RailCar: Rust implementation of the Open Containers Initiative oci-runtime
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vishvananda Merge pull request #34 from crush-157/unused_mut
fixed build warning about unnecessary mutable 'let mut pfds = '
Latest commit 1fe16bb Apr 3, 2018


railcar - rust implementation of the oci-runtime spec


What is railcar?

railcar is a rust implementation of the opencontainers initiative's runtime spec. It is similar to the reference implementation runc, but it is implemented completely in rust for memory safety without needing the overhead of a garbage collector or multiple threads. For more information on the development of railcar, check out Building a Container Runtime in Rust

Building railcar

wercker status

Install rust:

curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh
cargo install cargo-when
rustup toolchain install stable-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
rustup default stable-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu # for stable
rustup target install x86_64-unknown-linux-musl # for stable
rustup toolchain install nightly-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
rustup default nightly-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu # for nightly
rustup target install x86_64-unknown-linux-musl # for nightly

Building can be done via build.sh:


By default, build.sh builds a dynamic binary using gnu. To build a static binary, set TARGET to x86_64-unknown-linux-musl:

TARGET=x86_64-unknown-linux-musl ./build.sh

Build requirements for TARGET=x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu:


Build requirements for TARGET=x86_64-unknown-linux-musl:

git submodule update --init

To build a release version:

build.sh --release

If you build using stable instead of nightly, the set_name feature will be disabled and the init process inside the container will not be named rc-init when viewed via ps or /proc/$pid/cmdline.

Using railcar

./railcar run

You can specify a different bundle directory where your config.json is located with -b:

./railcar -b /some/other/directory run

Using railcar with docker

railcar can be used as a backend for docker. To use it, start the docker daemon with an additional backend:

dockerd ... --experimental --add-runtime "rc=/path/to/railcar"

Then you can use railcar by specifying the rc backend:

docker run -it --rm --runtime rc hello

Note that you should start the daemon with a terminal (the -t option) so that docker can properly collect stdout and stderr from railcar. If you want to daemonize the container, just use:

docker run -dt --rm --runtime rc hello

Differences from runc

In general, railcar is very similar to runc, but some of the runc commands are not supported. Currently, railcar does not support the following commands:


Also, railcar always runs an init process separately from the container process.


railcar is an open source project. See CONTRIBUTING for details.

Oracle gratefully acknowledges the contributions to railcar that have been made by the community.

Getting in touch

The best way to get in touch is Slack.

Click here to join the the Oracle Container Tools workspace.

Then join the Railcar channel.


Copyright (c) 2017, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

railcar is dual licensed under the Universal Permissive License 1.0 and the Apache License 2.0.

See LICENSE for more details.