CRI-O is moving towards

Author: Sascha Grunert

The Kubernetes community recently announced that their legacy package repositories are frozen, and now they moved to introduced community-owned package repositories powered by the OpenBuildService (OBS). CRI-O has a long history of utilizing OBS for their package builds, but all of the packaging efforts have been done manually so far.

The CRI-O community absolutely loves Kubernetes, which means that they're delighted to announce that:

All future CRI-O packages will be shipped as part of the officially supported Kubernetes infrastructure hosted on!

There will be a deprecation phase for the existing packages, which is currently being discussed in the CRI-O community. The new infrastructure will only support releases of CRI-O >= v1.28.2 as well as release branches newer than release-1.28.

How to use the new packages

In the same way as the Kubernetes community, CRI-O provides deb and rpm packages as part of a dedicated subproject in OBS, called isv:kubernetes:addons:cri-o. This project acts as an umbrella and provides stable (for CRI-O tags) as well as prerelease (for CRI-O release-1.y and main branches) package builds.

Stable Releases:


There are no stable releases available in the v1.29 repository yet, because v1.29.0 will be released in December. The CRI-O community will also not support release branches older than release-1.28, because there have been CI requirements merged into main which could be only backported to release-1.28 with appropriate efforts.

For example, If an end-user would like to install the latest available version of the CRI-O main branch, then they can add the repository in the same way as they do for Kubernetes.

rpm Based Distributions

For rpm based distributions, you can run the following commands as a root user to install CRI-O together with Kubernetes:

Add the Kubernetes repo

cat <<EOF | tee /etc/yum.repos.d/kubernetes.repo

Add the CRI-O repo

cat <<EOF | tee /etc/yum.repos.d/cri-o.repo

Install official package dependencies

dnf install -y \
    conntrack \
    container-selinux \
    ebtables \
    ethtool \
    iptables \

Install the packages from the added repos

dnf install -y --repo cri-o --repo kubernetes \
    cri-o \
    kubeadm \
    kubectl \

deb Based Distributions

For deb based distributions, you can run the following commands as a root user:

Install dependencies for adding the repositories

apt-get update
apt-get install -y software-properties-common curl

Add the Kubernetes repository

curl -fsSL |
    gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/kubernetes-apt-keyring.gpg
echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/kubernetes-apt-keyring.gpg] /" |
    tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kubernetes.list

Add the CRI-O repository

curl -fsSL |
    gpg --dearmor -o /etc/apt/keyrings/cri-o-apt-keyring.gpg
echo "deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/cri-o-apt-keyring.gpg] /" |
    tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cri-o.list

Install the packages

apt-get update
apt-get install -y cri-o kubelet kubeadm kubectl

Start CRI-O

systemctl start crio.service

The Project's prerelease:/main prefix at the CRI-O's package path, can be replaced with stable:/v1.28, stable:/v1.29, prerelease:/v1.28 or prerelease:/v1.29 if another stream package is used.

Bootstrapping a cluster using kubeadm can be done by running kubeadm init command, which automatically detects that CRI-O is running in the background. There are also Vagrantfile examples available for Fedora 38 as well as Ubuntu 22.04 for testing the packages together with kubeadm.

How it works under the hood

Everything related to these packages lives in the new CRI-O packaging repository. It contains a daily reconciliation GitHub action workflow, for all supported release branches as well as tags of CRI-O. A test pipeline in the OBS workflow ensures that the packages can be correctly installed and used before being published. All of the staging and publishing of the packages is done with the help of the Kubernetes Release Toolbox (krel), which is also used for the official Kubernetes deb and rpm packages.

The package build inputs will undergo daily reconciliation and will be supplied by CRI-O's static binary bundles. These bundles are built and signed for each commit in the CRI-O CI, and contain everything CRI-O requires to run on a certain architecture. The static builds are reproducible, powered by nixpkgs and available only for x86_64, aarch64 and ppc64le architecture.

The CRI-O maintainers will be happy to listen to any feedback or suggestions on the new packaging efforts! Thank you for reading this blog post, feel free to reach out to the maintainers via the Kubernetes Slack channel #crio or create an issue in the packaging repository.