In June, I’ve written about my approach to starting and stopping Podman Pods using OpenRC scripts on Alpine Linux. However, that approach had two major drawbacks: First, the pods were started in the foreground, causing OpenRC to wait for all pod initialization tasks to complete. If an image needed to be pulled first, this could lead to longer delays, significantly increasing system startup times. Secondly, requesting the status of a previously started pod always stated “crashed”. This is due to the fact that OpenRC is not able to identify the exact process spawned by Podman.

I’ve therefore improved my OpenRC startup script to be used with podman kube play YAML files. In this post, I’m presenting my results. If you have further improvements, please let me know.

What does not work

The podman pod create command features the --infra-conmon-pidfile=file option. This option writes the PID of the infra container’s conmon process to a file.

Using this option, it was easy to enable OpenRC identifying the status of a Pod and start the Pod in background:


Unfortunately, the --infra-conmon-pidfile=file option is not (yet?) available when using the podman kube play command.

I’ve tried to discover the infra container’s PID file using the podman inspect command and using this value dynamically in my OpenRC scripts:

podman inspect --format '{{ .PidFile }}' somecontainer-infra

However, OpenRC doesn’t seem happy with PID files appearing and disapperaring dynamically.

What does work

I’ve created a pod script which is sourced by multiple pod-* scripts.

The pod script includes functions for getting the status of a Pod and stopping a Pod. The script assumes that your Pod’s Kubernetes YAML is located at /home/${command_user}/pods/${pod_name}/pod.yaml.



for n in ${pod_networks}; do
	networks_="${networks_} --network $n";
command_args="play kube ${networks_} /home/${command_user}/pods/${pod_name}/pod.yaml >/dev/null 2>&1 &"

depend() {
	after network-online 
	use net 

cleanup() {
	/sbin/runuser -u ${command_user} -- ${command} pod exists ${pod_name}
	if [ $result -eq 0 ]; then
	        /sbin/runuser -u ${command_user} -- ${command} pod stop ${pod_name} > /dev/null
        	/sbin/runuser -u ${command_user} -- ${command} pod rm ${pod_name} > /dev/null

start_pre() {

stop() {
	ebegin "Stopping $RC_SVCNAME"
	eend $?

status() {
	/sbin/runuser -u ${command_user} -- ${command} pod exists ${pod_name} 2> /dev/null
	if [ $result -eq 0 ]; then
		einfo "status: started"
		return 0
		einfo "status: stopped"
		return 3

The script for controlling a Pod “xyz” can look like this.

  • command_user specifies the user running the Pod
  • pod_name sets the Pod’s name
  • pod_networks sets a space-separated list of networks the Pod should be connected to



pod_networks='network1 network2 ...'

source "/home/${command_user}/pods/init.d/pod"

Using root (i.e. using doas or sudo), you can then create a symlink in /etc/init.d and add the pod to the default run level at boot time:

cd /etc/init.d
ln -s /home/<user>/pods/pod-xyz
rc-update add pod-xyz

Use rc-service to start and stop your Pod:

doas rc-service pod-xyz start