The compressor is the most important and expensive component in Refrigeration system. Moreover, linear compressor is an immerging technology in cryogenics and refrigeration field. Hence, it is necessary to improve the reliability of the linear compressor. Failure modes effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) is a step-by-step approach for identifying all possible causes of failures and its effects in designing, manufacturing and assembly process of a product. In this paper, an attempt has been made to perform FMECA of linear compressor. Major failure modes such as valve failure, continuity in coil former, breakage of flexure bearing and leakage are identified. The effect of these identified failure modes is studied. Depending on impact of failure modes on the system components are classified into different levels. In this work, 7 failure modes of linear compressor are prioritized by probability of occurrence, detect ability and severity of the failure, accordingly Risk Priority Number (RPN) is calculated. The results of this analysis can be used to improve the design and optimize the performance of the linear compressor. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.