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Port of the Mirage OS module to the FreeBSD kernel, aka. project "Mirage/kFreeBSD".

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README.md

Mirage kFreeBSD Backend

This tiny project is about putting Mirage to the FreeBSD kernel space for evaluation. Contents of this repository currently is as follows.

Warning

Please do note that this is a work-in-progress effort, which will work only on the amd64 architecture with a recent FreeBSD -CURRENT. In addition, some of the original features may not be yet implemented fully at all.

Prerequisites

In order to be able to build the sources, one has to install the OCaml compiler from the Ports Collection. (It has been tested with version 3.12.1 so far.)

# cd /usr/ports/lang/ocaml
# make install clean

It is also required to install the findlib utility.

# cd /usr/ports/devel/ocaml-findlib
# make install clean

Installing the Customized Standard Library

There is a customized standard library (which sources were ripped of the 3.12.1 OCaml distribution) to be built before one could work with the sources. It is in the following directory.

packages/mirage-stdlib

It contains a standalone version of the modified sources that could be compiled using BSD make. It is possible to specify the place of the used OCaml toolchain by the PREFIX variable. By default, that is /usr/local.

# make install clean

This command will install the mirage-stdlib package that all the others rely on.

Installing the Rest of the Packages

The other OCaml packages available are as follows.

packages/cstruct
packages/lwt
packages/mirage-platform

All of them will be needed to build Mirage's OS module, which is then required to build a FreeBSD kernel module. Packages cstruct and lwt are stripped and adapted versions of the corresponding packages, while mirage-platform implements the internals of the OS module.

Each of them can be installed from its directory with a single command (as root):

# make install clean

Creating and Loading An Application as Kernel Module

There is also a sample test application added in the following directory.

packages/mirage-test

It does not require to be installed, it is enough to build it (as root).

# make

This should generate a kernel module under the name mirage.ko, which then could be loaded into the running kernel.

Warning: It is not guaranteed that the module will behave as expected. Loading the module may result in a crash and, as a side effect, in data loss. Do not try this on a production machine ever. You have been warned!

Note that since the kernel module is not installed to the default module path, one must specify it by the name of the file.

# kldload ./mirage.ko

Upon the successful loading, some sysctl(3) variables should be created under the MIB kern.mirage.

kern.mirage.rtparams

Set parameters for the run-time system. It is a string value that may take exactly the same options as the OCAMLRUNPARAM environment variable in the Caml documentation.

kern.mirage.run

Start the code inside the kernel module. Writing any value to this variable will trigger the initialization routine and launches the execution of the embedded OCaml program. Note that a program may be restarted many times, however this is not recommended -- reload the module first instead.

# sysctl kern.mirage.run=1

Tracing with DTrace

There are some Statically Defined Tracing (SDT) probes added to the sources for tracing, profiling and debugging purposes. The currently active probes can be listed by the following command.

# dtrace -l -P mirage

Some D scripts can be found under the dtrace directory in the mirage-platform package.

Note: In order to make this work, upgrading to a recent FreeBSD -CURRENT is strongly recommended. The probes are added to a kernel module, which may only work with base system revisions after r233552. It is also required to load the dtraceall kernel module and have the KDTRACE_HOOKS enabled for the system. (Note that this is already enabled in the aforementioned revisions.)

Contact & Contribute

If there are patches, comments, problem reports or any other feedback, feel free to post them to the Mirage mailing list.

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