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slim: Create a micro-vm from a Dockerfile

chrisparnin profile image Chris­čî▒Parnin Ńâ╗1 min read

slim will build a micro-vm from a Dockerfile. Slim works by building and extracting a rootfs from a Dockerfile, and then merging that filesystem with a small minimal kernel that runs in RAM.

This results in a real VM that can boot instantly, while using very limited resources. If done properly, slim can allow you to design and build immutable unikernels for running services, or build tiny and embedded development environments.

Build a micro-vm

Create a micro-vm from a Dockerfile. Use build command with a directory containing a Dockerfile.

$ slim build images/alpine3.8-simple

The resulting image is only 23MB! It can be used in virtual box, kvm, or hyper-kit.

Running a micro-vm

Provision a new instance of the given micro-vm image as a virtual machine.

$ slim run micro1 alpine3.8-simple

Demo

This short demo illustrates an image being built, booting with hyper kit in 3 seconds, and then accessing the vm from ssh.

slim

Finding out more

Please see the GitHub repo for more information!

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Chris­čî▒Parnin

@chrisparnin

Assistant prof at NCSU studying software engineering from empirical, hci, and cognitive neuroscience perspectives.

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