Kata Containers*

This tutorial describes how to install, configure, and run Kata Containers on Clear Linux* OS.


Kata Containers is an open source project developing a lightweight implementation of VMs that offer the speed of containers and the security of VMs.


This tutorial assumes you have installed Clear Linux OS on your host system. For detailed instructions on installing Clear Linux OS on a bare metal system, follow the bare metal installation tutorial.

If you have Clear Containers installed on your Clear Linux OS system, then follow the migrate Clear Containers to Kata Containers tutorial.

Before you install any new packages, update Clear Linux OS with the following command:

sudo swupd update

Install Kata Containers

Kata Containers is included in the containers-virt bundle. To install the framework, enter the following command:

sudo swupd bundle-add containers-virt

Restart the Docker* and Kata Containers systemd services.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart docker

Run Kata Containers

sudo docker run -ti busybox sh


If you use a proxy server and your proxy environment variables are already set, run the following commands as a shell script to configure Docker:

sudo mkdir -p "$docker_service_dir"
cat <<EOF | sudo tee "$docker_service_dir/proxy.conf"
echo "Reloading unit files and starting docker service"
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart docker
sudo docker info


You’ve successfully installed and set up Kata Containers on Clear Linux OS.

More information about Docker

Docker on Clear Linux OS provides a docker.service file to start the Docker daemon. The daemon will use runc or kata-runtime depending on the environment:

  • If you are running Clear Linux OS on bare metal or on a VM with Nested Virtualization activated, Docker uses kata-runtime as the default runtime.
  • If you are running Clear Linux OS on a VM without Nested Virtualization, Docker uses runc as the default runtime.

You do not need to manually configure the runtime for Docker, because it automatically uses the runtime supported by the system.


  • To change the Docker storage driver, see Additional Docker configuration.

  • For some Clear Linux OS versions before 27000, you may need to manually configure Docker* to use Kata Containers by default.

    To do so, enter:

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d/
    cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d/50-runtime.conf
    Environment="DOCKER_DEFAULT_RUNTIME=--default-runtime kata-runtime"
  • To check the version of Clear Linux OS on your system, enter:

    sudo swupd info