An actual usefull Docker Alternative 🐋
Using something else then Docker, is there even something else just as good? I get the question a lot on my work. Lots of developers are acustomed to having the Docker GUI instead of using the CLI interface, including me. When you don’t use the GUI and you need to upgrade to a version prior to version
3.6.0? That means you have to pay to use Docker now, if your company is big enough. For most people and businesses that would not be an issue, and the company will just pay the licenses. But that sometimes takes a while before that happends.
Lets say that if you only used the GUI for some simple turning on & off and creating some basic images and checking their logs/state? Then Docker GUI has a lot of functionality that you aren’t even using. So I started looking for some alternatives.
So on that topic, have you ever heard of Podman and Buildah? Well I did not before I started searching after hearing the news we had to use an older version of Docker. I started to look into how it all works under the hood and while looking for GUI tools I found a new project that just started a couple months ago when I started writing this article. Podman Desktop is a GUI for Podman that does a lot of things for you, just need to run simple containers? Podman Desktop has you covered.
But it is missing some things that I use all the time, even at work. That feature is composing containers (normally with docker-compose, but that is according to this spec Compose Specification).
For now other the open source space has created a Python library called Podman Compose to do this, but the official implementation is still in the backlog for Podman Desktop. So I am patiently waiting for that to be included in the main instalation of Podman Desktop.
For now I run the build with the following snippet: (Note that most commands are just a drop in replacement from Docker itself, you can also make a Docker alias to make it easier for yourself).
podman build -t "name" . podman run -p 3000:3000 name
Want to give Podman a try yourself, install it with WinGet?
winget install RedHat.Podman-Desktop
Or check out their website and download it manually: