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OPS Documentation

This contains documentation for OPS, a compilation and orchestration tool for the Nanos unikernel.

Most Unikernels out there are specialized for a high-level language, but Nanos is capable of executing any valid ELF binary. We provide pre-tested packages for common linux software including support for interpreted languages to provide a similar Linux like experience.

This technical preview has packages for PHP, Node, Ruby, Lua, Perl and more is on the way. Note that you are not required to use a package. OPS is explicitly built to be able to run stand-alone static binaries like Go and C as well.

IMPORTANT NOTE This is a technical preview and is actively developed and sponsored by NanoVMs. It is subject to significant changes and refactoring.

Significant planned upcoming changes include the following categories:

  • libraries
  • security

What are Unikernels?

Unikernels are specialised single process operating systems.

Unikernels dramatically shrink the attack surface and resource footprint of cloud services while providing a much better isolation model. They are machine images that can be run on a hypervisor such as Xen or KVM. Since hypervisors power all public cloud computing infrastructure such as Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud, this lets your services run cheaper, more securely and with finer control than with a full general purpose operating system such as Linux.

Improved security

Unikernels reduce the amount of code deployed, which reduces the attack surface, improving security. They also don't allow you to ssh into them and most importantly they embrace the single process model.

Note: This does have implications for some software. See the FAQ for more details.

Small footprints

Unikernel images are often orders of magnitude smaller than traditional OS deployments. You can create and deploy sub megabyte unikernels depending on what you want/need.

Highly optimised

Unikernels can achieve greater performance from their single process nature and greater pairing with the kernel.

Fast Boot

Unikernels can boot extremely quickly, with boot times measured in milliseconds if you are running on servers you control.

How do I get started?

To get started, go to the getting started section.

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