How to install the Containerd runtime engine on Ubuntu Server 22.04

Estimated read time 3 min read

Jack Wallen walks you through the process of manually installing the Containerd container runtime engine on Ubuntu Server 22.04.

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Containerd is a container runtime engine created for simplicity and portability. This runtime is considered an industry standard and is available as a daemon for Linux and Windows and can manage the entire container lifecycle for image transfer and storage, container deployment and supervision, storage and network, and more.

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I’m going to walk you through the process of installing Containerd on Ubuntu Server 22.04. This isn’t quite as simple as installing the Docker runtime engine, but it’s only just a matter of running a few commands. With the introduction out of the way, let’s get right to the installation.

How to install Containerd on Ubuntu Server

There are a few pieces to this puzzle, the first of which is the Containerd runtime itself. To begin with, download the Containerd runtime with the command:


Do check the Containerd Download page to ensure you’re downloading the latest release.

Unpack that file into /usr/local/ with the command:

sudo tar Cxzvf /usr/local containerd-1.6.8-linux-amd64.tar.gz

Next, we need the runc command line tool which is used to deploy containers with Containerd. Download this package with:


Install runc with:

sudo install -m 755 runc.amd64 /usr/local/sbin/runc

Now, we need the Container Network Interface, which is used to provide the necessary networking functionality. Download CNI with:


Create a new directory with:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/cni/bin

Unpack the CNI file into our new directory with:

sudo tar Cxzvf /opt/cni/bin cni-plugins-linux-amd64-v1.1.1.tgz

How to configure Containerd

With everything installed, we can now configure Containerd. Create a new directory to house the Containerd configurations with:

sudo mkdir /etc/containerd

Create the configurations with:

containerd config default | sudo tee /etc/containerd/config.toml

Enable SystemdCgroup with the command:

sudo sed -i 's/SystemdCgroup \= false/SystemdCgroup \= true/g' /etc/containerd/config.toml

Download the required systemd file with:

sudo curl -L -o /etc/systemd/system/containerd.service

Reload the systemd daemon with:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Finally, start and enable the Containerd service with:

sudo systemctl enable --now containerd

You can verify everything is running with the command:

sudo systemctl status containerd

You should see output similar to this:

containerd.service - containerd container runtime
Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/containerd.service; enabled; vendor pre>
Active: active (running) since Wed 2022-09-21 12:17:24 UTC; 6s ago
Process: 1475 ExecStartPre=/sbin/modprobe overlay (code=exited, status=0/SUC>
Main PID: 1478 (containerd)
Tasks: 8
Memory: 19.4M
CPU: 257ms
CGroup: /system.slice/containerd.service
└─1478 /usr/local/bin/containerd

Congratulations, you now have the Containerd container runtime engine ready to serve on Ubuntu Server 22.04. Next time up, we’ll pull down an image and deploy a container with this powerful system.

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