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runc(8) System Manager's Manual runc(8)


runc - Open Container Initiative runtime


runc [global options] command [command options] [arguments...]


runc is a command line client for running applications packaged according to the Open Container Initiative (OCI) format and is a compliant implementation of the Open Container Initiative specification.

runc integrates well with existing process supervisors to provide a production container runtime environment for applications. It can be used with your existing process monitoring tools and the container will be spawned as a direct child of the process supervisor.

Containers are configured using bundles. A bundle for a container is a directory that includes a specification file named "config.json" and a root filesystem. The root filesystem contains the contents of the container.

To start a new instance of a container:

# runc start [ -b bundle ] <container-id>

Where "<container-id>" is your name for the instance of the container that you are starting. The name you provide for the container instance must be unique on your host. Providing the bundle directory using "-b" is optional. The default value for "bundle" is the current directory.


checkpoint   checkpoint a running container
create       create a container
delete       delete any resources held by the container often used with detached containers
events       display container events such as OOM notifications, cpu, memory, IO and network stats
exec         execute new process inside the container
init         initialize the namespaces and launch the process (do not call it outside of runc)
kill         kill sends the specified signal (default: SIGTERM) to the container's init process
list         lists containers started by runc with the given root
pause        pause suspends all processes inside the container
ps           displays the processes running inside a container
restore      restore a container from a previous checkpoint
resume       resumes all processes that have been previously paused
run          create and run a container
spec         create a new specification file
start        executes the user defined process in a created container
state        output the state of a container
update       update container resource constraints
help, h      Shows a list of commands or help for one command


--debug              enable debug output for logging
--log value          set the log file path where internal debug information is written (default: "/dev/null")
--log-format value   set the format used by logs ('text' (default), or 'json') (default: "text")
--root value         root directory for storage of container state (this should be located in tmpfs) (default: "/run/runc" or $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/runc for rootless containers)
--criu value         path to the criu binary used for checkpoint and restore (default: "criu")
--systemd-cgroup     enable systemd cgroup support, expects cgroupsPath to be of form "slice:prefix:name" for e.g. "system.slice:runc:434234"
--rootless value    enable rootless mode ('true', 'false', or 'auto') (default: "auto")
--help, -h           show help
--version, -v        print the version