[Newcomer to unikernels] CompSci Thesis/Practicum on unikernels



I’m doing a Computer Science masters in Dublin City University majoring in Cloud Computing. I’ve been working as a developer/devop on a python/django web app for about 2 years.

I’m very interested in the future of unikernels and how they apply to cloud web deployments and IoT devices.

My Practicum proposal which I’ve been working on over the past few weeks covers a lit review of the work of MirageOS, OSv, RumpKernel, Ling etc, and also the history of exokernels.

My research plan is pretty basic and not very focused, its basically to start playing around with unikernels, benchmark them, compare them for ease of developer migration etc.

My core skill is in python/javascript, mainly working on a django web app. I’ve seen a UniK tutorial on deploying a flask app, so perhaps a django unikernel will form part of the practical work.

I’d also like to contribute to unikernels in any way I can as part of my thesis, but I have no experience in C/OCaml/Go.

Any one have any pointers or ideas of additional content I can contribute/research as part of my thesis?


Hello Ciaran,

Thanks for your message and it’s great to hear you’re working on unikernels.

I’d be really keen to look at the lit review and I think it would likely make a great post/paper for the unikernel.org site. I’m happy to help with it when appropriate :slight_smile:

In terms of projects, I’ve asked a few folks for thoughts. There is a list of MirageOS pioneer projects in case you wanted to get ideas from there — http://canopy.mirage.io/Projects).

Looking at UniK with your existing app would be one way forward but be aware that you may need to update docs as you go (true of all the projects). I’m sure the UniK team would happy for your feedback/input.

Another thought that’s just occurred to me is that getting an understanding of the process of converting an existing app into a clean-slate unikernel would be really useful for a lot of people. Thomas Leonard wrote a great series of posts when he converted his app from Python to OCaml in case that helps — http://roscidus.com/blog/blog/2014/06/06/python-to-ocaml-retrospective/ (though he wasn’t using Django).

Let me know how how you get on!

Best wishes,


Hi Amir,

Nice to chat with you. I’ll send you an overleaf link under separate cover.

Thanks for those links, they should give me some ideas.