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