Container runtimes

You need to install a container runtime into each node in the cluster so that Pods can run there. This page outlines what is involved and describes related tasks for setting up nodes.

Kubernetes 1.24 requires that you use a runtime that conforms with the Container Runtime Interface (CRI).

See CRI version support for more information.

This page lists details for using several common container runtimes with Kubernetes, on Linux:

Cgroup drivers

Control groups are used to constrain resources that are allocated to processes.

When systemd is chosen as the init system for a Linux distribution, the init process generates and consumes a root control group (cgroup) and acts as a cgroup manager. Systemd has a tight integration with cgroups and allocates a cgroup per systemd unit. It's possible to configure your container runtime and the kubelet to use cgroupfs. Using cgroupfs alongside systemd means that there will be two different cgroup managers.

A single cgroup manager simplifies the view of what resources are being allocated and will by default have a more consistent view of the available and in-use resources. When there are two cgroup managers on a system, you end up with two views of those resources. In the field, people have reported cases where nodes that are configured to use cgroupfs for the kubelet and Docker, but systemd for the rest of the processes, become unstable under resource pressure.

Changing the settings such that your container runtime and kubelet use systemd as the cgroup driver stabilized the system. To configure this for Docker, set native.cgroupdriver=systemd.

Cgroup v2

Cgroup v2 is the next version of the cgroup Linux API. Differently than cgroup v1, there is a single hierarchy instead of a different one for each controller.

The new version offers several improvements over cgroup v1, some of these improvements are:

  • cleaner and easier to use API
  • safe sub-tree delegation to containers
  • newer features like Pressure Stall Information

Even if the kernel supports a hybrid configuration where some controllers are managed by cgroup v1 and some others by cgroup v2, Kubernetes supports only the same cgroup version to manage all the controllers.

If systemd doesn't use cgroup v2 by default, you can configure the system to use it by adding systemd.unified_cgroup_hierarchy=1 to the kernel command line.

# dnf install -y grubby && \
  sudo grubby \
  --update-kernel=ALL \
  --args="systemd.unified_cgroup_hierarchy=1"

To apply the configuration, it is necessary to reboot the node.

There should not be any noticeable difference in the user experience when switching to cgroup v2, unless users are accessing the cgroup file system directly, either on the node or from within the containers.

In order to use it, cgroup v2 must be supported by the CRI runtime as well.

Migrating to the systemd driver in kubeadm managed clusters

Follow this Migration guide if you wish to migrate to the systemd cgroup driver in existing kubeadm managed clusters.

CRI version support

Your container runtime must support at least v1alpha2 of the container runtime interface.

Kubernetes 1.24 defaults to using v1 of the CRI API. If a container runtime does not support the v1 API, the kubelet falls back to using the (deprecated) v1alpha2 API instead.

Container runtimes

containerd

This section contains the necessary steps to use containerd as CRI runtime.

Use the following commands to install Containerd on your system:

Install and configure prerequisites:

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/containerd.conf
overlay
br_netfilter
EOF

sudo modprobe overlay
sudo modprobe br_netfilter

# Setup required sysctl params, these persist across reboots.
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/sysctl.d/99-kubernetes-cri.conf
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-iptables  = 1
net.ipv4.ip_forward                 = 1
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-ip6tables = 1
EOF

# Apply sysctl params without reboot
sudo sysctl --system

Install containerd:

  1. Install the containerd.io package from the official Docker repositories. Instructions for setting up the Docker repository for your respective Linux distribution and installing the containerd.io package can be found at Install Docker Engine.

  2. Configure containerd:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/containerd
    containerd config default | sudo tee /etc/containerd/config.toml
    
  3. Restart containerd:

    sudo systemctl restart containerd
    

Start a Powershell session, set $Version to the desired version (ex: $Version=1.4.3), and then run the following commands:

  1. Download containerd:

    curl.exe -L https://github.com/containerd/containerd/releases/download/v$Version/containerd-$Version-windows-amd64.tar.gz -o containerd-windows-amd64.tar.gz
    tar.exe xvf .\containerd-windows-amd64.tar.gz
    
  2. Extract and configure:

    Copy-Item -Path ".\bin\" -Destination "$Env:ProgramFiles\containerd" -Recurse -Force
    cd $Env:ProgramFiles\containerd\
    .\containerd.exe config default | Out-File config.toml -Encoding ascii
    
    # Review the configuration. Depending on setup you may want to adjust:
    # - the sandbox_image (Kubernetes pause image)
    # - cni bin_dir and conf_dir locations
    Get-Content config.toml
    
    # (Optional - but highly recommended) Exclude containerd from Windows Defender Scans
    Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess "$Env:ProgramFiles\containerd\containerd.exe"
    
  3. Start containerd:

    .\containerd.exe --register-service
    Start-Service containerd
    

Using the systemd cgroup driver

To use the systemd cgroup driver in /etc/containerd/config.toml with runc, set

[plugins."io.containerd.grpc.v1.cri".containerd.runtimes.runc]
  ...
  [plugins."io.containerd.grpc.v1.cri".containerd.runtimes.runc.options]
    SystemdCgroup = true

If you apply this change make sure to restart containerd again:

sudo systemctl restart containerd

When using kubeadm, manually configure the cgroup driver for kubelet.

