Build ACRN from Source¶
Following a general embedded-system programming model, the ACRN hypervisor is designed to be customized at build time per hardware platform and per usage scenario, rather than one binary for all scenarios.
The hypervisor binary is generated based on Kconfig configuration settings. Instructions about these settings can be found in Build the hypervisor configuration.
One binary for all platforms and all usage scenarios is currently not supported, primarily because dynamic configuration parsing is restricted in the ACRN hypervisor for the following reasons:
- Maintain functional safety requirements. Implementing dynamic parsing introduces dynamic objects, which violate functional safety requirements.
- Reduce complexity. ACRN is a lightweight reference hypervisor, built for embedded IoT. As new platforms for embedded systems are rapidly introduced, support for one binary could require more and more complexity in the hypervisor, which is something we strive to avoid.
- Maintain small footprint. Implementing dynamic parsing introduces hundreds or thousands of lines of code. Avoiding dynamic parsing helps keep the hypervisor’s Lines of Code (LOC) in a desirable range (less than 40K).
- Improve boot time. Dynamic parsing at runtime increases the boot time. Using a build-time configuration and not dynamic parsing helps improve the boot time of the hypervisor.
Build the ACRN hypervisor, device model, and tools from source by following these steps.
Install build tools and dependencies¶
ACRN development is supported on popular Linux distributions, each with their own way to install development tools. This user guide covers the different steps to configure and build ACRN natively on your distribution.
menuconfig, a python3 text-based user interface (TUI)
for configuring hypervisor options and using Python’s
Install the necessary tools for the following systems:
Ubuntu development system:
$ sudo apt install gcc \ git \ make \ gnu-efi \ libssl-dev \ libpciaccess-dev \ uuid-dev \ libsystemd-dev \ libevent-dev \ libxml2-dev \ libusb-1.0-0-dev \ python3 \ python3-pip \ libblkid-dev \ e2fslibs-dev \ pkg-config \ libnuma-dev \ liblz4-tool \ flex \ bison $ sudo pip3 install kconfiglib $ wget https://acpica.org/sites/acpica/files/acpica-unix-20191018.tar.gz $ tar zxvf acpica-unix-20191018.tar.gz $ cd acpica-unix-20191018 $ make clean && make iasl $ sudo cp ./generate/unix/bin/iasl /usr/sbin/
gccversion 7.3.* (or higher) and
binutilsversion 2.27 (or higher). Check your development environment to ensure you have appropriate versions of these packages by using the commands:
Get the ACRN hypervisor source code¶
The acrn-hypervisor repository contains four main components:
- The ACRN hypervisor code, located in the
- The EFI stub code, located in the
- The ACRN device model code, located in the
- The ACRN tools source code, located in the
Enter the following to get the acrn-hypervisor source code:
$ git clone https://github.com/projectacrn/acrn-hypervisor
Build with the ACRN scenario¶
Currently, the ACRN hypervisor defines these typical usage scenarios:
- The SDC (Software Defined Cockpit) scenario defines a simple automotive use case that includes one pre-launched Service VM and one post-launched User VM.
- This scenario defines two pre-launched VMs.
- This is a typical scenario for industrial usage with up to eight VMs: one pre-launched Service VM, five post-launched Standard VMs (for Human interaction etc.), one post-launched RT VMs (for real-time control), and one Kata container VM.
- This scenario defines a hybrid use case with three VMs: one pre-launched Safety VM, one pre-launched Service VM, and one post-launched Standard VM.
- This scenario defines a hybrid use case with three VMs: one pre-launched RTVM, one pre-launched Service VM, and one post-launched Standard VM.
Assuming that you are at the top level of the acrn-hypervisor directory, perform the following:
The release version is built by default,
RELEASE=0 builds the debug version.
INDUSTRYscenario on the
$ make all BOARD=nuc7i7dnb SCENARIO=industry RELEASE=0
HYBRIDscenario on the
$ make all BOARD=whl-ipc-i5 SCENARIO=hybrid RELEASE=0
HYBRID_RTscenario on the
$ make all BOARD=whl-ipc-i7 SCENARIO=hybrid_rt RELEASE=0
SDCscenario on the
$ make all BOARD_FILE=$PWD/misc/vm_configs/xmls/board-xmls/nuc6cayh.xml \ SCENARIO_FILE=$PWD/misc/vm_configs/xmls/config-xmls/nuc6cayh/sdc.xml
See the Supported Hardware document for information about platform needs for each scenario.
Build the hypervisor configuration¶
Modify the hypervisor configuration¶
The ACRN hypervisor leverages Kconfig to manage configurations; it is
Kconfiglib. A default configuration is generated based on the
board you have selected via the
BOARD= command line parameter. You can
make further changes to that default configuration to adjust to your specific
To generate hypervisor configurations, you must build the hypervisor
individually. The following steps generate a default but complete
configuration, based on the platform selected, assuming that you are at the
top level of the acrn-hypervisor directory. The configuration file, named
.config, can be found under the target folder of your build.
$ cd hypervisor $ make defconfig BOARD=nuc7i7dnb SCENARIO=industry
The BOARD specified is used to select a
misc/vm_configs/scenarios/. The other command line-based options (e.g.
RELEASE) take no effect when generating a defconfig.
To modify the hypervisor configurations, you can either edit
manually, or you can invoke a TUI-based menuconfig (powered by kconfiglib) by
make menuconfig. As an example, the following commands
(assuming that you are at the top level of the acrn-hypervisor directory)
generate a default configuration file, allowing you to modify some
configurations and build the hypervisor using the updated
# Modify the configurations per your needs $ cd ../ # Enter top-level folder of acrn-hypervisor source $ make menuconfig -C hypervisor # modify your own "ACRN Scenario" and "Target board" that want to build # in pop up menu
menuconfig is python3 only.
Refer to the help on menuconfig for a detailed guide on the interface:
$ pydoc3 menuconfig
Build the hypervisor, device model, and tools¶
Now you can build all these components at once as follows:
$ make # Build hypervisor with the new .config
The build results are found in the
build directory. You can specify
a different Output folder by setting the
make O=build-nuc BOARD=nuc7i7dnb.
If you only need the hypervisor, use this command:
$ make clean # Remove files previously built $ make -C hypervisor $ make -C misc/efi-stub HV_OBJDIR=$PWD/hypervisor/build EFI_OBJDIR=$PWD/hypervisor/build
acrn.efi will be generated in the
./hypervisor/build/acrn.efi directory hypervisor.
As mentioned in ACRN Configuration Tool, the Board configuration and VM configuration can be imported from XML files. If you want to build the hypervisor with XML configuration files, specify the file location as follows (assuming you’re at the top level of the acrn-hypervisor directory):
$ make BOARD_FILE=$PWD/misc/vm_configs/xmls/board-xmls/nuc7i7dnb.xml \ SCENARIO_FILE=$PWD/misc/vm_configs/xmls/config-xmls/nuc7i7dnb/industry.xml TARGET_DIR=xxx
SCENARIO parameters are not needed because the
information is retrieved from the corresponding
SCENARIO_FILE XML configuration files. The
specifies what directory is used to store configuration files imported
from XML files. If the
TARGET_DIR is not specified, the original
configuration files of acrn-hypervisor would be overridden.
Follow the same instructions to boot and test the images you created from your build.