DOKK / manpages / debian 12 / podman-toolbox / toolbox.1.en
toolbox(1) General Commands Manual toolbox(1)

toolbox - Tool for containerized command line environments on Linux

toolbox [--assumeyes | -y]
[--help | -h]
[--log-level LEVEL]
[--verbose | -v]

Toolbox is a tool for Linux operating systems, which allows the use of containerized command line environments. It is built on top of Podman and other standard container technologies from OCI.

This is particularly useful on OSTree based operating systems like Fedora CoreOS and Silverblue. The intention of these systems is to discourage installation of software on the host, and instead install software as (or in) containers — they mostly don't even have package managers like DNF or YUM. This makes it difficult to set up a development environment or install tools for debugging in the usual way.

Toolbox solves this problem by providing a fully mutable container within which one can install their favourite development and debugging tools, editors and SDKs. For example, it's possible to do yum install ansible without affecting the base operating system.

However, this tool doesn't require using an OSTree based system. It works equally well on Fedora Workstation and Server, and that's a useful way to incrementally adopt containerization.

The toolbox environment is based on an OCI image. On Fedora this is the fedora-toolbox image. This image is used to create a toolbox container that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the operating system by providing access to the user's home directory, the Wayland and X11 sockets, networking (including Avahi), removable devices (like USB sticks), systemd journal, SSH agent, D-Bus, ulimits, /dev and the udev database, etc..

By default, Toolbox tries to use an image matching the host operating system distribution for creating containers. If the host is not supported, then it falls back to a Fedora image. Supported host operating systems are:

  • Fedora
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux >= 8.5

However, it's possible to create containers for a different distribution through the use of the --distro and --release options that are accepted by the relevant commands, or their counterparts in the configuration file. The --distro flag specifies the name of the distribution, and --release specifies its version. Supported combinations are:

Distro Release
fedora <release> or f<release> eg., 35 or f35
rhel <major>.<minor> eg., 8.5

The following options are understood:

--assumeyes, -y

Automatically answer yes for all questions.

--help, -h

Print a synopsis of this manual and exit.


Log messages above specified level: debug, info, warn, error, fatal or panic (default: error)


Show log messages of invocations of Podman based on the logging level specified by option log-level.

--verbose, -v

Same as --log-level=debug. Use -vv to include --log-podman.

Commands for working with toolbox containers and images:


Create a new toolbox container.


Enter a toolbox container for interactive use.


Display help information about Toolbox.


Initialize a running container.


List existing toolbox containers and images.


Remove one or more toolbox containers.


Remove one or more toolbox images.


Run a command in an existing toolbox container.


Toolbox configuration file.