CRI-O

This section contains the necessary steps to install CRI-O as a container runtime.

Use the following commands to install CRI-O on your system:

Install and configure prerequisites:

# Create the .conf file to load the modules at bootup
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/crio.conf
overlay
br_netfilter
EOF

sudo modprobe overlay
sudo modprobe br_netfilter

# Set up required sysctl params, these persist across reboots.
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/sysctl.d/99-kubernetes-cri.conf
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-iptables  = 1
net.ipv4.ip_forward                 = 1
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-ip6tables = 1
EOF

sudo sysctl --system

To install CRI-O on the following operating systems, set the environment variable OS to the appropriate value from the following table:

Operating system $OS
Debian Unstable Debian_Unstable
Debian Testing Debian_Testing


Then, set $VERSION to the CRI-O version that matches your Kubernetes version. For instance, if you want to install CRI-O 1.20, set VERSION=1.20. You can pin your installation to a specific release. To install version 1.20.0, set VERSION=1.20:1.20.0.

Then run

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.list
deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable/$OS/ /
EOF
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION.list
deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable:/cri-o:/$VERSION/$OS/ /
EOF

curl -L https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION/$OS/Release.key | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/libcontainers.gpg add -
curl -L https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable/$OS/Release.key | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/libcontainers.gpg add -

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cri-o cri-o-runc

To install on the following operating systems, set the environment variable OS to the appropriate field in the following table:

Operating system $OS
Ubuntu 20.04 xUbuntu_20.04
Ubuntu 19.10 xUbuntu_19.10
Ubuntu 19.04 xUbuntu_19.04
Ubuntu 18.04 xUbuntu_18.04


Then, set $VERSION to the CRI-O version that matches your Kubernetes version. For instance, if you want to install CRI-O 1.20, set VERSION=1.20. You can pin your installation to a specific release. To install version 1.20.0, set VERSION=1.20:1.20.0.

Then run

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.list
deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable/$OS/ /
EOF
cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION.list
deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable:/cri-o:/$VERSION/$OS/ /
EOF

curl -L https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable/$OS/Release.key | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/libcontainers.gpg add -
curl -L https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION/$OS/Release.key | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/libcontainers-cri-o.gpg add -

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cri-o cri-o-runc

To install on the following operating systems, set the environment variable OS to the appropriate field in the following table:

Operating system $OS
Centos 8 CentOS_8
Centos 8 Stream CentOS_8_Stream
Centos 7 CentOS_7


Then, set $VERSION to the CRI-O version that matches your Kubernetes version. For instance, if you want to install CRI-O 1.20, set VERSION=1.20. You can pin your installation to a specific release. To install version 1.20.0, set VERSION=1.20:1.20.0.

Then run

sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:/kubic:/libcontainers:/stable/$OS/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.repo
sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION.repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION/$OS/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:$VERSION.repo
sudo yum install cri-o

sudo zypper install cri-o

Set $VERSION to the CRI-O version that matches your Kubernetes version. For instance, if you want to install CRI-O 1.20, VERSION=1.20.

You can find available versions with:

sudo dnf module list cri-o

CRI-O does not support pinning to specific releases on Fedora.

Then run

sudo dnf module enable cri-o:$VERSION
sudo dnf install cri-o

Start CRI-O:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable crio --now

Refer to the CRI-O installation guide for more information.

cgroup driver

CRI-O uses the systemd cgroup driver per default. To switch to the cgroupfs cgroup driver, either edit /etc/crio/crio.conf or place a drop-in configuration in /etc/crio/crio.conf.d/02-cgroup-manager.conf, for example:

[crio.runtime]
conmon_cgroup = "pod"
cgroup_manager = "cgroupfs"

Please also note the changed conmon_cgroup, which has to be set to the value pod when using CRI-O with cgroupfs. It is generally necessary to keep the cgroup driver configuration of the kubelet (usually done via kubeadm) and CRI-O in sync.

Docker Engine

Docker Engine is the container runtime that started it all. Formerly known just as Docker, this container runtime is available in various forms. Install Docker Engine explains your options for installing this runtime.

Docker Engine is directly compatible with Kubernetes 1.24, using the deprecated dockershim component. For more information and context, see the Dockershim deprecation FAQ.

You can also find third-party adapters that let you use Docker Engine with Kubernetes through the supported Container Runtime Interface (CRI).

The following CRI adaptors are designed to work with Docker Engine:

Mirantis Container Runtime

Mirantis Container Runtime (MCR) is a commercially available container runtime that was formerly known as Docker Enterprise Edition.

You can use Mirantis Container Runtime with Kubernetes using the open source cri-dockerd component, included with MCR.

Items on this page refer to third party products or projects that provide functionality required by Kubernetes. The Kubernetes project authors aren't responsible for those third-party products or projects. See the CNCF website guidelines for more details.

You should read the content guide before proposing a change that adds an extra third-party link.

Last modified December 11, 2021 at 5:05 PM PST : Add Docker Engine as container runtime (65e92a8f1)