The ITER roughing system provides for both the initial pump-down of the vessel itself and the regular pump-out of the batch-regenerating cryopumps. This system must have a large pumping speed and cope with the radioactive gas tritium at the same time. The present paper shall highlight the results of the ITER roughing train optimization, discuss the modification of a Roots pump for tritium, and present the results of a ferrofluidic seal test and the first tests of a tailor-made tritium-proof Roots pump with inactive gases.