A content cache node unikernel
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README.md

MiniCache

What is MiniCache?

MiniCache is a content cache/web server based on Mini-OS. It follows the minimalistic and single-purpose VM idea, alias Unikernel. MiniCache servers files via HTTP, provides a tiny telnet shell server (µShell) for management, and comes with an object store system called SHFS (Simple Hash Filesystem).

Building MiniCache

Preparations

It is recommended that you create a target directory first (e.g., ~/workspace). It will be used to store all required sources and builds for MiniCache.

export WORKSPACE=$HOME/workspace
mkdir -p $WORKSPACE
cd $WORKSPACE

I recommend to add this export line to your shell profile (e.g., via .bashrc if you are using bash).

Download and Build Xen (here: 4.4)

Please follow Xen's build instructions - it should be something like the following:

git clone git://xenbits.xen.org/xen.git
cd xen
git checkout stable-4.4
./configure
make xen tools
cd ..

Note: If Xen is not installed on your system yet, please install it as well. You might need to restart your computer. After that, please ensure that you set the following environment variables set (I also recommend to add this to your shell profile):

export XEN_ROOT=$WORKSPACE/xen

Download dependencies

Our toolchain is required to comile and link the MiniCache VM binary:

git clone git://github.com/sysml/toolchain.git

Also, Mini-OS, the base OS for MiniCache, is required:

git clone git://github.com/sysml/mini-os.git

After that, please ensure that you set the following environment variables (I also recommend to add this to your shell profile):

export TOOLCHAIN_ROOT=$WORKSPACE/toolchain
export MINIOS_ROOT=$WORKSPACE/mini-os

Build toolchain

Please follow the build procedure as described in 'toolchain/README'. In principle it should be:

cd toolchain
make
cd ..

Download and Build MiniCache

Clone the MiniCache repository

git clone git://github.com/sysml/minicache.git
cd minicache

Configure (optional)

You can configure your build by enabling/disabling features in MiniCache. This can be done by placing a file called .config.mk in your MiniCache source directory. You can have a look in Config.mk which is the managed configuration file (do not change this one).

Build

make

Note: Building for different targets than mini-os can be achieved by specifying the TARGET variable to make (see Makefile).

Build SHFS Tools

The SHFS tools are required to create and maintain SHFS filesystems. Please read shfs-tools/README.md for more details.

Getting Started

Create a Xen Guest Configuration

In order to boot MiniCache, create a Xen guest configuration file. You can use the following example as a basis and save it under minicache.cfg:

kernel        = 'build/minicache_x86_64'
vcpus         = '1'
memory        = '64'

name          = 'minicache'
extra         = '-i 192.168.0.2/24 -g 192.168.0.1 -d 192.168.0.1 -b 51712'

vif           = [ 'mac=00:16:3e:ba:be:12,bridge=virbr0' ]

# Here, one FS image and 3 RAM-based drives
disk          = [ 'file:/root/workspace/minicache/demofs.img,xvda,w' ]

For now, just a single VIF is supported by MiniCache but you can assign multiple virtual disks. Use phy:/path/to/dev' when you use a block device as virtual disk and file:/path/to/image' when you use an image file. The extra option in the configuration specifies the parameters that you pass to the guest. Possible options for MiniCache are listed in the last paragraph.

Create a Filesystem

Creating a filesystem for MiniCache can be done with shfs_mkfs and shfs_admin. In the following we will create a filesystem image file with the files in the demofs/ directory:

First we create an empty image file (with 128 MB disk size):

dd if=/dev/zero of=demofs.img bs=1M count=128

Then we format it with SHFS:

shfs-tools/shfs_mkfs demofs.img

Afterwards, we copy some files to it:

shfs-tools/shfs_admin -a demofs/index.html  -m text/html    demofs.img
shfs-tools/shfs_admin -a demofs/logo.png    -m image/png    demofs.img
shfs-tools/shfs_admin -a demofs/favicon.ico -m image/x-icon demofs.img

When the copying is done, we should mark index.html as the default file. For this purpose we need to figure out what is the current hash digest for this file (since file names are actually hash digest in SHFS). This can be done by using the integrated ls command of shfs_admin:

shfs-tools/shfs_admin -l demofs.img

Remember the corresping digest and pass it to the set-default command of shfs_admin:

shfs-tools/shfs_admin -d 1e833c10400fd4cd5acf6cf73764a35d66eb68f627a332e129b246ca39df1e55 demofs.img

When you list the filesystem content again, this file should have the flag D set.

Boot the VM

The VM is booted with the xl command:

xl create -c minicache.cfg

When your networking setup is correct, you should be able now to see the demo page in a browser.

http://192.168.0.2/

You should also be able to use telnet to login to the embedded shell of MiniCache:

telnet 192.168.0.2

...and ping should work, too:

ping 192.168.0.2

MiniCache Parameters

-s [sec]               Start-up delay in seconds (default is 0)
-i [IPv4/Route prefix] Host IP address in CIDR notation
                       (if not specified, DHCP client is enabled)
-g [IPv4]              Gateway IP address
-d [IPv4]              Primary DNS server
-e [IPv4]              Secondary DNS server
-a [hwaddr]/[IPv4]     Static ARP entry
                       (multiple tokens possible)
-b [VBD ID]            Automount filesystem from VBD ID
                       (multiple tokens possible;
                        disables vbd auto detection;
                        example IDs: 51712=xvda, 51728=xvdb,
                        51744=xvdc, 51760=xvdd)
-h                     Disable XenStore control trigger
                       (see: ctltrigger)
-x [VBD ID]            Device for stats export
-c [num]               Max. number of simultaneous HTTP connections