Support for other OCI runtimes (alpha)

Docker supports running other Open Container Initiative (OCI) compatible runtimes, such as Kata.

Some of these runtimes have vastly different methods of running containers compared to the default runtime used by docker (runc).

For example, Kata spins virtual machines rather than containers based on cgroups. This allows to (more) safely run container as root.

There is preliminary, alpha support of using other OCI runtimes in INGInious. By default, INGInious attempts to detect if runc, crun and kata are available or not. You can use other runtimes by using the -runtime arg of the inginious-agent-docker command.

Current limitations

For now, the run_student API/command does not work on runtimes on which the containers have each different kernels (i.e. are VMs). See below for more information.


Runtimes are classified by INGInious in categories:

  • Runtimes on which all containers share the same kernel

  • Runtimes on which it is safe to run as root

They are not mutually exclusive in theory, but are in practice.

Runtimes on which all containers share the same kernel

The containers running on these runtimes can use run_student. run_student currently transfer file descriptor via unix sockets between containers (for simplicity and performance), and this is not possible between kernels.

Using run_student on containers running in runtimes that do not share kernel will lead to an error.

Runtimes on which it is safe to run as root

On these runtimes, the run file will be run by the user root (id 0, gid 0) rather than by worker (id 4242, gid 4242), allowing to do things normally unsupported such as editing the network stack, mounting things, …

Installing other runtimes

Please see the documentation of the runtimes to install them in Docker; verify that they work using the docker CLI.

Then, use the --runtime of the inginious-agent-docker command if they are not automatically detected by INGInious (after a restart).