Developer Cloudius Systems
Written in C++
Working state Alpha
Source model Open source
Initial release September 16, 2013 (2013-09-16)
Marketing target Cloud computing
Available in Multilingual
Platforms x86-64 using the KVM, Xen, VMware, and VirtualBox hypervisors. (arm64 on KVM is under development)
Kernel type Unikernel
Userland POSIX, Java, Ruby
Default user interface CLI, web
License BSD license
Official website osv.io

OSv (stylized OSv) is a cloud computing focused[1] computer operating system released on September 16, 2013. It is a special-purpose operating system built to run as a guest on top of a virtual machine, thus it does not include drivers for bare-metal hardware. It is a unikernel, designed to run a single Linux executable or an application written in one of the supported runtime environments (such as Java).[2] For this reason, it does not support a notion of users (it's not a multiuser system) or processes - everything runs in the kernel address space.[3] Using a single address space removes some of the time-consuming operations associated with context switching.[4] It uses large amounts of code from the FreeBSD operating system, in particular the network stack and the ZFS file system. OSv can be managed using a REST Management API and an optional command line interface written in Lua.


  1. Kurth, Lars (3 December 2013). "Are Cloud Operating Systems the Next Big Thing?". linux.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  2. Madhavapeddy, Anil & Scott, David J. (12 January 2014). "Unikernels: Rise of the Virtual Library Operating System". ACM Queue. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  3. Buys, Jon (18 September 2013). "Cloudius Systems Announced OSv, an Operating System for the Cloud". OStatic. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  4. Corbet, Jonathan (18 September 2013). "Rethinking the guest operating system". LWN.net. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
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