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podman-system-service(1) General Commands Manual podman-system-service(1)


podman-system-service - Run an API service


podman system service [options]


The podman system service command creates a listening service that will answer API calls for Podman. You may optionally provide an endpoint for the API in URI form. For example, unix:///tmp/foobar.sock or tcp://localhost:8080. If no endpoint is provided, defaults will be used. The default endpoint for a rootful service is unix:///run/podman/podman.sock and rootless is unix://$XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/podman/podman.sock (for example unix:///run/user/1000/podman/podman.sock)

To access the API service inside a container: - mount the socket as a volume - run the container with --security-opt label=disable

The REST API provided by podman system service is split into two parts: a compatibility layer offering support for the Docker v1.40 API, and a Podman-native Libpod layer. Documentation for the latter is available at Both APIs are versioned, but the server will not reject requests with an unsupported version set.

Please note that the API grants full access to Podman's capabilities, and as such should be treated as allowing arbitrary code execution as the user running the API. As such, we strongly recommend against making the API socket available via the network. The default configuration (a Unix socket with permissions set to only allow the user running Podman) is the most secure way of running the API.

Note: The default systemd unit files (system and user) change the log-level option to info from error. This change provides additional information on each API call.



CORS headers to inject to the HTTP response. The default value is empty string which disables CORS headers.

--help, -h

Print usage statement.

--time, -t

The time until the session expires in seconds. The default is 5 seconds. A value of 0 means no timeout, therefore the session will not expire.

The default timeout can be changed via the service_timeout=VALUE field in containers.conf. See containers.conf(5) for more information.


Run an API listening for 5 seconds using the default socket.

podman system service --time 5


podman(1), podman-system-connection(1), containers.conf(5)


January 2020, Originally compiled by Brent Baude <> November 2020, Updated by Jhon Honce (jhonce at redhat dot com)