OCI Engine Installation Guide

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to install OCI engines recommended for development purposes. The well-known Docker Desktop now has a restrictive license which makes it unsuitable for SKAO use. Therefore we recommend the installation of Podman instead. In Containerization and OCI Engines, you can learn mode about the OCI (Open Container Initiative) and the various engines.

Installing Podman

Podman is a Linux daemonless container engine for developing, managing, and running OCI Containers. While being built for Linux, Podman works on macOS and Windows by spinning up a guest Linux system, referred as a Podman machine.

Ubuntu Linux/WSL

  1. Update your package index:

    sudo apt-get update
  2. Install Podman and dependent packages:

    sudo apt install podman



We strongly suggest using Homebrew (https://brew.sh/) to install software on macOS that we rely on when developing software for SKAO.

  1. Install QEMU (for the Podman machine):

    brew install qemu
  2. Install Podman. Dependent packages will automatically be installed too. Then start a Podman machine:

    brew install podman
    podman machine init
    podman machine start

    Alternatively just install Podman Desktop:

    brew install --cask podman-desktop

We do not support other distributions or OSes that what is listed above, but more details about how to install and run Podman elsewhere can be found at the Podman’s installation guide.

Wrapping up

Finally, we can check if Podman is up and running:

podman info
podman ps

Installing Docker

Docker is the most popular containerization platform, with Linux, Windows (native) and macOS support. While being the most popular, the Docker Desktop product is now only available under a restrictive and commercial license. We do not recommend to use Docker Desktop for developing SKAO software.

Ubuntu Linux/WSL

  1. Update your package index:

    sudo apt-get update
  2. Install packages to allow apt to use a repository over HTTPS:

    sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl gnupg-agent software-properties-common
  3. Add Docker’s official GPG key:

    curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -
  4. Add Docker’s stable package repository:

    sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) stable"
  5. Install the Docker engine from the Docker repository:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io


  1. Follow the installation instructions from Docker Hub.


We do not support Windows as a development environment, so we strongly encourage setting up WSL instead. Check the official Microsoft WSL installation instructions


  1. Install Docker:

    brew install docker

For more information, please visit the official Docker documentation.

Wrapping up

Finally, we can check if Docker is up and running:

docker info
docker ps

What’s next

You now have Docker or Podman installed on your system. These tools are at the forefront of containerization technology, allowing for efficient, isolated, and scalable application deployment.

Now, feel free to explore the rest of the Getting Started with Containers.