Date   

Re: Supported Hardware help needed

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Thanks so very much for the clarification, Andrew.

That tells me exactly what I need and think that I will go ahead and get the first one on my list as it has a taller case which may allow for an additional HDD or SSD in the future.

Cheers,
Lonnie


On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 5:43 PM Andrew Back <andrew@...> wrote:
On 17/01/2021 20:59, Lonnie Cumberland wrote:

> Although I am not completely clear what the differences in (1) and (2)
> are in the ending naming of NUC Series 7 where it has "DNHE" and "DNKE".
> I think that this might have to do with the enclosure (maybe) that the
> boards are in, but could be totally wrong here.

For details see:

https://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/support/articles/000031273/intel-nuc.html

So B = board-only, K = slim case and H = tall case. The E at the end is
for extended life cycle, which might be important if you're designing
into a product and where long term availability is key.

Andrew

--
Andrew Back
http://abopen.com






Re: Supported Hardware help needed

Andrew Back
 

On 17/01/2021 20:59, Lonnie Cumberland wrote:

Although I am not completely clear what the differences in (1) and (2)
are in the ending naming of NUC Series 7 where it has "DNHE" and "DNKE".
I think that this might have to do with the enclosure (maybe) that the
boards are in, but could be totally wrong here.
For details see:

https://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/support/articles/000031273/intel-nuc.html

So B = board-only, K = slim case and H = tall case. The E at the end is
for extended life cycle, which might be important if you're designing
into a product and where long term availability is key.

Andrew

--
Andrew Back
http://abopen.com


Re: Supported Hardware help needed

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your input on this since I think that it would be bad to spend the money and get something that falls short from being able to run even a basic setup.

I had actually been leaning toward (1) or (2) above since I found them first and then later stumbled upon the others.

Based upon the hardware matix that ACRN has listed I  was going along the lines of supporting the most use cases:

Platform (Intel x86)

Product/Kit Name

Usage Scenario - BKC Examples

SDC with 2 VMs

IU without Safety VM

IU with Safety VM

Logical Partition

Kaby Lake
(Code name: Dawson Canyon)
(Board: NUC7i7DNB)

V

V

V

V

Although I am not completely clear what the differences in (1) and (2) are in the ending naming of NUC Series 7 where it has "DNHE" and "DNKE". I think that this might have to do with the enclosure (maybe) that the boards are in, but could be totally wrong here.

Also, If can get a basic setup working like in the YouTube video (dated a bit from what Geoffroy tells me)


Then, perhaps I can develop on the new NUC for the project that I am eager to get going with ACRN as it seems to be the most promising and closest fit to the project goals that I have in mind. One of my goals, going forward is to have ACRN running on AMD as well as a number of modern commodity Intel systems that support hardware virtualization. Still a long ways to go but still a nice goal for ACRN as well.

Unfortunately, I have not looked into the Atom series at all and am totally a novice like you but, then again, that is the best way to get started I guess.  May we be able to learn a lot and I will be happy to share what I learn with you and others as the journey goes forward.

Thanks again and have a GREAT weekend,
Lonnie


Re: Supported Hardware help needed

Andrew Back
 

On 17/01/2021 16:10, Lonnie Cumberland wrote:
Hi All,

Hope that everyone is going well. Seems like the mailing list is not too
active over the weekends.

I have been searching to match a NUC or similar system that will run
ACRN and have proposed a couple and have been using the ACRN hardware
list to help guide me:

https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/reference/hardware.html
<https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/reference/hardware.html>

Some of the reasonably priced systems that I have found are:

1. Intel NUC *NUC7i7DNHE *Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U Upto
4.2GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor
Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel UHD Graphics 620

2. Intel NUC *NUC7i7DNKE* Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U Upto
4.2GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB m.2 SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual
Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel UHD
Graphics 620

3.) Intel NUC *NUC7i3DNHE* Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Dual-Core i3-7100U
2.4GHz, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor
Capable, Windows 10 Professional 64Bit (16GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel
HD Graphics 620

But just came across these possible ones as well:

A.) Intel NUC *NUC8i5BEK *Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i5-8259U Upto
3.8GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, 4k
Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD)
-- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

