Podman and Shorewall

Bright Cluster Manager uses Shorewall to manage the various firewall rules on the head/management node. By default, this seems to prevent Podman and Docker from working right.

I am working through a simple example of running a pod with PostgreSQL and PGAdmin but the connection to the host port that forwards to the pgadmin container seemed to be blocked. Connection attempts using both curl and web browsers would hang.

There is additional configuration that needs to be done for Shorewall to work with Podman. Shorewall has instructions on making it work with Docker, and it seems to work for podman with minor modifications.

First, modify the systemd service to not clear firewall rules on service stop. Do:

sudo systemctl edit shorewall.service

which gives a blank file. Add these contents:


# reset ExecStop


# set ExecStop to "stop" instead of "clear"

ExecStop=/sbin/shorewall $OPTIONS stop

Then activate the changes with

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Next, we need to know the name of the Podman network interface. Use “ip link list” to see it. On my RHEL 8 system, the interface is 

10: cni-podman0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000

    link/ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

And make the following modifications to the appropriate config files.

Enable Docker mode in /etc/shorewall/shorewall.conf:


Define a zone for Podman in /etc/shorewall/zones:


pod     ipv4    # 'pod' is just an example -- call it anything you like

Define policies for this zone in /etc/shorewall/policy:

#SOURCE        DEST        POLICY        LEVEL 

pod            $FW          REJECT

pod            all          ACCEPT

And match the zone to the interface in /etc/shorewall/interfaces:

# Need to specify "?FORMAT 2" 



pod    cni-podman0  bridge   # Allow ICC (inter-container communication); bridge implies routeback=1

Then, restart shorewall. And start the pod; or restart if it was already running.

You many need additional rules to allow an external host to connect into the pod. E.g. a pod containing a pgadmin container and a postgresql container, where the pgadmin container serves on port 80. Say your administrative hosts will be in the address block Then, add the following to /etc/shorewall/rules:

# Accept connections from admin hosts to the pgadmin container


#                                            PORT(S)

ACCEPT    net:    pod    tcp     80

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