Vhost-user devices

Crosvm supports vhost-user devices for most virtio devices (block, net, etc ) so that device emulation can be done outside of the main vmm process.

Here is a diagram showing how vhost-user block device back-end and a vhost-user block front-end in crosvm VMM work together.

vhost-user diagram

How to run

Let's take a block device as an example and see how to start vhost-user devices.

First, start vhost-user block backend with crosvm devices command, which waits for a vmm process connecting to the socket.

# One-time commands to create a disk image.
fallocate -l 1G disk.img
mkfs.ext4 disk.img


# Start vhost-user block backend listening on $VHOST_USER_SOCK
crosvm devices --block vhost=${VHOST_USER_SOCK},path=disk.img

Then, open another terminal and start a vmm process with --vhost-user flag.

crosvm run \
  --vhost-user block,socket="${VHOST_USER_SOCK}" \
  <usual crosvm arguments>

As a result, disk.img should be exposed as /dev/vda just like with --block disk.img.