Welcome to CernVM Virtual Machine documentation!

What is the CernVM Virtual Machine?

CernVM is a virtual machine image based on CentOS combined with a custom, virtualization-friendly Linux kernel.

CernVM is based on the µCernVM bootloader. Its outstanding feature is that it does not require a hard disk image to be distributed (hence “micro”). Instead it is distributed as a read-only image of ~20MB containing a Linux kernel and the CernVM-FS client. The rest of the operating system is downloaded and cached on demand by CernVM-FS. The virtual machine still requires a hard disk as a persistent cache, but this hard disk is initially empty and can be created instantaneously.

Contact and Authors

Visit our website on cernvm.cern.ch.

Authors of this documentation:

  • Jakob Blomer