Xhyve + Alpine Linux

During the 2015 Xmas holiday break I’ve been meaning to play around with Docker or in particular CoreOS on my Mac machine. I know it’s pretty easy to whip with a few CLI commands — Vagrant + VirtualBox, done! — but I wanted something different and wanted to avoid too many abstraction eg. running a virtual environment on top of a virtual environment. A few google searches got me into xhyve, can’t remember the exact keywords I used — sorry.

xhyve is relatively a new project, roughly 7 months old as of this writing, out of curiosity I jumped right away and see if I could install Alpine Linux. On the side note, the reason I’m looking at running Alpine Linux because it was mentioned at Vagga’s documentation, period, I will do a post about Vagga.

I haven’t used Alpine Linux before but luckily I found this Tweet and the link to the blog — thanks to Aria Stewart ;). I then grabbed the latest Alpine release alpine-3.3.0-x86_64.iso but I ran into a hell lot of booting issues, my first night wasn’t a success. The following day, I realised that scavenging through forums, stackoverflow, & etc isn’t gonna help me out even just getting the basic Alpine boot up and decided to just use the version alpine-3.2.3-x86_64.iso used by Aria. It definitely works but ran into a couple minor issues so I decided to chuck it into a Bash script and make changes as I go.

Here’s my Github gist


CMDLINE="alpine_dev=cdrom:iso9660 modules=loop,squashfs,sd-mod,usb-storage,sr-mod,earlyprintk=serial console=ttyS0"

MEM="-m 1G"
IMG_CD="-s 3,ahci-cd,alpine-3.2.3-x86_64.iso"
PCI_DEV="-s 0:0,hostbridge -s 31,lpc"
LPC_DEV="-l com1,stdio"
#SMP="-c 2"

# sudo if you want networking enabled
NET="-s 2:0,virtio-net"


After a successful boot up

Alpine Linux inside xhyve v0.2.0

One last thing, definitely worth looking into is running CoreOS inside xhyve!

Some references I’ve found while working on the install process

Update: 8/May/2016

Just after 2 months writing about xhyve + alpine, Docker announced they would go native for their Docker engine on top of xhyve —  and just 2 days ago I got accepted for testing Docker for Mac.

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