B.) Mini PC,*Beelink U57 Intel Core i5-5257U *Processor (up to 3.10GHz)
Windows 10 Pro Mini Desktop Computer, 8GB DDR3L/256GB M.2 SSD, Supports
Extended HDD & SSD 2.5″/4K HD/Dual HDMI/Dual WiFi /BT4.0 -- Intel Ultra
HD Graphics 6100

If someone could please give me an idea as to what might be the best
option then I would greatly appreciate it as I want to order one of
these or something that may be recommended ASAP to start working on things.
I'm not much further along than you and a total ACRN novice, but at the
risk of being corrected, I'd suggest sticking to officially supported
hardware. In which case, of all those you listed, the only two which
would seem to be are options (1) and (2), as they are NUC Series 7 with
Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake/Dawson Canyon (6th row in the first table).

There don't seem to be any NUC7i3, NUC8 series or Beelink models listed
as supported.

FWIW I recently had success bringing up the Industry Scenario with an
UP2 Atom x7-E3950 (4GB RAM/32GB eMMC variant). Though I'm still finding
my way around and not managed to access the hypervisor CLI via serial
port yet. I suspect that 4GB RAM may be a bit limiting too.

I also picked up a NUC7i7DNBE (board only - no case) to use with ACRN,
but haven't got started with this as yet.

Cheers,

Andrew

--
Andrew Back
http://abopen.com


VT-d posted interrupts support

reswara1@...
 

Hello,

I am looking forward to buying intel embedded SoC that supports VT-d posted interrupts. There are a lot of intel processors used for embedded systems that support VT-d. 

Q1) Does VT-d support guarantees VT-d posted interrupts mechanism?

Q2) If not, what are the intel embedded processors that support VT-d posted interrupt mechanism?

Thank you so much for your help in advance! 


Supported Hardware help needed

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Hi All,

Hope that everyone is going well. Seems like the mailing list is not too active over the weekends.

I have been searching to match a NUC or similar system that will run ACRN and have proposed a couple and have been using the ACRN hardware list to help guide me:


Some of the reasonably priced systems that I have found are:

1. Intel NUC NUC7i7DNHE Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U Upto 4.2GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel UHD Graphics 620

2. Intel NUC NUC7i7DNKE Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U Upto 4.2GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB m.2 SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel UHD Graphics 620

3.) Intel NUC NUC7i3DNHE Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Dual-Core i3-7100U 2.4GHz, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Professional 64Bit (16GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel HD Graphics 620

But just came across these possible ones as well:

A.) Intel NUC NUC8i5BEK Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i5-8259U Upto 3.8GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

B.) Mini PC, Beelink U57 Intel Core i5-5257U Processor (up to 3.10GHz) Windows 10 Pro Mini Desktop Computer, 8GB DDR3L/256GB M.2 SSD, Supports Extended HDD & SSD 2.5″/4K HD/Dual HDMI/Dual WiFi /BT4.0 -- Intel Ultra HD Graphics 6100

If someone could please give me an idea as to what might be the best option then I would greatly appreciate it as I want to order one of these or something that may be recommended ASAP to start working on things.

Thanks in advance, and have a great weekeend
Lonnie


Re: Dynamically adding VM's

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Hi All,

Well, I may have narrowed down the spec for the test rig:

1. Intel NUC NUC7i7DNKE Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U Upto 4.2GHz, 32GB DDR4, 512GB m.2 SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- $754.99


Since the https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/reference/hardware.html#hardware suggests that this system can support all of the usage scenarios.

2. Intel NUC NUC7i3DNHE Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Dual-Core i3-7100U 2.4GHz, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable, Windows 10 Professional 64Bit (16GB Ram + 512GB SSD) -- $439.99


This one is a little cheaper as well a sa bit less powerful and may not support all of the ACRN scenarios but still might be a good deal

My criteria was basically:

A.) Able to run ACRN
B.) Reasonable RAM, and HDD (or SSD)
C.) Good Graphics Card for some GPU work and Dual HDMI

Any Other suggestions for a possible selection would be greatly appreciated?

