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Installing Podman on Windows with Podman Desktop

On Windows, running the Podman container engine requires running a Linux distribution on a virtual machine.

Podman Desktop can assist you to install the Podman container engine in a Fedora distribution of Linux, on the Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2 (WSL 2). Main benefits are:

  • Ease of use
  • Windows native virtualization performance

Consider rather installing Podman with OpenShift Local if:

  • You prefer working with a RHEL distribution of Linux
  • Your environment doesn't allow you to meet the prerequisites


  • 6 GB RAM
  • No VPN
  • WSL prerequisites
    • User with administrator privileges
    • Windows 64bit
    • Windows 10 Build 18362 or greater, or Windows 11
    • On a virtual machine: Nested Virtualization enabled
  • Podman is not installed
  • No WSL 2 Linux virtual machine is running


  1. Enable the WSL feature without installing the default Ubuntu distribution of Linux. See Enabling WSL 2 and WSL basic commands:

    wsl --install --no-distribution
  2. The Home screen displays Podman Desktop was not able to find an installation of Podman. Click on Install.


  3. Podman Desktop checks the prerequites to install Podman Engine. When necessary, follow the instructions to install prerequisites.

  4. Podman displays the dialog: Podman is not installed on this system, would you like to install Podman?. Click on Yes to install Podman.

  5. Click on Initialize Podman.

Additional resources

Next steps