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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.


Protocol Buffers with C Bindings

CRIU uses the C bindings of Google's Protocol Buffers. The easiest approach for most would be to install a distribution packages. RPM package name: protobuf-c-devel. Debian package name: libprotobuf-c0-dev. If you would like to build from source, the Protocol Buffer library can be found at, while the Protocol Buffer C bindings can be found at

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
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.

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.

Building CRIU From Source

Get the latest release:

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

Alternatively, use git repository. Clone this repo to test new functionality.

Then run make in the sources root. Please note that the tool only supports x86_64 and ARM architectures.

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.