Re: Dynamically adding VM's

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>

Hi Geoffroy,

I was just making preparations for getting things going and it occurred to me that you had mentioned the possibility of a refresh video in the similar vein as setting ACRN up with ClearLinux in the older video.

Just was wondering if this was currently in the plans to make a new vider using Ubuntu or similar?

Best Regards,

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 7:10 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,


That reminds me that perhaps we should do a refresh of that video :-/


We do not use ClearLinux anymore inside the Service VM. We have switched to Ubuntu (for reasons linked to the way we boot, see below for a bit more details [1]). Now, that’s not to say you cannot run a different OS in the Service VM, the key will be to see if you can install all the right dependencies in it in order to run the Device Model (acrn-dm) which is the component providing the drivers (shared devices) for the User VMs. You can have a rough idea about those dependencies by looking at this section: These are the tools and development libraries needed to *build* ACRN. The runtime dependencies list is a little smaller, i.e. I don’t believe you need things like bison, flex, pkg-config, python3, git, make (and possibly others). I do not know TinyCore myself but if those packages are readily available for it, it may be a relatively straightforward exercise.





[1] Staged removal of deprivileged boot mode support. ACRN has supported deprivileged boot mode to ease the integration of Linux distributions such as Clear Linux. Unfortunately, deprivileged boot mode limits ACRN’s scalability and is unsuitable for ACRN’s hybrid hypervisor mode. In ACRN v2.2, deprivileged boot mode is no longer the default and will be completely removed in ACRN v2.3. We’re focusing instead on using multiboot2 boot (via Grub).




From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2021 12:40 AM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: Re: [acrn-users] Dynamically adding VM's


Hello Geoffroy,


I actually just came across a great video that cleared up the way that ACRN runs:



It helps a lot, but I see that Clear Linux is used a lot and for my project goals, it is still much too large. I need to be able to run something like TinyCore Linux or something with an Xserver that is around 20 - 50 MB max.





On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 6:16 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,


It’s great to see you interested to learn and potential contribute to ACRN!! :-)


The most flexible pre-defined scenario that we have is the “industry” scenario. It runs up to 8 VMs (inc. the Service VM), so that’s 7 User VMs – see also this table


What do you mean by “bare-metal GUI”? Are you looking for a GUI that allows you to control ACRN (something akin to virt-manager for example)?


Have a nice week-end too!


From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2021 9:27 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: [acrn-users] Dynamically adding VM's


Hi All,


I am beginning my exploration for ACRN as I think that it could offer what I need for my project which is based upon a nUltra-Litghtweight Hypervisor & Virtualizer like ACRN that will run a number of pre-loaded and dynamically loaded VM's which are composed of streamlined Unikernel applications all of which is run in RAM.


After searching for a VERY long time for possible candidates to use as a starting point with the strong criteria of:


1. Super small footprint

2. Able to run commodity guest OS's

3. Reliable and stable to semi-stable performance

4. Monolithic in design (as much as possible)

5. Would prefer it to run on Intel & AMD X86_64 based systems (others to follow)


I was able to narrow things down to:


A.) NOVA Hyervisor (Still Experimental and not mucd development, used in the Genode project)

B.) Xvisor

C.) ACRN Hypervisor


Both ACRN and Xvisor seem to be progressing and can offer many features but need development in some areas as well.


I like the very small footprint of ACRN and also that it is industrial grade for security which makes me want to use it as a starting point.


My goal is to do what I can to see if I can get it to run on AMD systems as well as the currently supported Intel systems and then give the patch back to the ACRN project.


I would also be interested to know if there is a scenario in which ACRN can dynamically load and start VM's as I did not read that in the scenario list.


Also, maybe finding a bare-metal GUI and adding it at a later time or perhaps in a VM as well.


Anyway, I look forward to seeing what I can learn and contribute to the ACRN project.


Cheers and have a great weekend,


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