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

ACRN Technical Community Schedule

We're still in the early stages of forming this TSC, so instead we invite you to attend our weekly "Technical Community" meeting where we'll meet community members and talk about the ACRN project and plans. As we explore community interest and involvement opportunities, we'll (re)schedule these meetings at a time convenient to most attendees, but for now join us on the community calls via the links below:

Meets every Wednesday: 11AM-12AM (China-Shanghai), 7PM-8PM (US-West Coast)

Online conference link: https://zoom.us/j/457171121

iCal Download

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, and software tools/applications. Virtualization is key to meeting these broad needs, however, existing solutions don't offer the right size and flexibility for IoT. ACRN aims to be the answer.

ACRN is comprised of two main components: the hypervisor, and its device model complete with rich I/O mediators. ACRN will have a Linux-based Service OS and will run guest operating systems (another Linux instance, an RTOS, Android™, or other operating systems) simultaneously, providing a powerful software platform to build complex computing systems. ACRN invites the embedded developer community to contribute code and plans to collaborate with the community to further the effort in providing a high quality open source embedded reference hypervisor. Join us!


Small Footprint

  • Optimized for resource constrained devices
  • Few Lines of Code (LOC) of hypervisor: Approx. 25K vs. 156K LOC for datacenter-centric hypervisors.

Real Time

  • Low latency
  • Enables faster boot time
  • Improves overall responsiveness with hardware communication

Built for Embedded IoT

  • Virtualization beyond CPU, I/O, Networking, etc.
  • Virtualization of Embedded IoT dev functions, ie: Graphics, Imaging, Audio, etc.
  • Rich set of I/O mediators to share devices across multiple VMs


  • Multi-OS support for guest operating systems like Linux and Android
  • Applicable across many use cases

Open Source

  • Scalable support
  • Significant R&D and development cost savings
  • Code transparency
  • Collaborative SW development with industry leaders
  • Permissive BSD licensing

Safety Criticality

  • Safety critical workloads have priority
  • Isolation of safety critical workloads
  • Project is built with safety critical workload considerations in mind

Neusoft® Testimonial

Chinese Version

Intel® Testimonial

Introducing ACRN™: A Big Little Hypervisor for IoT Development

By Imad Sousou

IoT developers face mounting demands as connected devices are increasingly expected to support a range of hardware resources, operating systems, and software tools/applications. As we’ve seen in other market segments, virtualization is key to meeting these broad needs.

However, existing solutions don’t offer the right size and flexibility for IoT. Data center hypervisor code is too big,..

Read more

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Interested in supporting ACRN Project? Contact us at info@projectacrn.org

Code & Docs


  • Code of Conduct

    ACRN™ is a Linux Foundation project and as such the Linux Foundation Code of Conduct will apply to this project. It is an open-source and open community project where participants choose to work together, and in that process experience differences in language, location, nationality, and experience. In such a diverse environment, misunderstandings and disagreements happen, which in most cases can be resolved informally A Code of Conduct is useful to define accepted and acceptable behaviors and to promote high standards of professional practice. The Code of Conduct applies to any member of the ACRN’s community – developers, participants in meetings, teleconferences, mailing lists, conferences or functions, etc. Note that this code complements rather than replaces legal rights and obligations pertaining to any particular situation.

  • Governance Structure

    ACRN’s governance ethos is centered around openness and community inclusion. The project is committed to a true open source governance where code contributions are the main objective. We are committed to working transparently in the open to encourage the open source community’s involvement and welcome and encourage all forms of participation in the project. Technical decisions are made by technical contributors and a representative Technical Steering Committee assigned via meritocracy and through voting members.

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