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CI Actions Status License Release Docs



Nomad task driver for launching containers using containerd.

Containerd ( is a lightweight container daemon for running and managing container lifecycle.
Docker daemon also uses containerd.

dockerd (docker daemon) --> containerd --> containerd-shim --> runc

nomad-driver-containerd enables nomad client to launch containers directly using containerd, without docker!
Docker daemon is not required on the host system.

nomad-driver-containerd architecture


Building nomad-driver-containerd

Make sure your $GOPATH is setup correctly.

$ mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
$ git clone
$ cd nomad-driver-containerd
$ make build (This will build your containerd-driver binary)

If you want to compile for arm64, you can run:

make -f Makefile.arm64



Wanna try it out!?

$ vagrant up

or vagrant provision if the vagrant VM is already running.

Once setup (vagrant up OR vagrant provision) is complete and the nomad server is up and running, you can check the registered task drivers (which will also show containerd-driver) using:

$ nomad node status (Note down the <node_id>)
$ nomad node status <node_id> | grep containerd-driver

NOTE: is part of the vagrant setup and should not be executed directly.

Run Example jobs.

There are few example jobs in the example directory.

$ nomad job run <job_name.nomad>

will launch the job.

More detailed instructions are in the example

To interact with images and containers directly, you can use nerdctl which is a docker compatible CLI for containerd. nerdctl is already installed in the vagrant VM at /usr/local/bin.

Supported options

Driver Config

Option Type Required Default Description
enabled bool no true Enable/Disable task driver.
containerd_runtime string yes N/A Runtime for containerd e.g. io.containerd.runc.v1 or io.containerd.runc.v2.
stats_interval string no 1s Interval for collecting TaskStats.
allow_privileged bool no true If set to false, driver will deny running privileged jobs.
auth block no N/A Provide authentication for a private registry. See Authentication for more details.

Task Config

Option Type Required Description
image string yes OCI image (docker is also OCI compatible) for your container.
image_pull_timeout string no A time duration that controls how long containerd-driver will wait before cancelling an in-progress pull of the OCI image as specified in image. Defaults to "5m".
command string no Command to override command defined in the image.
args []string no Arguments to the command.
entrypoint []string no A string list overriding the image's entrypoint.
cwd string no Specify the current working directory for your container process. If the directory does not exist, one will be created for you.
privileged bool no Run container in privileged mode. Your container will have all linux capabilities when running in privileged mode.
pids_limit int64 no An integer value that specifies the pid limit for the container. Defaults to unlimited.
pid_mode string no host or not set (default). Set to host to share the PID namespace with the host.
hostname string no The hostname to assign to the container. When launching more than one of a task (using count) with this option set, every container the task starts will have the same hostname.
host_dns bool no Default (true). By default, a container launched using containerd-driver will use host /etc/resolv.conf. This is similar to docker behavior. However, if you don't want to use host DNS, you can turn off this flag by setting host_dns=false.
seccomp bool no Enable default seccomp profile. List of allowed syscalls.
seccomp_profile string no Path to custom seccomp profile. seccomp must be set to true in order to use seccomp_profile. The default docker seccomp profile found here can be used as a reference, and modified to create a custom seccomp profile.
shm_size string no Size of /dev/shm e.g. "128M" if you want 128 MB of /dev/shm.
sysctl map[string]string no A key-value map of sysctl configurations to set to the containers on start.
readonly_rootfs bool no Container root filesystem will be read-only.
host_network bool no Enable host network. This is equivalent to --net=host in docker.
extra_hosts []string no A list of hosts, given as host:IP, to be added to /etc/hosts.
cap_add []string no Add individual capabilities.
cap_drop []string no Drop invidual capabilities.
devices []string no A list of devices to be exposed to the container.
auth block no Provide authentication for a private registry. See Authentication for more details.
mounts []block no A list of mounts to be mounted in the container. Volume, bind and tmpfs type mounts are supported. fstab style mount options are supported.

Mount block
   - type (string) (Optional): Supported values are volume, bind or tmpfs. Default: volume.
   - target (string) (Required): Target path in the container.
   - source (string) (Optional): Source path on the host.
   - options ([]string) (Optional): fstab style mount options. NOTE: For bind mounts, atleast rbind and ro are required.

