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

Alexander Graf graf at amazon.com
Wed Mar 16 13:36:24 UTC 2022

Hey Stefan!

On 16.03.22 14:16, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Feb 2022 at 13:58, Stefan Hajnoczi <stefanha at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, 9 Feb 2022 at 14:50, Alexander Graf <graf at amazon.com> wrote:
>>> 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 :)
>>> Summary:
>>> 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
>>> TPM.
>>> 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.
>>> Links:
>>> https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/nitro/nitro-enclaves/
>>> https://lore.kernel.org/lkml/20200921121732.44291-10-andraprs@amazon.com/T/
>>> Details:
>>> 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
>>> course.
>> It would be great to have an open source Enclave environment for
>> development and testing in QEMU.
>> Could you add a little more detail about the tasks involved. Something
>> along the lines of:

I must've completely missed your email, sorry :).

>> - Implement a device model for the TPM device (link to spec or driver
>> code below)
>> - Implement vsock device (or is this virtio-mmio vsock?)

Yeah, it's derived from Firecracker. So virtio-mmio for vsock.

>> - Add a test for the TPM device
>> - Add an acceptance test that boots a minimal EIF payload
>> This will give candidates more keywords and links to research this project.
> Hi Alex,
> Would you like me to add this project idea to the list? Please see
> what I wrote above about adding details about the tasks involved.

Petre literally pointed me to the fact that the project did not end up 
on the wiki page a few hours ago. I added it and augmented the bits 
above. Please let me know if you see anything else missing! :)


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