Cheers,
Lonnie



On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 8:52 AM Lonnie Cumberland via lists.projectacrn.org <lonnie=outstep.com@...> wrote:
Hi Geoffroy,

Do you have any recommendations for a small inexpensive test rig (possibly NUC) with reasonable graphics that can run ACRN?  I think that instead of jumping to trying to get AMD working initially, that I should get a small Intel NUC test rig setup and start working with ACRN itself after which I can perhaps move to work towards making it work on AMD systems.  Baby steps first are better.

I am trying to decipher the acceptable hardware for a reasonable test rig with a reasonable GPU and a minimum of 8 - 16GB RAM, and perhaps a 500GB Drive or better but not sure of the Intel processor that is good. I see a lot of NUC systems with Core-i3, Core-i5, and Core-i7.  Seems like so many choices.

Any suggestions?
Lonnie


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: https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/getting-started/rt_industry_ubuntu.html#build-the-acrn-hypervisor-on-ubuntu. 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.

 

Cheers,

Geoffroy

 

[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.

 

Cheers,

Lonnie

 

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 https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/introduction/index.html#id3

 

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!
Geoffroy

 

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,

Lonnie


Software KVM Switch idea for ACRN

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Hi All,

I am slowly getting my feet wet with ACRN and think that it will be absolutely what I need for the product which is to have a practical use case offering ultra-small footprint, RAM based, high-security and a number of other features that will be brought into the project design.

I have already been spending a lot of time in the documentation and one thing that I am told is that the number of User VM's is pre-configured during the compile-time of ACRN.  I think that this will work for what I need also in that I can set a higher number of possible VM's as an upper limit and only run what I need. In this regard, ACRN might be able to allow for many user VM instances even if they are not all used.

Right now, I am investigating a question that is something that would really like to see as well in my project which is that of a type of software KVM Switch which would allow me to set a "hot-key" sequence and then cycle through running User VM's to allow them to gain control of the Keyboard, Video, and Mouse.  It seems that currently ACRN has the "Service VM" in control of these devices but I see no reason that User VM's could not have control as well (i.e. effectively being able to flip between User VM's)

Any thoughts on this idea or possibility?
Cheers,
Lonnie


Re: Dynamically adding VM's

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Hi Geoffroy,

Do you have any recommendations for a small inexpensive test rig (possibly NUC) with reasonable graphics that can run ACRN?  I think that instead of jumping to trying to get AMD working initially, that I should get a small Intel NUC test rig setup and start working with ACRN itself after which I can perhaps move to work towards making it work on AMD systems.  Baby steps first are better.

I am trying to decipher the acceptable hardware for a reasonable test rig with a reasonable GPU and a minimum of 8 - 16GB RAM, and perhaps a 500GB Drive or better but not sure of the Intel processor that is good. I see a lot of NUC systems with Core-i3, Core-i5, and Core-i7.  Seems like so many choices.

Any suggestions?
Lonnie


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: https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/getting-started/rt_industry_ubuntu.html#build-the-acrn-hypervisor-on-ubuntu. 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.

 

Cheers,

Geoffroy

 

[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.

 

Cheers,

Lonnie

 

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 https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/introduction/index.html#id3

 

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!
Geoffroy

 

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,

Lonnie


Re: Dynamically adding VM's

Geoffroy Van Cutsem
 

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: https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/getting-started/rt_industry_ubuntu.html#build-the-acrn-hypervisor-on-ubuntu. 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.

 

Cheers,

Geoffroy

 

[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.

 

Cheers,

Lonnie

 

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 https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/introduction/index.html#id3

 

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!
Geoffroy

 

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,

Lonnie


Inexpensive hardware to use for development and testing?

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Hello All,

I currently have a 64-bit AMD system (Running Ubuntu 20.04) but at the moment ACRN does not run on that hardware so I am considering purchasing an inexpensive Intel system to work with for testing and development.

In an ACRN quick start video, I saw:


It seemed that the person and an "Intel NUC" and I started looking on Amazon for one that might work and also be under about $500 but have no real idea.


and this one as well although I do not need Windows 10 installed and would rather get one without an OS


I just wanted to see if I might be able to get some suggestions from anyone willing to offer advice to me.

