Workaround - Gremlin attacks fail when pause container is dropped [OpenShift 4.9 / CRI-O 1.22]

Created by Jamie Martin, Modified on Tue, 18 Oct 2022 at 04:49 PM by Jamie Martin


  • OpenShift uses the CRI-O container runtime. OpenShift 4.9 uses CRI-O 1.22

  • For containerd-runc and crio-runc container drivers, Gremlin relies on the presence of a “sandbox” container to resolve container namespaces (e.g. the network namespace shared by all containers of a pod)

  • In CRI-O 1.22, this sandbox container (referred to as “infra” container in CRI-O documentation) is dropped after the pod is created. This is controlled by an option: drop_infra_ctr (which is true by default)

Expected: attack runs successfully

Actual: attack fails with following message

Problem: The absence of a sandbox container prevents Gremlin from running attacks. They fail like this:

container details : time="2022-05-11T13:07:21Z" level=error msg="container \"2584cede1cf01e77d9d9ac8f864f99f1c155268ec1095af2bbde850e73d936a2\" does not exist"



The problem occurs when drop_infra_ctr = true defined in the CRI-O run config. Changing this to false gets attacks working again. The attached file is an example of a machine config that will set drop_infra_ctr = false.

To apply this workaround, install the machine config attached to this article:

1 oc apply -f 95-gremlin-drop_infra_ctr.yaml

Wait (as seen in the wait.PNG screenshot) for the apply to go through by monitoring the machine config pool




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