problem.

Podman-machine

Podman-machine starts a virtual machine that already streamlines the Podman, Buildah, and skopeo packages. The developers released two VM flavors: an in-memory Tiny Core and a Fedora version.

You have the option of compiling additional driver support for hypervisors like xhyve, but I would recommend VirtualBox as it seems to work more smoothly.

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Getting started

My instructions are based on the official ones here. The guide also assumes you have VirtualBox already installed.

Start by downloading the latest podman-machine binary. At the time of this writing, the latest release was v0.16:

$ curl -L https://github.com/boot2podman/machine/releases/download/v0.16/podman-machine.darwin-amd64 --output /usr/local/bin/podman-machine
chmod +x 

Setting up your VM

Then, create a boot2podman VM. I am using a Fedora 31 virtual machine with 4GB of RAM, and I attached my local ~/Code directory to this VM.

I updated the image to Fedora 31 and allowed rootless image building. The image should make it to the official repo. In the meantime, I referenced the development release below:

$ podman-machine create --virtualbox-boot2podman-url https://github.com/snowjet/boot2podman-fedora-iso/releases/download/d1bb19f/boot2podman-fedora.iso --virtualbox-memory="4096" --virtualbox-share-folder ~/Code:code fedbox

You now have a VM with a persistent disk for container images, but it runs the OS in memory. You can log into the VM and view your shared directory at /sf_code:

$ podman-machine ssh fedbox

ls /sf_code
total 12
drwxrwx---.  1 root vboxsf  128 Jan 13 21:15 .
dr-xr-xr-x. 18 root root   4096 Jan 14 22:42 ..
drwxrwx---.  1 root vboxsf  480 Aug 28 05:40 container-proj

Setting up your container

Now, let’s run a container and communicate with it:

$ podman-machine ssh fedbox
$ podman run -p 8080:80/tcp --rm httpd
Trying to pull docker.io/library/httpd...
Getting image source signatures
Copying blob 27298e4c749a done
Copying blob 354e6904d655 done
Copying blob 36412f6b2f6e done
Copying blob 10e27104ba69 done
Copying blob 8ec398bc0356 [======================================] 25.8MiB / 25.8MiB
Copying config c2aa7e16ed [======================================] 7.2KiB / 7.2KiB
Writing manifest to image destination
Storing signatures
...
[Thu Jan 16 01:28:19.051375 2020] [core:notice] [pid 1:tid 140000832345216] AH00094: Command line: 'httpd -D FOREGROUND'

In another terminal, run:

$ podman-machine ip fedbox
192.168.99.122
$ curl http://192.168.99.122:8080
It works!

Finally, you can create containers on your Mac and communicate with them.

Closing your workspace

To stop and clean up your workspace, run:

$ podman-machine stop fedbox
$ podman-machine rm fedbox

Now you can easily build, run, and push containers from your Mac.

To learn more, visit our Linux containers or microservices pages.

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