Also, perhaps Amazon is not the place I should be looking at for this since there are many other sources available and that was just a quick exploration.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers,
Lonnie 


Re: Running on AMD systems

Geoffroy Van Cutsem
 

My pleasure! ;-)

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2021 12:36 AM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: Re: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Thanks my friend.

 

I just subscribed to the developers list.

 

I truly appreciate you taking the time to try and answer my questions while I get a better feel for ACRN.

Cheers,

Lonnie

 

 

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 6:09 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,

 

I would go first to the acrn-dev mailing list [1] if you have more detailed questions on how to port to AMD, the core developers are watching that one and much less this acrn-users mailing list. I do not know if they have specific knowledge on AMD-V but they would at least be able to guide through the ACRN architecture and content of the source code folders.

 

The numbers of VMs that can be run by ACRN is something that is defined in the ACRN configuration. It’s a pre-build configuration, not a runtime configuration, which means that any ACRN binary has a limit that’s potentially different. And to change that, you need to modify the configuration and rebuild ACRN. How many VMs would you like to concurrently run?

 

If you use one of our pre-defined configuration, the “industry” scenario is the one that can run the most VMs, 8 in total (but keep in mind that the Service VM is also a VM, so that’s 7 User VMs).

 

[1] https://lists.projectacrn.org/g/acrn-dev

 

Hope this helps!
Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:01 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: Re: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Hi Geoffroy,

 

Thanks for getting back to me on this and I will see what I can do, but highly doubt that I have the skillset to make the patches for it to run on AMD. I will give it a try though.

 

There aren't by chance any developers that I might be able to contract to help get the AMD version running is there?  Like I mentioned, I will give it a try, but do not have much confidence in my possible success.

 

On another question, I was reading over the documentation and it seems that ACRN is limited to the number of VM's that it can concurrently run. Is that correct?   What I had come across has to do with Pre-Loaded VM limits which seems to suggest that a max of 7 was possible. Perhaps I missed something.

 

Best Regard as well,

Lonnie

 

 

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 12:24 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,

 

Happy New Year to you too!! :-)

 

The short answer is that we have not tested ACRN on AMD processors. I strongly suspect that ACRN will not run on AMD at this stage due to the differences in the HW-assisted virtualization extensions (Intel VT vs. AMD-V). Having said that, please let us know if you get it to work! We’d also be happy to take patches if you create a port for AMD.

 

Best regards,

Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:09 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Hi All,

 

First of all, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone.

 

Not sure if I have asked this, or if it has already come up, but I was wondering if ACRN will run on AMD processors.  Actually, I am looking for an extremely small footprint monolithic  hypervisor that can run on AMD and Intel processors as I investigate Uni-kernel approaches for JEOS streamlined applications.

 

Hoping that ACRN can be a good starting point for this effort that I have had in mind for a very long time now.

 

Best

Lonnie

 


Re: A question on ACRN Design

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Thanks for sending it to the acrn-dev list and I just joined that one as well so that maybe I can get some help on the AMD side as well getting some advice on using ACRN within the project scope that I have in mind.

Cheers,
Lonnie


On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 6:23 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,

 

This sounds like a reasonable question to ask, and I don’t know the answer to it. I’ve added the “acrn-dev” mailing on CC so our architects can see your question and help answer it.

 

Cheers,

Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2021 11:54 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: [acrn-users] A question on ACRN Design

 

Greetings All,

 

Although I am still very new to ACRN and various development efforts, I often wondered about this question as it relates to ACRN and other Type-1 Hypervisors as well.

 

ACRN, like XEN, uses the approach of having a Dom0 for device drivers and main control services and has DomU for the user VM's

 

So then, here is what I am wondering.

 

Why is this design used when it seems to me that there should not be a single Dom0 for the drivers and such that if one crashes hard then there is the possibility that it can crash other critical drivers and code that is currently running?

 

Would it not be better to have each system driver in its own Dom0 that is running independently from the other drivers such that if a crash, or malicious attack, occurs then only that driver fails while the rest of the system is protected.  Full OS's do not have to be run in these driver Dom0 instances as I was thinking along the lines of Unikernels for each driver.

 

It seems like there could be many ways to set this up and it appears to be safer to me, but I have wondered why this approach has not been used?

