Before using this product, please read the project status disclaimer.

General Information

kamu is a single-binary utility that comes bundled with most of its dependencies.

It relies on docker container-based virtualization to run such heavyweight frameworks like Spark, Flink, and Jupyter in isolated environments without needing you to install thousands of libraries and bloating your beloved laptop with their dependencies.

The tool comes with very good shell completions - make sure to configure them!

See also:

Supported Platforms


Linux is our primary target environment. We don’t have packages for various Linux flavors yet, but since the tool is just a simple binary it’s very easy to get started:

  • Install docker using your distro’s package manager (alternatively try podman)
  • Install kamu via installer script by running:
    curl -s "" | sh

See also:


Installing on MacOS X is very similar to Linux with following differences:

  • Install Docker for Mac
  • Consider allocating more CPUs and memory to the Docker VM in the settings
  • If you want to run kamu outside of your user home directory - you may need to add additional mounts to the Docker VM. For example if your workspace is in /opt/myworkspace you’ll need to mount it under the same name into the VM in Docker settings.

See also:

Windows (using WSL2)

  • Install WSL2 following these steps
  • Install docker
    • We recommend you to install Docker Desktop for Windows with WSL2 backend (see instructions)
    • Ensure that from your linux distribution you can launch containers without sudo (e.g. docker run -it --rm hello-world should work)
  • Inside your WSL2 distribution of choice:
    • Install kamu via installer script by running:
      curl -s "" | sh

To get the best experience using kamu with WSL2 we recommend you to also:

See also:

Windows (using Docker Desktop)

The native Windows binary is still experimental, so in most cases it’s better to use the WSL

  • Install and run Docker Desktop.
    • It’s a good idea to give the Docker’s VM more CPU and RAM - you can do so in VirtualBox.
  • Make sure that you can run docker ps successfully.
    • We recommend using PowerShell when working with kamu
  • Download the latest kamu binary for Windows
  • Add it to your PATH environment variable

Docker Toolbox runs Docker in a Virtual Machine. This means to mount a file from your host file system into a Docker container the file first needs to be mounted into VM, so make sure all paths that kamu will need are mapped in VirtualBox VM settings.

Example: Lets assume your workspace directory is C:\Users\me\kamu. When kamu runs it will detect that Docker runs in a VM it will convert it to /c/Users/me/kamu. So in your VM settings you may need to add a mapping from C:\Users\me to /c/Users/me.

Installing shell completions

To be able to auto-complete the kamu commands please install completion scripts for the shell of your choosing. You can find detailed instructions by running kamu completions --help.

If you use bash add the following to your ~/.bashrc file:

source <(kamu completions bash)

If you use zsh add the following to your ~/.zshrc file:

autoload -U +X bashcompinit && bashcompinit
source <(kamu completions bash)

A Note on Docker Security

We take your security very seriously. Unfortunately the execution model of docker that involves running the daemon process under root violates the Unix user permission model. Combined with the step of making docker command sudo-less this means that any process you run under your user can potentially access the entire file system with root privileges. Until docker changes its runtime model, sudo-less access to Docker will remain a security threat.

On our side we are taking following measures to gain your trust:

  • kamu and all of its components are open-source and available for review
  • All of our docker images are based on reputable source images and are available for review [1] [2] [3]
  • When kamu starts docker containers it limits the scope of volumes it’s mounting to a minimum. You can review the volume mounts by running kamu with -v flag or using docker ps.

To avoid all these issues please consider using podman - this container runtime operates in daemon-less and root-less mode, so it’s fully compliant with the standard Unix permission model.

Using Podman instead of Docker

podman is an alternative container runtime that fixes the security shortcomings of docker. We highly recommend you to give it a try, as we are planning to make it a default runtime in the near future.

Make sure to follow Podman’s Rootless Setup Guide to allow kamu to run containers without sudo.

In order to instruct kamu to use podman run:

kamu config set --user engine.runtime podman

On some systems you need to separately install podman-dnsname package to allow contaiers to communicate with one another via hostnames. To check whether you have it run:

podman network create test
podman network ls
# 9f86d081884c  test    0.4.0    bridge,portmap,firewall,tuning,dnsname
#                                                               ^^^ plugin installed
podman network prune

Development Images

It is sometimes conveniet to get kamu-cli in a Docker/Podman image. For this we have few options:

For example, try running:

docker run -it --rm kamu list