What is gVisor?
gVisor is a user-space kernel, written in Go, that implements a substantial
portion of the Linux system surface. It includes an
Open Container Initiative (OCI) runtime called
runsc that provides an
isolation boundary between the application and the host kernel. The
runtime integrates with Docker and Kubernetes, making it simple to run sandboxed
Why does gVisor exist?
Containers are not a sandbox. While containers have revolutionized how we develop, package, and deploy applications, running untrusted or potentially malicious code without additional isolation is not a good idea. The efficiency and performance gains from using a single, shared kernel also mean that container escape is possible with a single vulnerability.
gVisor is a user-space kernel for containers. It limits the host kernel surface accessible to the application while still giving the application access to all the features it expects. Unlike most kernels, gVisor does not assume or require a fixed set of physical resources; instead, it leverages existing host kernel functionality and runs as a normal user-space process. In other words, gVisor implements Linux by way of Linux.
gVisor should not be confused with technologies and tools to harden containers against external threats, provide additional integrity checks, or limit the scope of access for a service. One should always be careful about what data is made available to a container.
User documentation and technical architecture, including quick start guides, can be found at gvisor.dev.
Installing from source
gVisor currently requires x86_64 Linux to build, though support for other architectures may become available in the future.
Make sure the following dependencies are installed:
- Linux 4.14.77+ (older linux)
- Bazel 0.23.0+
- Docker version 17.09.0 or greater
- Gold linker (e.g.
binutils-goldpackage on Ubuntu)
Build and install the
bazel build runsc sudo cp ./bazel-bin/runsc/linux_amd64_pure_stripped/runsc /usr/local/bin
If you don't want to install bazel on your system, you can build runsc in a Docker container:
make runsc sudo cp ./bazel-bin/runsc/linux_amd64_pure_stripped/runsc /usr/local/bin
The test suite can be run with Bazel:
bazel test //...
or in a Docker container:
make unit-tests make tests
Using remote execution
If you have a Remote Build Execution environment, you can use it to speed up build and test cycles.
You must authenticate with the project first:
gcloud auth application-default login --no-launch-browser
Then invoke bazel with the following flags:
--config=remote --project_id=$PROJECT --remote_instance_name=projects/$PROJECT/instances/default_instance
You can also add those flags to your local ~/.bazelrc to avoid needing to specify them each time on the command line.
This project uses bazel to build and manage dependencies. A synthetic
go branch is maintained that is compatible with standard
go tooling for
For example, to build
runsc directly from this branch:
echo "module runsc" > go.mod GO111MODULE=on go get gvisor.dev/gvisor/runsc@go CGO_ENABLED=0 GO111MODULE=on go install gvisor.dev/gvisor/runsc
Note that this branch is supported in a best effort capacity, and direct
development on this branch is not supported. Development should occur on the
master branch, which is then reflected into the
Community & Governance
The governance model is documented in our community repository.