 

Just a Noob learning here so please forgive me if there is something blatantly obvious that I just do not see.

 

Cheers,

Lonnie


Re: Dynamically adding VM's

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

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.

Cheers,
Lonnie

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 https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/introduction/index.html#id3

 

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!
Geoffroy

 

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,

Lonnie


Re: Running on AMD systems

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Thanks my friend.

I just subscribed to the developers list.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to try and answer my questions while I get a better feel for ACRN.
Cheers,
Lonnie


On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 6:09 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,

 

I would go first to the acrn-dev mailing list [1] if you have more detailed questions on how to port to AMD, the core developers are watching that one and much less this acrn-users mailing list. I do not know if they have specific knowledge on AMD-V but they would at least be able to guide through the ACRN architecture and content of the source code folders.

 

The numbers of VMs that can be run by ACRN is something that is defined in the ACRN configuration. It’s a pre-build configuration, not a runtime configuration, which means that any ACRN binary has a limit that’s potentially different. And to change that, you need to modify the configuration and rebuild ACRN. How many VMs would you like to concurrently run?

 

If you use one of our pre-defined configuration, the “industry” scenario is the one that can run the most VMs, 8 in total (but keep in mind that the Service VM is also a VM, so that’s 7 User VMs).

 

[1] https://lists.projectacrn.org/g/acrn-dev

 

Hope this helps!
Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:01 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: Re: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Hi Geoffroy,

 

Thanks for getting back to me on this and I will see what I can do, but highly doubt that I have the skillset to make the patches for it to run on AMD. I will give it a try though.

 

There aren't by chance any developers that I might be able to contract to help get the AMD version running is there?  Like I mentioned, I will give it a try, but do not have much confidence in my possible success.

 

On another question, I was reading over the documentation and it seems that ACRN is limited to the number of VM's that it can concurrently run. Is that correct?   What I had come across has to do with Pre-Loaded VM limits which seems to suggest that a max of 7 was possible. Perhaps I missed something.

 

Best Regard as well,

Lonnie

 

 

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 12:24 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,

 

Happy New Year to you too!! :-)

 

The short answer is that we have not tested ACRN on AMD processors. I strongly suspect that ACRN will not run on AMD at this stage due to the differences in the HW-assisted virtualization extensions (Intel VT vs. AMD-V). Having said that, please let us know if you get it to work! We’d also be happy to take patches if you create a port for AMD.

 

Best regards,

Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:09 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Hi All,

 

First of all, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone.

 

Not sure if I have asked this, or if it has already come up, but I was wondering if ACRN will run on AMD processors.  Actually, I am looking for an extremely small footprint monolithic  hypervisor that can run on AMD and Intel processors as I investigate Uni-kernel approaches for JEOS streamlined applications.

 

Hoping that ACRN can be a good starting point for this effort that I have had in mind for a very long time now.

 

Best

Lonnie

 


Re: A question on ACRN Design

Geoffroy Van Cutsem
 

Hi Lonnie,

 

This sounds like a reasonable question to ask, and I don’t know the answer to it. I’ve added the “acrn-dev” mailing on CC so our architects can see your question and help answer it.

 

Cheers,

Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2021 11:54 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: [acrn-users] A question on ACRN Design

 

Greetings All,

 

Although I am still very new to ACRN and various development efforts, I often wondered about this question as it relates to ACRN and other Type-1 Hypervisors as well.

 

ACRN, like XEN, uses the approach of having a Dom0 for device drivers and main control services and has DomU for the user VM's

 

So then, here is what I am wondering.

 

Why is this design used when it seems to me that there should not be a single Dom0 for the drivers and such that if one crashes hard then there is the possibility that it can crash other critical drivers and code that is currently running?

 

Would it not be better to have each system driver in its own Dom0 that is running independently from the other drivers such that if a crash, or malicious attack, occurs then only that driver fails while the rest of the system is protected.  Full OS's do not have to be run in these driver Dom0 instances as I was thinking along the lines of Unikernels for each driver.

 

It seems like there could be many ways to set this up and it appears to be safer to me, but I have wondered why this approach has not been used?

