criu is an utility to checkpoint/restore a process tree. This page describes how to get CRIU binary on your box.


Installing from packagesEdit

Many distributions provide ready-to-use packages. If no, or the CRIU version you want is not yet there, you will need to get CRIU sources and compile it.

Obtaining CRIU sourcesEdit

You can download the source code as a release tarball or sync the git repository. If you plan to modify CRIU sources (e.g. to contribute the code back) the latter way is highly recommended. The latest and greatest sources are:

Tarball: criu-3.4.tar.bz2
Version: 3.4 "Cobalt Swan"
Released: 21 Aug 2017
GIT tag: v3.4

Installing build dependenciesEdit

Compiler and C LibraryEdit

CRIU is mostly written in C and the build system is based on Makefiles. Thus just install standard gcc and make packages (on Debian use build-essential).

For building with 32bit tasks C/R support you will need libc6-dev-i386, gcc-multilib instead of gcc.

Cross-compilation for ARM is also possible.

Protocol BuffersEdit

CRIU uses the Google Protocol Buffers to read and write images. The protoc tool is used at build time and CRIU is linked with the Also CRIT uses python bindings and the descriptor.proto file which typically provided by a distribution's protobuf development package.

RPM packages
protobuf protobuf-c protobuf-c-devel protobuf-compiler protobuf-devel protobuf-python
Deb packages
libprotobuf-dev libprotobuf-c0-dev protobuf-c-compiler protobuf-compiler python-protobuf

Optionally, you may build protobuf from sources.

Other stuffEdit

  • pkg-config to check on build library dependencies.
  • python-ipaddr is used by CRIT to pretty-print ip.
  • libbsd. If available, CRIU will be compiled with setproctitle() support. It will allow to make process titles of service workers to be more verbose.
  • iproute2 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 set as the CR_IP_TOOL variable
  • libcap-devel (RPM) / libcap-dev (DEB)
  • libnet-devel libnl3-devel (RPM) / libnet1-dev (DEB) / libnl-3-dev libnet-dev (Ubuntu)

For APT use the --no-install-recommends parameter is to avoid asciidoc pulling in a lot of dependencies. Also read about ZDTM test suite if you will run CRIU tests, those sources need other deps.

Building the toolEdit

Simply run make in the CRIU source directory. This is the standard way, but there are some options available.

  1. There's a docker-build target in Makefile which builds CRIU in Ubuntu Docker container. Just run make docker-build and that's it.
  2. CRIU has functionality that is either optional or behaves differently depending on the kernel CRIU is running on. By default build process includes maximum of it, but this behavior can be changed.
  3. You may specify build dependencies by hands


CRIU works perfectly even when run from the sources directory (with the ./criu/criu command), but if you want to have in standard paths run make install. You may need to install asciidoc and xmlto packages to make install-man work.

Checking That It WorksEdit

Linux kernel v3.11 or newer is required, with some specific config options turned on. Various advanced CRIU features might require even newer kernel. So the first thing to do is to check the kernel by running criu check. At the end it should say "Looks OK", if it doesn't the messages on the screen explain what functionality is missing. If your distribution does not provide needed kernel, you might want to compile one yourself.

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

Further readingEdit