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Demikernel is a library operating system (libOS) architecture designed for use with kernel-bypass I/O devices. The Demikernel architecture offers a uniform system call API across kernel-bypass technologies (e.g., RDMA, DPDK) and OS functionality (e.g., a user-level networking stack for DPDK).

To read more about the motivation behind the Demikernel, check out this blog post.

To get details about the system, read our HotOS paper.


Follow these instructions to build Demikernel on a fresh Ubuntu 18.04 system.

1. Clone This Repository

export WORKDIR=$HOME                                                  # Change this to whatever you want.
cd $WORKDIR                                                           # Switch to working directory.
git clone --recursive    # Recursive clone.

2. Install Prerequisites

cd $WORKDIR/demikernel                                            # Switch to working directory.
sudo -H scripts/setup/                                   # Install third party libraries.
curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh    # Get Rust toolchain.
./scripts/setup/                                           # Build DPDK.

3. Build Demikernel with Default Drivers

cd $WORKDIR/demikernel    # Switch to working directory.
make                      # Build using default drivers.

4. Build Demikernel with Custom Drivers (Optional)

cd $WORKDIR/demikernel    # Switch to working directory.
make DRIVER=[mlx4|mlx5]   # Build using a custom driver.

Code of Conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.


See for details regarding how to contribute to this project.

Usage Statement

This project is a prototype. As such, we provide no guarantees that it will work and you are assuming any risks with using the code. We welcome comments and feedback. Please send any questions or comments to one of the following maintainers of the project:

By sending feedback, you are consenting that it may be used in the further development of this project.