Install and Run

Getting started with Krill is quite easy by either installing a Debian and Ubuntu package, building from Cargo or using Docker. In case you intend to serve your RPKI certificate and ROAs to the world yourself or you want to offer this as a service to others, you will also need to have a public Rsyncd and HTTPS web server available.

Installing with Debian and Ubuntu Packages

Pre-built Debian/Ubuntu packages are available for recent operating system versions on x86_64 platforms. These can be installed using the standard apt, apt-get and dpkg commands as usual.

Unlike with installing with Cargo there is no need to have Rust or a C toolchain installed. Additionally, the packages come with systemd service file to easily start and stop the Krill daemon.


For the oldest platforms, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Debian 9, the packaged krill binary is statically linked with OpenSSL 1.1.0 as this is the minimum version required by Krill and is higher than available in the official package repositories for those platforms.

To install Krill from the NLnet Labs package repository:

  1. Run cargo uninstall krill if you previously installed Krill with Cargo.

  2. Add the line below that corresponds to your operating system to /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/:

deb [arch=amd64] stretch main
deb [arch=amd64] buster main
deb [arch=amd64] xenial main
deb [arch=amd64] bionic main
deb [arch=amd64] focal main
  1. Add the repository signing key to the listed of trusted keys:

wget -qO- | sudo apt-key add -
  1. Install Krill using sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get install krill.

  2. Review the generated configuration file at /etc/krill.conf. Pay particular attention to the service_uri and auth_token settings.

  3. Once happy with the settings use sudo systemctl enable --now krill to instruct systemd to enable the Krill service at boot and to start it immediately.


The configuration file was generated for you using the krillc config simple command. You can find a full example configuration file with defaults in the GitHub repository.

The krill daemon runs as user krill and stores its data in /var/lib/krill. You can manage the Krill daemon using the following commands:

  • Review the Krill logs with journalctl -u krill, or view just the most recent entries with systemctl status krill.

  • Stop Krill with sudo systemctl stop krill.

  • Learn more about Krill using man krill and man krillc.

  • Upgrade Krill by running apt-get update and apt-get install krill.

Installing with Cargo

There are three things you need for Krill: Rust, the C toolchain and OpenSSL. You can install Krill on any operating system where you can fulfil these requirements, but we will assume that you will run this on a UNIX-like OS.


The Rust compiler runs on, and compiles to, a great number of platforms, though not all of them are equally supported. The official Rust Platform Support page provides an overview of the various support levels.

While some system distributions include Rust as system packages, Krill relies on a relatively new version of Rust, currently 1.42 or newer. We therefore suggest to use the canonical Rust installation via a tool called rustup.

To install rustup and Rust, simply do:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

Alternatively, visit the official Rust website for other installation methods.

You can update your Rust installation later by running:

rustup update

For some platforms, rustup cannot provide binary releases to install directly. The Rust Platform Support page lists several platforms where official binary releases are not available, but Rust is still guaranteed to build. For these platforms, automated tests are not run so it’s not guaranteed to produce a working build, but they often work to quite a good degree.

One such example that is especially relevant for the routing community is OpenBSD. On this platform, patches are required to get Rust running correctly, but these are well maintained and offer the latest version of Rust quite quickly.

Rust can be installed on OpenBSD by running:

pkg_add rust

Another example where the standard installation method does not work is CentOS 6, where you will end up with a long list of error messages about missing assembler instructions. This is because the assembler shipped with CentOS 6 is too old.

You can get the necessary version by installing the Developer Toolset 6 from the Software Collections repository. On a virgin system, you can install Rust using these steps:

sudo yum install centos-release-scl
sudo yum install devtoolset-6
scl enable devtoolset-6 bash
curl -sSf | sh
source $HOME/.cargo/env

C Toolchain

Some of the libraries Krill depends on require a C toolchain to be present. Your system probably has some easy way to install the minimum set of packages to build from C sources. For example, apt install build-essential will install everything you need on Debian/Ubuntu.

If you are unsure, try to run cc on a command line and if there’s a complaint about missing input files, you are probably good to go.


Your system will likely have a package manager that will allow you to install OpenSSL in a few easy steps. For Krill, you will need libssl-dev, sometimes called openssl-dev. On Debian-like Linux distributions, this should be as simple as running:

apt install libssl-dev openssl pkg-config


The easiest way to get Krill is to leave it to cargo by saying:

cargo install --locked krill

If you want to update an installed version, you run the same command but add the -f flag, a.k.a. force, to approve overwriting the installed version.

The command will build Krill and install it in the same directory that cargo itself lives in, likely $HOME/.cargo/bin. This means Krill will be in your path, too.

Generate Configuration File

After the installation has completed, there are just two things you need to configure before you can start using Krill. First, you will need a data directory, which will store everything Krill needs to run. Secondly, you will need to create a basic configuration file, specifying a secret token and the location of your data directory.

The first step is to choose where your data directory is going to live and to create it. In this example we are simply creating it in our home directory.

mkdir ~/data

Krill can generate a basic configuration file for you. We are going to specify the two required directives, a secret token and the path to the data directory, and then store it in this directory.

krillc config simple --token correct-horse-battery-staple --data ~/data/ > ~/data/krill.conf


If you wish to run a self-hosted RPKI repository with Krill you will need to use a different krillc config command. See Running a Publication Server for more details.

You can find a full example configuration file with defaults in the GitHub repository.

Start and Stop the Daemon

There is currently no standard script to start and stop Krill. You could use the following example script to start Krill. Make sure to update the DATA_DIR variable to your real data directory, and make sure you saved your krill.conf file there.


nohup $KRILL -c $CONF >$SCRIPT_OUT 2>&1 &
echo $! > $KRILL_PID

You can use the following sample script to stop Krill:


kill `cat $KRILL_PID`