 

Just a Noob learning here so please forgive me if there is something blatantly obvious that I just do not see.

 

Cheers,

Lonnie


Re: Dynamically adding VM's

Geoffroy Van Cutsem
 

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 https://projectacrn.github.io/latest/introduction/index.html#id3

 

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!
Geoffroy

 

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,

Lonnie


Re: Running on AMD systems

Geoffroy Van Cutsem
 

Hi Lonnie,

 

I would go first to the acrn-dev mailing list [1] if you have more detailed questions on how to port to AMD, the core developers are watching that one and much less this acrn-users mailing list. I do not know if they have specific knowledge on AMD-V but they would at least be able to guide through the ACRN architecture and content of the source code folders.

 

The numbers of VMs that can be run by ACRN is something that is defined in the ACRN configuration. It’s a pre-build configuration, not a runtime configuration, which means that any ACRN binary has a limit that’s potentially different. And to change that, you need to modify the configuration and rebuild ACRN. How many VMs would you like to concurrently run?

 

If you use one of our pre-defined configuration, the “industry” scenario is the one that can run the most VMs, 8 in total (but keep in mind that the Service VM is also a VM, so that’s 7 User VMs).

 

[1] https://lists.projectacrn.org/g/acrn-dev

 

Hope this helps!
Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:01 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: Re: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Hi Geoffroy,

 

Thanks for getting back to me on this and I will see what I can do, but highly doubt that I have the skillset to make the patches for it to run on AMD. I will give it a try though.

 

There aren't by chance any developers that I might be able to contract to help get the AMD version running is there?  Like I mentioned, I will give it a try, but do not have much confidence in my possible success.

 

On another question, I was reading over the documentation and it seems that ACRN is limited to the number of VM's that it can concurrently run. Is that correct?   What I had come across has to do with Pre-Loaded VM limits which seems to suggest that a max of 7 was possible. Perhaps I missed something.

 

Best Regard as well,

Lonnie

 

 

On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 12:24 PM Geoffroy Van Cutsem <geoffroy.vancutsem@...> wrote:

Hi Lonnie,

 

Happy New Year to you too!! :-)

 

The short answer is that we have not tested ACRN on AMD processors. I strongly suspect that ACRN will not run on AMD at this stage due to the differences in the HW-assisted virtualization extensions (Intel VT vs. AMD-V). Having said that, please let us know if you get it to work! We’d also be happy to take patches if you create a port for AMD.

 

Best regards,

Geoffroy

 

From: acrn-users@... <acrn-users@...> On Behalf Of Lonnie Cumberland
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:09 PM
To: acrn-users@...
Subject: [acrn-users] Running on AMD systems

 

Hi All,

 

First of all, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone.

 

Not sure if I have asked this, or if it has already come up, but I was wondering if ACRN will run on AMD processors.  Actually, I am looking for an extremely small footprint monolithic  hypervisor that can run on AMD and Intel processors as I investigate Uni-kernel approaches for JEOS streamlined applications.

 

Hoping that ACRN can be a good starting point for this effort that I have had in mind for a very long time now.

 

Best

Lonnie

 


A question on ACRN Design

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

Greetings All,

Although I am still very new to ACRN and various development efforts, I often wondered about this question as it relates to ACRN and other Type-1 Hypervisors as well.

ACRN, like XEN, uses the approach of having a Dom0 for device drivers and main control services and has DomU for the user VM's

So then, here is what I am wondering.

Why is this design used when it seems to me that there should not be a single Dom0 for the drivers and such that if one crashes hard then there is the possibility that it can crash other critical drivers and code that is currently running?

Would it not be better to have each system driver in its own Dom0 that is running independently from the other drivers such that if a crash, or malicious attack, occurs then only that driver fails while the rest of the system is protected.  Full OS's do not have to be run in these driver Dom0 instances as I was thinking along the lines of Unikernels for each driver.

It seems like there could be many ways to set this up and it appears to be safer to me, but I have wondered why this approach has not been used?

Just a Noob learning here so please forgive me if there is something blatantly obvious that I just do not see.

Cheers,
Lonnie


Dynamically adding VM's

Lonnie Cumberland <lonnie@...>
 

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,
Lonnie

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