Checkpoint-Restore Hits v1.0: Freeze Your Linux Apps
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 25 November 2013 at 01:08 PM EST. 9 Comments
Free Software
The Checkpoint-Restore Tool has reached version 1.0 as part of the CRIU project. Checkpoint/Restore In Userspace allows for users to freeze running applications and checkpoint it to the hard drive as a file and that checkpoint can then be restored to a running process later on. CRIU is different from suspend-and-resume with the Linux kernel in that this is a tool for handling individual programs and it is implemented in user-space.

After the last of the necessary Linux kernel patches landed upstream a few months back, CRIU developers have been working on improving the user-space Checkpoint-Restore tool. They're now happy to declare it version 1.0, per the mailing list announcement.

The CRIU user-space utility allows producing checkpoint dumps, restoring checkpointed processes, decoding dumped binary files, checking on kernel support, executing a system call from another task's context, and also launching as a RPC service. While they pride it on being a user-space utility, it's not without its fair share of kernel configuration options that must be enabled for the checkpoint/restore process to work.

Among the use-cases out of the project for CRIU include speeding up slow-boot services by using checkpoints after reboots, reboot-less kernel upgrades, network load balancing by moving applications between systems, HPC improvements, desktop environment suspend/resume, process duplication, save support for apps/games that otherwise do not support in-game saving, and better debugging of hung applications. Among the tested software that is known to work well with CRIU's check-pointing and process restoration includes make, GCC, tar/bz2, Apache, MySQL. SSHD, Java, NGINX, MongoDB, iperf, and OpenVPN.

For more information on the Checkpoint-Restore utility, visit CRIU.org. CRIU is part of the OpenVZ project and is sponsored by the Parallels virtualization software company.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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