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Mirage with Jekyll on Amazon EC2

## Introduction

Mirage is emerging as a wondrous approach for producing specialised applications for the cloud.

The following provide fine introduction:

## Mirage for serving sites

There are a number of fine articles describing the production of Mirage unikernels for serving static sites:

Rather than simply cloning one of the above approaches, I wanted to go with Test Kitchen (with Vagrant) for unikernel production with Packer for composing AMIs suitable for launching on EC2.

(For the moment, Packer is not used within the workflow. This will be revisited shortly. Fabric and boto will be used for the AMI production.)

## Choice for static site production

We will be using the wonderful poole for our exemplar site, choosing the Lanyon theme.

Installing the dependencies

The following was performed on Mac OS X 10.9.2.

Install rbenv

$ git clone ~/.rbenv
$ echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
$ echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile

Install the latest OpenSSL release

$ curl -O
$ tar xvf openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz
$ cd openssl-1.0.1g
$ ./Configure darwin64-x86_64-cc --prefix=$HOME/local/openssl-1.0.1g
$ make
$ make install

### Install Ruby

$ curl -O
$ tar xvf ruby-2.1.1.tar.gz
$ cd ruby-2.1.1
$ ./configure --with-openssl-dir=$HOME/local/openssl-1.0.1g --with-openssl-include-dir=$HOME/local/openssl-1.0.1g/include/openssl --with-openssl-lib-dir=$HOME/local/openssl-1.0.1g/lib --prefix=$HOME/.rbenv/versions/2.1.1
$ make
$ make install

Switch to using our installed Ruby

$ rbenv rehash
$ ruby -v
ruby 2.0.0p247 (2013-06-27 revision 41674) [universal.x86_64-darwin13]
$ rbenv versions
* system (set by /<home_dir>/.rbenv/version)
$ ruby -v
ruby 2.1.1p76 (2014-02-24 revision 45161) [x86_64-darwin13.0]
$ rbenv global 2.1.1
$ rbenv rehash

### Install Test Kitchen and Berkshelf

Reading the Getting Started Guide for installing Test Kitchen and Berkshelf. These feature in this project's Gemfile.

$ which gem
$ gem install bundler
$ rbenv rehash

Notice the rbenv rehash above: this follows the direction "Run this command after you install a new version of Ruby, or install a gem that provides commands" from

### Install Vagrant

We install Vagrant 1.5.2.

Install VirtualBox

We install VirtualBox 4.3.10.

## Download the Mirage static site and unikernel builder projects

$ git clone
$ git clone

And install Test Kitchen and Berkshelf:

$ cd mirage-jekyll
$ bundle install
$ bundle show test-kitchen
$ kitchen version
Test Kitchen version 1.2.1
$ bundle show berkshelf
$ rbenv rehash
$ cd ..

Having installed Jekyll through Bundler we can build our site:

$ cd mirage-lanyon
$ jekyll build
$ cd ..

Installing Python dependencies

We chose to use pyenv for managing our python environments.

$ cd mirage-jekyll
$ pyenv system
$ python --version
Python 2.7.5
$ mkvirtualenv mirage-jekyll
$ export CFLAGS=-Qunused-arguments
$ export CPPFLAGS=-Qunused-arguments
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
$ cd ..

## Provisioning the VM for building the unikernel

Notice: .kitchen.yml shares the static site folder (mirage-lanyon) with the Vagrant VM. This will need to be changed when choosing your own static site folder.

$ cd mirage-jekyll
$ kitchen create
$ kitchen converge
$ fab install_mirage

## Building the Mirage unikernel

You can test the Mirage UNIX build with:

$ fab build_unix_unikernel:build_dir=/home/vagrant/mirage-lanyon/_mirage

To build the Mirage Xen unikernel:

$ fab build_xen_unikernel:build_dir=/home/vagrant/mirage-lanyon/_mirage

## Building the Mirage unikernel

The following assumes we have defined:

  • an AWS key pair mirage-www
  • an AWS security group mirage-unikernel-builder (allowing SSH access)
  • an AWS security group mirage-www (allowing HTTP access on port 80)
  • envars AWS_ACCESS_KEY and AWS_SECRET_KEY containing the respective AWS access keys

Building the unikernel:

$ fab -i ~/.ssh/mirage-www.pem build_mirage_ami:access_key="$AWS_ACCESS_KEY",secret_key="$AWS_SECRET_KEY",xen_unikernel=`pwd`/../mirage-lanyon/_mirage/mir-www.xen

Note the "Registered unikernel AMI" that is displayed from performing the above.

Launching the unikernel:

Using the unikernel AMI from the previous step, we can now launch an instance serving our static site:

$ fab -i ~/.ssh/mirage-www.pem launch_mirage:access_key="$AWS_ACCESS_KEY",secret_key="$AWS_SECRET_KEY",image_id=<unikernel_ami_id>

If you have the AMI Tools installed you can monitor the progress of the launching of the unikernel with:

$ ec2-get-console-output --region eu-west-1 <unikernel_instance_id>


Supports building of Mirage unikernels using Test Kitchen and Vagrant, and launching on AWS EC2




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