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Creating a Lima instance for container workloads with Podman Desktop

To use the Lima provider you need a Lima instance running a Linux virtual machine.

In the future, Podman Desktop might be able to create Lima instances.

Consider creating a custom Lima instance to:

  • Control the assigned resources: CPUs, memory, and disk size.
  • Use the rootful connection by default, for example to run Kind.


  1. Install the lima CLI.


  1. In a terminal, create the Lima instance.

    • To create a Lima instance with rootless Podman, use the podman template:

      $ limactl start --name=podman template://podman
    • To create a Lima instance with rootful Podman, use the podman-rootful template:

      $ limactl start --name=podman template://podman-rootful
    • To create an Lima instance with rootless Docker, use the docker template:

      $ limactl start --name=docker template://docker
    • To create an Lima instance with rootful Docker, use the docker-rootful template:

      $ limactl start --name=docker template://docker-rootful
    • To select the number of CPUs, the memory, and the disk size, add the options to the limactl start command:

      --cpus=2 --memory=2 --disk=50
  2. Wait for the instance to start, and restart the Lima extension.

    • Go to Settings > Preferences > Extension: Lima, to change the instance name and type.

      • Podman (default)

        • Type: podman
        • Name: podman Lima preferences Podman
      • Docker

        • Type: docker
        • Name: docker Lima preferences Docker
    • Go to Settings > Extensions > Lima, to disable and enable the extension after changes.


  • To verify the connection to a running "podman" instance:

    $ podman.lima version
  • To verify the connection to a running "docker" instance:

    $ docker.lima version