When I run podman run --init, I get

$> podman run --init -ti cp /sbin/init
Error: container-init binary not found on the host: stat /usr/libexec/podman/catatonit: no such file or directory

But I can easily verify that there is an init there,

$> podman run cp ls -- /sbin | grep init

What is catatonit? Why am I getting this error and how can I resolve it?

2 Answers 2


The error isn’t complaining about /sbin/init but about /usr/libexec/podman/catatonit, which points to /usr/libexec/catatonit/catatonit. The latter is provided by the catatonit package which is presumably not installed on your system (it’s only a weak dependency for podman).

On Fedora,

sudo dnf install catatonit

should fix things (but the package should be installed for you if you install podman).

On Debian, you’re running into #971815; you’ll have to either wait for a fix for that bug, or provide your own container init. One method is

sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/docker-init /usr/libexec/podman/catatonit

or configure podman to use docker-init directly instead of catatonit (in ~/.config/containers/containers.conf).


You can install container-init binary and define it p in containers.conf, such as tini:

init_path= "/usr/bin/tini"

Maybe don't need it at all:

init = false

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