Open Container Initiative-based implementation of Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface
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CRI-O logo

CRI-O - OCI-based implementation of Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface

Build Status Go Report Card

Status: Stable

Compatibility matrix: CRI-O <-> Kubernetes clusters

Version - Branch Kubernetes branch/version Maintenance status
CRI-O 1.0.x - release-1.0 Kubernetes 1.7 branch, v1.7.x =
CRI-O 1.8.x - release-1.8 Kubernetes 1.8 branch, v1.8.x =
CRI-O 1.9.x - release-1.9 Kubernetes 1.9 branch, v1.9.x =
CRI-O 1.10.x - release-1.10 Kubernetes 1.10 branch, v1.10.x =
CRI-O 1.11.x - release-1.11 Kubernetes 1.11 branch, v1.11.x =
CRI-O HEAD - master Kubernetes master branch


  • Changes in main Kubernetes repo about CRI are actively implemented in CRI-O
  • = Maintenance is manual, only bugs will be patched.

What is the scope of this project?

CRI-O is meant to provide an integration path between OCI conformant runtimes and the kubelet. Specifically, it implements the Kubelet Container Runtime Interface (CRI) using OCI conformant runtimes. The scope of CRI-O is tied to the scope of the CRI.

At a high level, we expect the scope of CRI-O to be restricted to the following functionalities:

  • Support multiple image formats including the existing Docker image format
  • Support for multiple means to download images including trust & image verification
  • Container image management (managing image layers, overlay filesystems, etc)
  • Container process lifecycle management
  • Monitoring and logging required to satisfy the CRI
  • Resource isolation as required by the CRI

What is not in scope for this project?

  • Building, signing and pushing images to various image storages
  • A CLI utility for interacting with CRI-O. Any CLIs built as part of this project are only meant for testing this project and there will be no guarantees on the backward compatibility with it.

This is an implementation of the Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface (CRI) that will allow Kubernetes to directly launch and manage Open Container Initiative (OCI) containers.

The plan is to use OCI projects and best of breed libraries for different aspects:

It is currently in active development in the Kubernetes community through the design proposal. Questions and issues should be raised in the Kubernetes sig-node Slack channel.


Command Description Demo
crio(8) OCI Kubernetes Container Runtime daemon

Note that kpod and its container management and debugging commands have moved to a separate repository, located here.


File Description
crio.conf(5) CRI-O Configuation file
policy.json(5) Signature Verification Policy File(s)
registries.conf(5) Registries Configuration file
storage.conf(5) Storage Configuation file

OCI Hooks Support

You can configure CRI-O to inject OCI Hooks when creating containers.

CRI-O Usage Transfer

Useful information for ops and dev transfer as it relates to infrastructure that utilizes CRI-O


For async communication and long running discussions please use issues and pull requests on the github repo. This will be the best place to discuss design and implementation.

For sync communication we have an IRC channel #CRI-O, on, that everyone is welcome to join and chat about development.

Getting started

Runtime dependencies

  • runc, Clear Containers runtime, or any other OCI compatible runtime
  • socat
  • iproute
  • iptables

Latest version of runc is expected to be installed on the system. It is picked up as the default runtime by CRI-O.

Build and Run Dependencies


Fedora, CentOS, RHEL, and related distributions:

yum install -y \
  btrfs-progs-devel \
  device-mapper-devel \
  git \
  glib2-devel \
  glibc-devel \
  glibc-static \
  go \
  golang-github-cpuguy83-go-md2man \
  gpgme-devel \
  libassuan-devel \
  libgpg-error-devel \
  libseccomp-devel \
  libselinux-devel \
  ostree-devel \
  pkgconfig \
  runc \

Debian, Ubuntu, and related distributions:

apt-get install -y \
  btrfs-tools \
  git \
  golang-go \
  libassuan-dev \
  libdevmapper-dev \
  libglib2.0-dev \
  libc6-dev \
  libgpgme11-dev \
  libgpg-error-dev \
  libseccomp-dev \
  libselinux1-dev \
  pkg-config \
  go-md2man \
  runc \

Debian, Ubuntu, and related distributions will also need a copy of the development libraries for ostree, either in the form of the libostree-dev package from the flatpak PPA, or built from source (more on that here).

If using an older release or a long-term support release, be careful to double-check that the version of runc is new enough (running runc --version should produce spec: 1.0.0), or else build your own.


Be careful to double-check that the version of golang is new enough, version 1.8.x or higher is required. If needed, golang kits are avaliable at

Get Source Code

Clone the source code using:

git clone # or your fork
cd cri-o


sudo make install

Otherwise, if you do not want to build CRI-O with seccomp support you can add BUILDTAGS="" when running make.

sudo make install

Build Tags

CRI-O supports optional build tags for compiling support of various features. To add build tags to the make option the BUILDTAGS variable must be set.

make BUILDTAGS='seccomp apparmor'
Build Tag Feature Dependency
seccomp syscall filtering libseccomp
selinux selinux process and mount labeling libselinux
apparmor apparmor profile support

Running pods and containers

Follow this tutorial to get started with CRI-O.

Setup CNI networking

A proper description of setting up CNI networking is given in the contrib/cni README. But the gist is that you need to have some basic network configurations enabled and CNI plugins installed on your system.

Running with kubernetes

You can run a local version of kubernetes with CRI-O using

  1. Clone the kubernetes repository
  2. Start the CRI-O daemon (crio)
  3. From the kubernetes project directory, run:
CONTAINER_RUNTIME_ENDPOINT='unix:///var/run/crio/crio.sock  --runtime-request-timeout=15m' \

To run a full cluster, see the instructions.

Current Roadmap

  1. Basic pod/container lifecycle, basic image pull (done)
  2. Support for tty handling and state management (done)
  3. Basic integration with kubelet once client side changes are ready (done)
  4. Support for log management, networking integration using CNI, pluggable image/storage management (done)
  5. Support for exec/attach (done)
  6. Target fully automated kubernetes testing without failures e2e status
  7. Track upstream k8s releases