CRI-O is an OCI-based implementation of Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface (CRI). CRI-O is meant to provide an integration path between OCI conformant runtimes and the kubelet. In this guide, we will discuss on the installation of CRI-O Container Runtime on CentOS 8 / CentOS 7 Linux system. The scope of CRI-O is restricted to the following functionalities:

  • Support multiple image formats including the existing Docker image format
  • Support for multiple means to download images including trust & image verification
  • Container image management (managing image layers, overlay filesystems, etc)
  • Container process lifecycle management
  • Monitoring and logging required to satisfy the CRI
  • Resource isolation as required by the CRI

CRI-O use best of breed libraries for different aspects:

Install CRI-O Container Runtime on CentOS 8 / CentOS 7

CRI-O and Kubernetes follow the same release cycle and deprecation policy. For more information visit the Kubernetes versioning documentation. Update your system prior to installation:

sudo yum -y update

Below are the steps you’ll follow to install CRI-O on CentOS 8 / CentOS 7 Linux server or Workstation machine.

Step 1: Add CRI-O Repository

So if you’re running Kubernetes version 1.19, you’ll install cri-o 1.19.x. We’ll save this version to a variable. Then add repository to our system.

Add repository to CentOS 8:

sudo dnf -y install 'dnf-command(copr)'
sudo dnf -y copr enable rhcontainerbot/container-selinux
sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.repo
sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:${VERSION}.repo${VERSION}/CentOS_8/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:${VERSION}.repo

Add repository to CentOS 7:

sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable.repo
sudo curl -L -o /etc/yum.repos.d/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:${VERSION}.repo${VERSION}/CentOS_7/devel:kubic:libcontainers:stable:cri-o:${VERSION}.repo

Step 2: Install CRI-O Container Runtime on CentOS 8 / CentOS 7

Once the repository is added, install CRI-O Container Runtime on CentOS 8 / CentOS 7 with this command:

sudo yum install cri-o

Agree to install a number of dependencies shown:

Transaction Summary
Install  19 Packages
Upgrade   8 Packages

Total download size: 91 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y

GPG key should be imported as well.

Importing GPG key 0x75060AA4:
 Userid     : "devel:kubic OBS Project <devel:[email protected]>"
 Fingerprint: 2472 D6D0 D2F6 6AF8 7ABA 8DA3 4D64 3903 7506 0AA4
 From       :
Is this ok [y/N]: y

Confirm installation of CRI-O on CentOS:

$ rpm -qi cri-o
Name        : cri-o
Epoch       : 2
Version     : 1.19.1
Release     : 11.10.el8
Architecture: x86_64
Install Date: Tue 20 Apr 2021 12:08:30 AM EAT
Group       : Unspecified
Size        : 157596774
License     : ASL 2.0
Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Fri 16 Apr 2021 06:24:56 PM EAT, Key ID 4d64390375060aa4
Source RPM  : cri-o-1.19.1-11.10.el8.src.rpm
Build Date  : Fri 16 Apr 2021 06:24:23 PM EAT
Build Host  : lamb05
Relocations : (not relocatable)
Vendor      : obs://
URL         :
Summary     : Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface for OCI-based containers

Step 3: Start CRI-O Service

The cri-o service is not enabled or started by default. Let’s start it:

sudo systemctl enable --now cri-o

Socket file:


In the guides to follow, we’ll cover creation of Kubernetes Cluster with CRI-O runtime engine and maybe interacting with cri-o containers with crictl command line tool.

In the meantime, check other container related articles available on our site.

How To Open a Shell Prompt on an OpenShift Node

How To Install Kubernetes Dashboard with NodePort

How To Create Admin User to Access Kubernetes Dashboard

Top Minimal Container Operating Systems for running Kubernetes

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