Dockerless Calico - Manual Installation

Project Calico releases are primarily distributed as docker containers for quick, easy, and consistant deployment. However, it is possible to run the core Calico components directly on the host, removing the dependency on docker.

This guide will walk through how to manually create services and configurations to run Calico on Centos7 without Docker.

WARNING: Dockerless Calico is Experimental!

Some calicoctl commands rely on a running calico-node container, and expect docker workloads. The following commands may not function properly when Calico is run directly on the host:

  1. calicoctl node status
  2. calicoctl checksystem
  3. All calicoctl container ... commands.

Please raise any encountered issues, or message us on calico-slack.


  1. Make changes to SELinux and QEMU config to allow VM interfaces with type=’ethernet’. (This libvirt Wiki page explains why these changes are required):
setenforce permissive
  1. Edit /etc/selinux/config and change the SELINUX= line to the following:
  1. Add Calico’s repositories:
cat > /etc/yum.repos.d/calico.repo <<EOF
name=Calico Repository
  1. Calico depends on a few EPEL packages, so be sure you have added the EPEL repos:
yum install -y epel-release
  1. Then install calico-felix:
yum install -y calico-felix
  1. Until calico-felix 0.3.0 is released, you’ll also have to manually install a few runtime deps:
yum install -y posix-spawn python-gevent python-eventlet python-etcd
  1. Install the additional binaries for Dockerless-calico:
# calicoctl
curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/calicoctl
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/calicoctl

# bird
curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/bird
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/bird

# confd
curl -L -o /usr/local/bin/confd
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/confd
  1. Install the required systemd services and confd templates:
tar -xvf master.tar.gz
cd calico-containers-master
cp -R calico_node/filesystem/etc/calico/confd /etc/calico/
cp calico_node/rpm/calico-dockerless*.service /usr/lib/systemd/
systemctl enable /usr/lib/systemd/calico-dockerless*.service
  1. Confd expects that the host system has a script called restart-calico-confd available in $PATH which can be called to restart the confd process. This is used during confd generation of bird configuration files by confd itself.

    Install the platform-specific confd restart script:

cp calico_node/rpm/restart-calico-confd /usr/local/bin
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/restart-calico-confd
  1. Create Calico environment file at /etc/calico/calico-environment:

# Set the IP that calico should run on. This will be used by confd during
# the generation of bird configuration files.
  1. Copy the sample felix config file:
cp /etc/calico/felix.cfg.example /etc/calico/felix.cfg
Then, be sure to uncomment and edit `EtcdAddr` in your new `felix.cfg` file with the IP of etcd.
>Note: You may have noticed we've stored the etcd address twice. This is required since both the `felix.service` and `calico-dockerless.service` both need to be separately pointed to etcd.

Start Dockerless Calico

Starting Calico is as simple as turning on the calico-dockerless service:

systemctl start calico-dockerless