Mirage is a unikernel for constructing secure, high-performance network applications across a variety of cloud computing and mobile platforms. Code can be developed on a normal OS such as Linux or MacOS X, and then compiled into a fully-standalone, specialised microkernel that runs under the Xen hypervisor. Since Xen powers most public cloud computing infrastructure such as Amazon EC2, this lets your servers run more cheaply, securely and finer control than with a full software stack.
To work with Mirage, you'll need the following prerequisites installed:
- a working OCaml compiler.
- the OPAM source package manager.
- a 64-bit Linux host to compile Xen kernels, or MacOS X for the userlevel version.
There are three stages to using
a configuration phase where OPAM package dependencies are satisfied.
a build phase where the compiler and any support scripts are run.
a run phase where
miragespawns and tracks the progress of the deployment (e.g. as a UNIX process or a Xen kernel).
mirage currently uses a configuration file to build a Mirage unikernel.
While we're documenting it all, please see the
lib_test directory in
this repository for the regression examples.
Configuring Mirage Applications
Provided that one and only one file of name
<foo> can be any string) is present in the current working
directory, the command:
will configure your project. It will:
- call the right OPAM commands to satisfy package dependencies.
To build for the unix-direct target (using tap interfaces), do:
mirage configure --unix
To build for the xen target, do:
mirage configure --xen
Building Mirage Applications
will build your project. Likewise, you can use the
switches to build for a particular target.
Running Mirage Applications
mirage run # [--unix or --xen]
will run the unikernel on the selected backend.
Under the unix-direct backend (
miragesets up a virtual interface (tap) is passes its fd to the unikernel that will use it to perform networking operations.
Under the xen backend (
miragecreates a xl configuration file and uses
xlto run the unikernel locally. Xen has to be installed and running on the machine.
Compiling to Xen and deploying to the cloud
In order to deploy a Mirage unikernel to Amazon EC2, you need to
install the AWS tools on your machine, build a unikernel with the
--xen option and then use the
ec2.sh script (in directory
script) in order to register you kernel with AWS. Then you can start
your kernel with the web interface to AWS or any other mean AWS
provides to start EC2 instances.