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Using Podman instead of Docker

Podman has an Docker API compatibility layer. k3d uses the Docker API and is compatible with Podman v4 and higher.

Podman support is experimental

k3d is not guaranteed to work with Podman. If you find a bug, do help by filing an issue

Using Podman

Ensure the Podman system socket is available:

sudo systemctl enable --now podman.socket
# or sudo podman system service --time=0

To point k3d at the right Docker socket, create a symbolic link:

ln -s /run/podman/podman.sock /var/run/docker.sock
# or install your system podman-docker if available
sudo k3d cluster create

Alternatively, set DOCKER_HOST when running k3d:

export DOCKER_HOST=unix:///run/podman/podman.sock
sudo --preserve-env=DOCKER_HOST k3d cluster create

Using rootless Podman

Ensure the Podman user socket is available:

systemctl --user enable --now podman.socket
# or podman system service --time=0

Set DOCKER_HOST when running k3d:

XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=${XDG_RUNTIME_DIR:-/run/user/$(id -u)}
export DOCKER_HOST=unix://$XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/podman/podman.sock
k3d cluster create

Creating local registries

Because Podman does not have a default “bridge” network, you have to specify a network using the --default-network flag when creating a local registry:

k3d registry create --default-network podman mycluster-registry

To use this registry with a cluster, pass the --registry-use flag:

k3d cluster create --registry-use mycluster-registry mycluster

Incompatibility with --registry-create

Because --registry-create assumes the default network to be “bridge”, avoid --registry-create when using Podman. Instead, always create a registry before creating a cluster.

Last update: March 24, 2022
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