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A Big Little Hypervisor for IoT Development

ACRN™ is a flexible, lightweight reference hypervisor, built with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to streamline embedded development through an open source platform

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Latest Blog Posts and News

September 28, 2023 in Blog

Project ACRN™ 2024 Roadmap Update

Read our updated Open Source roadmap showing support plans for the ACRN hypervisor's 2024 releases.
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August 8, 2023 in Blog

ACRN Hypervisor Release Version 3.2

In this v3.2 release, we’ve enabled a new generation of Intel® processors, added configuration of processor performance policy, updated ACRN packaging for target installation, and updated to the latest LTS…
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September 28, 2022 in Blog

ACRN Hypervisor Release Version 3.1

The ACRN v3.1 release offers yet more enhancements to the ACRN Configurator UI including more comprehensive error checking and developer-friendly messages. A new Sample Application featuring two Post-Launched VMs is…
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September 23, 2022 in Blog, In The News

Intel® 12th Gen Core™ CPU Commercial Platform Now Available for ACRN™ v3.x!

We are delighted to announce that the first Intel® 12th Gen Core™ CPU (formerly known as Alder Lake) systems from ASRock Industrial are now supported by ACRN and available to…
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June 29, 2022 in Blog

ACRN Hypervisor Release Version 3.0

The ACRN v3.0 release offers a major developer experience update including a new Configurator UI simplifying setup for the hypervisor and VMs, adds additional supported hardware for industrial use cases,…
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May 26, 2022 in Blog

Project ACRN™ 2022 Roadmap Update

Read our updated Hardware and Software roadmap showing what's been happening with the ACRN hypervisor so far this year and what's in the support plans for the rest of 2022.
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What is ACRN?

ACRN is an open source reference hypervisor, built to meets the unique needs of embedded IoT development. Today’s connected devices are increasingly expected to support a range of hardware resources, operating systems, software tools, and applications. Virtualization is vital to meet these broad needs, however, existing VM solutions don’t offer the right size and flexibility for IoT.

Datacenter hypervisor code is too big, and its boot time is too slow. It doesn’t offer safety-critical workload capabilities and requires too much overhead for embedded development. Proprietary solutions are expensive and make it difficult to deliver long-term product support. There’s a pressing need for a reference hypervisor that meets the specialized needs of embedded IoT product development. Project ACRN™ provides the answer.

Launched in March 2018 as a Linux Foundation project, ACRN has a Linux*-based Service VM and runs guest VMs simultaneously, providing a powerful software platform to build complex computing systems. A guest VM can run Linux* or Windows* or an RTOS such as Zephyr*, and more.

ACRN Architecture Highlights

ACRN is a type 1 reference hypervisor stack that runs on bare-metal hardware, with fast booting, and configurable for a variety of IoT and embedded device solutions. The ACRN hypervisor architecture partitions the system into different functional domains, with carefully selected user VM sharing optimizations for IoT and embedded devices. See our project documentation for more details about the ACRN Architecture and use cases.

ACRN defines a hypervisor reference stack and an architecture for running multiple software subsystems. Multiple OSs and VMs are managed securely, on a consolidated system by means of efficient virtualization with resource partitioning that ensures co-existing safety and non-safety critical domains on one SOC.  It also defines a reference framework implementation for virtual device emulation, called the “ACRN Device Model”, with rich I/O mediators that satisfy low-latency access needs.

Project ACRN encourages and invites the embedded developer community to participate, contribute code, and further our effort to provide a high-quality open source embedded reference hypervisor.  Join us!

Join Our Monthly Technical Community Meeting

We invite you to attend our monthly “Technical Community” meeting where you’ll meet community members
and talk about the ACRN project and plans. Join us on the community calls:

Meets every third Wednesday of the month: 4PM-5PM (China-Shanghai GMT+8),
Wednesday 10-11:00 AM (Europe-Munich), Tuesday 1-2:00 AM (US-West Coast)

iCal DownloadJoin Zoom MeetingSee Presentation Archive


Small Footprint

Optimized for resource-constrained devices, with a small codebase: less than 40K lines of code vs. more than 150K for datacenter-centric hypervisors.

Real Time Requirements

Delivers low latency, fast boot times, and responsive hardware communication

Embedded IoT Virtualization

Includes CPU, I/O, and networking virtualization along with a rich set of I/O mediators to share graphics and audio device functions across VMs


Applicable for use cases needing multi-OS support for guest VM OSs such as Linux*, Windows*, and Zephyr*

Fully Open Source

Yields scalable support with significant R&D cost savings, code transparency, permissive licensing, and collaborative SW development with industry leaders

Safety Criticality

Built with safety-critical workload needs in mind, including prioritization and isolation

Supporting Organizations

Success Case Stories


In January 2021, ADLINK announced that their ROScube-I ROS 2 controller, powered by Intel technology, is one of the first robotic controllers to support ACRN real-time hypervisor. The ACRN community congratulates the ADLINK team on this important milestone that allows mixed real-time and application workload consolidation on a single Edge platform. Read more about this accomplishment in the ADLINK press release, and find more details in the (ACRN v2.5 release) ROScube Getting Started Guide.


In December 2020, IoT Solutions provider TTTech Industrial launched the first commercial product based on the Linux Foundation’s ACRN hypervisor for the industrial market. With the latest release of its Nerve Blue industrial edge computing platform, TTTech Industrial made ACRN 2.0 available to customers in a commercial, fully supported software solution that runs on a variety of Intel processors in an array of industrial applications.  Read more about this success story in this TTTech Industrial/Linux Foundation press release.

Project Membership Inquiries

User and Developer Resources

Project Overview

A quick glance at the objectives and goals for Project ACRN.

Technical Charter

Read the Technical Charter for Project ACRN.


Access all our project documentation, getting started guides, and more.

Project Roadmap

See what’s planned for ACRN releases in 2024.

GitHub Source Repository

Browse or check out the ACRN Hypervisor Source Code repo

Community Support

Browse and subscribe to the ACRN user community mailing list and post your own support questions