Bind mount example

mounts = [
                type    = "bind"
                target  = "/target/t1"
                source  = "/src/s1"
                options = ["rbind", "ro"]

In additon to the mounts option in Task Config, you can also mount your volumes into the container using nomad volume_mount stanza

See example job for volume_mount.

Custom seccomp profile example

The default docker seccomp profile found here can be downloaded, and modified (by removing/adding syscalls) to create a custom seccomp profile.
The custom seccomp profile can then be saved under /opt/seccomp/seccomp.json on the Nomad client nodes.

A nomad job can be launched using this custom seccomp profile.

config {
	seccomp         = true
	seccomp_profile = "/opt/seccomp/seccomp.json"

Sysctl example

config {
  sysctl = {
    "net.core.somaxconn"  = "16384"
    "net.ipv4.ip_forward" = "1"

Authentication (Private registry)

auth stanza allow you to set credentials for your private registry e.g. if you want to pull an image from a private repository in docker hub.
auth stanza can be set either in Driver Config or Task Config or both.
If set at both places, Task Config auth will take precedence over Driver Config auth.

NOTE: In the below example, user and pass are just placeholder values which need to be replaced by actual username and password, when specifying the credentials. Below auth stanza can be used for both Driver Config and Task Config.

auth {
    username = "user"
    password = "pass"


nomad-driver-containerd supports host and bridge networks.

NOTE: host and bridge are mutually exclusive options, and only one of them should be used at a time.

  1. Host network can be enabled by setting host_network to true in task config of the job spec (see under Supported options).

  2. Bridge network can be enabled by setting the network stanza in the task group section of the job spec.

network {
  mode = "bridge"

You need to install CNI plugins on Nomad client nodes under /opt/cni/bin before you can use bridge networks.

Instructions for installing CNI plugins.

 $ curl -L -o cni-plugins.tgz
 $ sudo mkdir -p /opt/cni/bin
 $ sudo tar -C /opt/cni/bin -xzf cni-plugins.tgz

Also, ensure your Linux operating system distribution has been configured to allow container traffic through the bridge network to be routed via iptables. These tunables can be set as follows:

$ echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/bridge/bridge-nf-call-arptables
$ echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/bridge/bridge-nf-call-ip6tables
$ echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/bridge/bridge-nf-call-iptables

To preserve these settings on startup of a nomad client node, add a file including the following to /etc/sysctl.d/ or remove the file your Linux distribution puts in that directory.

net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-arptables = 1
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-ip6tables = 1
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-iptables = 1

Port forwarding

nomad supports both static and dynamic port mapping.

  1. Static ports

Static port mapping can be added in the network stanza.

network {
  mode = "bridge"
  port "lb" {
    static = 8889
    to     = 8889

Here, host port 8889 is mapped to container port 8889.
NOTE: static ports are usually not recommended, except for system or specialized jobs like load balancers.

  1. Dynamic ports

Dynamic port mapping is also enabled in the network stanza.

network {
  mode = "bridge"
  port "http" {
    to = 8080

Here, nomad will allocate a dynamic port on the host and that port will be mapped to 8080 in the container.

You can also read more about network stanza in the nomad official documentation

Service discovery

Nomad schedules workloads of various types across a cluster of generic hosts. Because of this, placement is not known in advance and you will need to use service discovery to connect tasks to other services deployed across your cluster. Nomad integrates with Consul to provide service discovery and monitoring.

A service stanza can be added to your job spec, to enable service discovery.

The service stanza instructs Nomad to register a service with Consul.


If you are running the tests locally, use the vagrant VM provided in the repository.

$ vagrant up
$ vagrant ssh containerd-linux
$ sudo make test

NOTE: These are destructive tests and can leave the system in a changed state.
It is highly recommended to run these tests either as part of a CI/CD system e.g. circleci or on a immutable infrastructure e.g vagrant VMs.

You can also run an individual test by specifying the test name. e.g.

$ cd tests
$ sudo ./


make clean

This will delete your binary: containerd-driver

vagrant destroy

This will destroy your vagrant VM.

Currently supported environments

Ubuntu (>= 16.04)


Copyright 2020 Roblox Corporation

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"). For more information read the License.