[Rust-VMM] Call for GSoC and Outreachy project ideas for summer 2022

Alexander Graf graf at amazon.com
Wed Feb 9 14:50:09 UTC 2022

On 28.01.22 16:47, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
> Dear QEMU, KVM, and rust-vmm communities,
> QEMU will apply for Google Summer of Code 2022
> (https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/) and has been accepted into
> Outreachy May-August 2022 (https://www.outreachy.org/). You can now
> submit internship project ideas for QEMU, KVM, and rust-vmm!
> If you have experience contributing to QEMU, KVM, or rust-vmm you can
> be a mentor. It's a great way to give back and you get to work with
> people who are just starting out in open source.
> Please reply to this email by February 21st with your project ideas.
> Good project ideas are suitable for remote work by a competent
> programmer who is not yet familiar with the codebase. In
> addition, they are:
> - Well-defined - the scope is clear
> - Self-contained - there are few dependencies
> - Uncontroversial - they are acceptable to the community
> - Incremental - they produce deliverables along the way
> Feel free to post ideas even if you are unable to mentor the project.
> It doesn't hurt to share the idea!

I have one that I'd absolutely *love* to see but not gotten around 
implementing myself yet :)


Implement -M nitro-enclave in QEMU

Nitro Enclaves are the first widely adopted implementation of hypervisor 
assisted compute isolation. Similar to technologies like SGX, it allows 
to spawn a separate context that is inaccessible by the parent Operating 
System. This is implemented by "giving up" resources of the parent VM 
(CPU cores, memory) to the hypervisor which then spawns a second vmm to 
execute a completely separate virtual machine. That new VM only has a 
vsock communication channel to the parent and has a built-in lightweight 

One big challenge with Nitro Enclaves is that due to its roots in 
security, there are very few debugging / introspection capabilities. 
That makes OS bringup, debugging and bootstrapping very difficult. 
Having a local dev&test environment that looks like an Enclave, but is 
100% controlled by the developer and introspectable would make life a 
lot easier for everyone working on them. It also may pave the way to see 
Nitro Enclaves adopted in VM environments outside of EC2.

This project will consist of adding a new machine model to QEMU that 
mimics a Nitro Enclave environment, including the lightweight TPM, the 
vsock communication channel and building firmware which loads the 
special "EIF" file format which contains kernel, initramfs and metadata 
from a -kernel image.




Skill level: intermediate - advanced (some understanding of QEMU machine 
modeling would be good)
Language: C
Mentor: Maybe me (Alexander Graf), depends on timelines and holiday 
season. Let's find an intern first - I promise to find a mentor then :)
Suggested by: Alexander Graf

Note: I don't know enough about rust-vmm's debugging capabilities. If it 
has gdbstub and a local UART that's easily usable, the project might be 
perfectly viable under its umbrella as well - written in Rust then of 


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