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criu is an utility to checkpoint/restore a process tree. This page describes how to manually build and install prerequisites and the tool itself.

Note.svg Note: Most probably you don't need manual installation, but rather Packages for your distro.

Obtaining CRIU Source

You can download the source code as a release tarball or sync the git repository. If you plan to modify CRIU sources the latter way is highly recommended.

Getting source tarball

Tarball: criu-3.16.1.tar.gz
Version: 3.16.1 "Petrified Puffin"
Released: 14 Oct 2021
GIT tag: v3.16.1

Cloning git repository

git clone git://
cd criu


Compiler and C Library

For native compilation on Debian based systems, install the build-essential package. For cross compiling for ARM and AArch64, the Linaro prebuilt toolchains are a good choice. Installing them is described below. They are ia32 architecture binaries. On a modern Debian based x86_64 you will need to install the lib32stdc++6 and lib32z1 packages.

mkdir -p deps/`uname -m`-linux-gnu
cd deps
tar --strip=1 -C `uname -m`-linux-gnu -xf gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-4.9-2014.09_linux.tar.xz
tar --strip=1 -C `uname -m`-linux-gnu -xf gcc-linaro-aarch64-linux-gnu-4.9-2014.09_linux.tar.xz
cd ..

Protocol Buffers with C Bindings

CRIU uses the C language bindings of Google Protocol Buffers for serialization. The protoc tool is required at build time and is required at build time and at run time, assuming dynamic linking.

CRIT also uses python language bindings of Google Protocol Buffers and requires descriptor.proto from developer files that could be found in protobuf-devel package.

Distribution Packages

The easiest approach for most would be to install distribution packages. RPM package names: protobuf-c-compiler, protobuf-c-devel, protobuf-devel, protobuf-python. Debian package names: protobuf-c-compiler, libprotobuf-c0-dev, protobuf-compiler, protobuf-python.

Building Protocol Buffers From Source

If you would like to build from source, you can use the following commands to obtain the source code repositories, configure, and build the code. On a Debian based system, you may have to install the following packages first: autoconf curl g++ libtool.

Native protobuf
cd deps
git clone protobuf
cd protobuf
./configure --prefix=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu
make install
cd ../..
Native protobuf-c
cd deps
git clone protobuf-c
cd protobuf-c
mkdir ../pbc-`uname -m`
cd ../pbc-`uname -m`
../protobuf-c/configure --prefix=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu \
  PKG_CONFIG_PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/lib/pkgconfig
make install
cd ../..
Cross Compiling for ARMv7

If you would like to cross-compile for armv7:

cd deps
mkdir -p pbc-arm
cd pbc-arm
../protobuf-c/configure --host=arm-linux-gnueabihf --prefix=`pwd`/../arm-linux-gnueabihf --disable-protoc PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH
make PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH
make install PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH
cd ../..
Cross Compiling for ARMv8

If you would like to cross-compile for armv8:

cd deps
mkdir -p pbc-aarch64
cd pbc-aarch64
 ../protobuf-c/configure --host=aarch64-linux-gnu --prefix=`pwd`/../aarch64-linux-gnu --disable-protoc PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH
make PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH
make install PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH
cd ../..

Other deps


Used in CRIT to pretty-print ip.

Some minor, but useful dependencies


If libbsd is available, CRIU will be compiled with setproctitle() support. It allows to make process titles of service workers to be more verbose.

Building CRIU From Source

Native Compilation

With the CRIU source obtained in the first step and dependencies satisfied in the second step, we are now compile CRIU. For native compilation with the dependencies met using distribution packages, simply run make in the CRIU source directory.

Here is an example of building natively specifying manually built dependencies.

cd deps
rsync -a --exclude=.git --exclude=deps .. criu-`uname -m`
cd criu-`uname -m`
make \
  USERCFLAGS="-I`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/include -L`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/lib" \
  PATH="`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH"
sudo LD_LIBRARY_PATH=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/lib ./criu check
cd ../..

Compilation in Docker container

There's a docker-build target in Makefile which builds CRIU in Ubuntu Docker container. Just run

make docker-build

and that's it.

Cross Compilation for ARMv7

cd deps
rsync -a --exclude=.git --exclude=deps .. criu-arm
cd criu-arm
make \
  ARCH=arm \
  CROSS_COMPILE=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf- \
  USERCFLAGS="-I`pwd`/../arm-linux-gnueabihf/include -L`pwd`/../arm-linux-gnueabihf/lib" \
  PATH="`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH"
cd ../..

Cross Compilation for ARMv8

 cd deps
 rsync -a --exclude=.git --exclude=deps .. criu-aarch64
 cd criu-aarch64
 make \
  ARCH=aarch64 \
  CROSS_COMPILE=`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin/aarch64-linux-gnu- \
  USERCFLAGS="-I`pwd`/../aarch64-linux-gnu/include -L`pwd`/../aarch64-linux-gnu/lib" \
  PATH="`pwd`/../`uname -m`-linux-gnu/bin:$PATH"
 cd ../..

Linux Kernel

Linux kernel v3.11 or newer is required, with some specific options set. If your distribution does not provide needed kernel, you might want to compile one yourself. Note we also have our custom kernel, which might contain some experimental CRIU related patches.

Note you might have to enable

General setup -> Configure standard kernel features (expert users)

option, which depends on

General setup -> Embedded system

(welcome to Kconfig reverse chains hell).

The following options must be enabled for CRIU to work:

General setup -> Checkpoint/restore support
General setup -> Namespaces support
General setup -> Namespaces support -> UTS namespace
General setup -> Namespaces support -> IPC namespace
General setup -> Namespaces support -> PID namespaces
General setup -> Namespaces support -> Network namespace
General setup -> open by fhandle syscalls
General setup -> Enable eventfd() system call
General setup -> Enable eventpoll support
File systems -> Inotify support for userspace
CONFIG_IA32_EMULATION=y (x86 only)
Executable file formats -> Emulations -> IA32 Emulation
Networking support -> Networking options -> Unix domain sockets -> UNIX: socket monitoring interface
Networking support -> Networking options -> TCP/IP networking -> INET: socket monitoring interface
Networking support -> Networking options -> TCP/IP networking -> INET: socket monitoring interface -> UDP: socket monitoring interface
Networking support -> Networking options -> Packet socket -> Packet: sockets monitoring interface
Networking support -> Networking options -> Netlink socket -> Netlink: sockets monitoring interface

For some usage scenarios there is an ability to track memory changes and produce incremental dumps. Need to enable

Processor type and features -> Track memory changes

At the moment it's known that CRIU will NOT work if packet generator module is loaded. Thus make sure that either module is unloaded or not compiled at all.

# CONFIG_NET_PKTGEN is not set
Networking support -> Networking options -> Network testing -> Packet generator


The iproute2 tool version 3.5.0 or higher is needed for dumping network namespaces. The latest one can be cloned from iproute2. It should be compiled and a path to ip written in the environment variable CR_IP_TOOL.


# make install

Checking That It Works

First thing to do is to run

# criu check --ms

At the end it should say "Looks OK", if it doesn't the messages on the screen explain what functionality is missing. If you're using our custom kernel, then the --ms option should not be used, in this case CRIU would check for all the kernel features to work.

You can then try running the ZDTM Test Suite which sits in the tests/zdtm/ directory.

There's a known issue with BTRFS spoiling dev_t values for files and sockets! Not all tests will work on it.

Using CR tools

Please see Usage and Advanced usage, as well as Category:HOWTO.