Podman vs. Docker: What are the differences?
This blog primarily focuses on the differences between Podman and Docker. At the end of this article, you’ll be fully recognizant of podman vs. docker topic and the concept of containerization.
If you are a developer or someone who belongs to an IT background, you must be familiar with the term container orchestration. However, if you’re unaware of containerization or a non-tech guy, we’ll help you choose between Podman and Docker according to your needs.
What is Container Orchestration?
Containers secure important codes and their dependencies in packages to run an application smoothly. You can transfer the containers from one computing environment to another (Windows to Linux or vice versa) by separating them from an OS (operating system). They are fast, compatible, portable, and secure for app development.
To illustrate, container orchestration or containerization is the automatic process of coordinating, scheduling, and managing containers’ work, i.e., standalone software packages. Application developers use the container orchestration process to build and run code, tools, libraries, and configuration of containers during their development and staging phases.
Among the most popular web development technologies, containerization is the streamlined manner of building, testing, and running applications. Associated with container orchestration, Podman and Docker are the two proven container management tools in DevOps and software industry.
Podman vs. Docker: What are the Definitions?
Let’s check how the two container orchestration tools oppose each other.
Podman vs. Docker-What is Docker?
Docker is the second name for containers. It is the standard container orchestration tool. Besides, Docker is a technology consisting of several specified features for a developer. The self-sufficient tool handles all the complexity of containerization by load balancing and networking. Furthermore, it also has a few subsidiaries like Docker Swarm and Docker Engine. So you can certainly create, manage and schedule container streams. On top of that, developers can apply a system agonist approach to software development using Docker.
Podman vs. Docker-What is Podman?
RedHat is an open-source software company that designed Podman as an alternative to Docker. Podman is a user-friendly container orchestrator. Unlike Docker, this native Linux tool works on a modular framework. You can use its container systems under the Open Container Initiative (OCI).
Podman- the set of the command-line module includes the following tools:
- Podman: container orchestrator
- Buildah: builds container
- Skopeo: manages container image inspection
- Runs: future builder and container runner
- Crun: runtime for rootless containers.
App developers can synchronize the above tools with Docker and Kubernetes. However, Podman creates “pods” that resemble Kubernetes pods. Pods can create separate containers under a common group and manage them as individual units separately. For instance, developers can easily share resources between frontend, backend, and database using different containers but the same pod.
Podman vs. Docker: Differences
To understand the architecture of Podman and Docker, you need to understand the term “daemon.” Daemon refers to a background computing program that doesn’t need any user interaction to run and process.
Docker, a standard container orchestrator, uses a daemon to mediate the client-server paradigm. On the other hand, Podman has no daemon. Instead, this container management tool manages the containers by using the fork-exec model.
2 Root privileges:
Being a rootles container orchestrator is Podman’s top feature. Since Podman doesn’t require any daemon to process, it is rootless by design. This means Podman doesn’t demand root privileges to build communication between client and user.
However, Docker depends upon a Docker Unix group or sudo command. Docker tool requires root privileges to connect with daemon for its containers. The tool recently introduced its rootless mode for the ease of users, but Podman has already won this race beforehand.
Root privileges are more prone to viruses and attackers, while rootless containers are more secure. Podman has a rootless server, which deletes the gateway of attackers. In addition, the for-exec module scans the user activities and performs in-depth audit logging. This helps in controlling and keeping the record of server components.
Docker, on the other hand, lacks the default security system. You can improve safety by using AppArmor, SELinux, and GRSEC. In addition, daemons have root access by default, creating a pathway for attackers. Thus, we can say that Podman is safer than Docker.
Podman is a daemon-less container orchestration tool. That’s why it uses another default system on behalf of the daemon, Systemd. The system helps Podman to manage, support, and run containers in the background efficiently. It can control existing containers and create new ones. Systemd also enables vendors to install, run, and manage different applications.
On the contrary, Docker doesn’t require Systemd software. Instead, the daemon performs the exact function as Systemd by default.
5 Building images:
Docker is a self-sufficient tool. Its relative tool-Docker build builds contexts. The tool uses context to create container images. While Podman uses an assistant tool, Buildah, to run containers. Podman uses Podman build command to build images. Once the image is built, it runs by an open-source tool, Buildah.
6 Docker Swarm and Docker Compose:
Docker Swarm enables developers to run many container nodes and deploy a scalable application. Before Podman 3.0, Podman was incompatible with Swarm. As of today, developers can work with Docker Compose( an alternative to Docker Swarm) to manage a multi-container application environment. Both Docker tools are essential to SDLC (software development life cycle). Nomad and Podman Compose are less user-friendly alternatives to Swarm to work without dependencies, but they perform well in initiating and managing containers.
7 All in one vs. Modular:
This point is the biggest supporting point of podman vs. docker debate. Podman is a modular framework that depends upon certain tools to perform specific duties. Therefore, Podman is often incompatible with advancing Docker tools and features. However, Docker is an independent and self-sufficient contain orchestrator. It can perform all tasks of containerization in one cycle as a monolithic tool.
8 Ease of use:
Docker was introduced first as the container orchestrator. Hence, its commands are more promising and user-friendly. Docker enables developers to use straightforward and intuitive commands in containerizing applications.
Since Podman is an alternative to Docker, it primarily focuses on hassle-free software development flow. That’s the main reason it almost inherited Docker’s structural framework. For instance, the docker pull command becomes podman pull.
According to the above differences and applications, you can conclude that Docker and Podman are the best and easy-to-use tools for containerization and the crucial component of SDLC.
Podman vs. Docker: Can they work together?
Yes, Podman and Docker can work together. For example, developers create a container with Docker and then modify it by Podman to post it on Kubernetes. Thus, both container engines work under OCI standards, so they can work together and replace each other.
Podman vs. Docker- Wrap Up!
At this spot, we’re ending our discussion on podman vs. Docker. We hope this blog is helpful to you. Do let us know about your valuable feedback in the comment box below!