Red Hat has been collaborating closely with the Podman community on the development and delivery of Podman Desktop, a new tool designed to help developers more easily interact with containers and pods running in Podman. Using a graphical user interface (GUI) in Podman Desktop, developers can install, configure and update their container engine.

This builds on work we’ve done over the past few years to bring an enhanced set of container tools to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift, and making them the default choice to find, run, build, share and manage containers. For developers who also want to deploy on Kubernetes, Podman Desktop helps simplify the transition from containers to pods, and from pods to Kubernetes, providing a complete experience to more easily work with containers and Kubernetes using Linux, MacOS or Windows.

One of the challenges developers face today is navigating the differences between development and deployment environments — specifically when building applications locally. This challenge is compounded when Kubernetes is the target. Kubernetes is a powerful tool, but is also inherently complex, and running Kubernetes locally requires significant resources and knowledge. Our goal is to minimize the gaps and make the transition to Kubernetes smoother. By enabling developers to run Pods in their local environment directly from the container engine, Podman Desktop is helping the industry meet an important need.

In addition to our work upstream with Podman Desktop, we’ve also expanded capabilities for developers who work with Docker Desktop. Earlier this year, we released a Red Hat OpenShift extension for Docker Desktop, and have since expanded it to enable developers to deploy their Docker containers either in a free Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift environment or any other OpenShift cluster of their choice that they can configure—all without leaving the Docker Desktop user interface.

These tools are filling an important need for developers. Cloud-native application architectures play a pivotal role in driving innovation and improving customer experiences. Battery Ventures underscores the importance of this new application paradigm in its State of the OpenCloud 2021 report, writing, “Cloud-native is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. In the post-Covid era, cloud-native has become the primary mode for customer engagement, helping to shorten the feedback loop across customers, product, sales and marketing, ultimately leading to better products, higher customer satisfaction, and faster growth."1

These architectures are also central to the application modernization efforts behind many of today’s digital transformation initiatives, where cloud services are being brought into the development life cycle as a way of reducing operation cost and complexity. Industry analyst firm IDC predicts that “by 2024, the majority of legacy applications will receive some modernization investment, with cloud services used by 65% of the applications to extend functionality or replace inefficient code.”2

We want to make the experience as simple as possible for developers that target Kubernetes as the runtime environment for their containerized applications, regardless of the platform they work on, and believe Podman Desktop is the answer. Download Podman Desktop for Windows, MacOS or Linux, and try it with the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift.

About the author

Mithun T. Dhar is Vice President and General Manager of Developer Tools and Programs at Red Hat. He is responsible for leading Red Hat's overall strategy and engagement with enterprise developers, as well as the go-to-market strategy for Red Hat's portfolio of application development tools. Prior to Red Hat, Dhar held senior positions at Citrix, Edifecs, HERE Technologies, Microsoft and SAP Concur. 

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