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Graphene / Graphene-SGX - a library OS for Linux multi-process applications, with Intel SGX support

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Graphene Library OS with Intel SGX Support

.. image:: :target: :alt: Documentation Status

A Linux-compatible Library OS for Multi-Process Applications

.. This is not |~|, because that is in rst_prolog in, which GitHub cannot parse. GitHub doesn't appear to use it correctly anyway... .. |nbsp| unicode:: 0xa0 :trim:

.. highlight:: sh

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a |nbsp| lightweight guest OS, designed to run a |nbsp| single application with minimal host requirements. Graphene can run applications in an isolated environment with benefits comparable to running a |nbsp| complete OS in a |nbsp| virtual machine -- including guest customization, ease of porting to different OSes, and process migration.

Graphene supports native, unmodified Linux applications on any platform. Currently, Graphene runs on Linux and Intel SGX enclaves on Linux platforms.

With Intel SGX support, Graphene can secure a |nbsp| critical application in a |nbsp| hardware-encrypted memory region. Graphene can protect applications from a |nbsp| malicious system stack with minimal porting effort.

Our papers describe the motivation, design choices, and measured performance of Graphene:

  • EuroSys 2014 
  • ATC 2017 

Graphene is not a production-ready software (yet)

Graphene is at a point where it is functionally ready for testing and development, but there are some known security issues that require more attention. The effort to review and harden security of Graphene is ongoing. Our roadmap is to address the remaining production blockers roughly by the fall of 2021. Of course, with additional help from the community, we can meet these milestones sooner!

The most important problems (which include major security issues) are tracked in

#1544 (Production blockers) 
__. You should read it before installing and using Graphene.

How to get Graphene?

The latest version of Graphene can be cloned from GitHub::

git clone

At this time Graphene is available only as source code.

Building instructions
are available 

How to run an application in Graphene?

Graphene library OS uses the PAL (
) as a loader to bootstrap applications in the library OS. To start Graphene, PAL (
) will have to be run as an executable, with the name of the program, and a |nbsp| "manifest file" (per-app configuration) given from the command line. Graphene provides two options for specifying the programs and manifest files:
  • option 1 (automatic manifest)::

[PATH TO Runtime]/pal_loader [PROGRAM] [ARGUMENTS]... (Manifest file: "[PROGRAM].manifest" or "manifest")

  • option 2 (given manifest)::

[PATH TO Runtime]/pal_loader [MANIFEST] [ARGUMENTS]...

Running an application requires some minimal configuration in the application's manifest file. A |nbsp| sensible manifest file will include paths to the library OS and other libraries the application requires; environment variables, such as

; and file systems to be mounted.

Here is an example manifest file::

loader.preload = "file:LibOS/shim/src/"
loader.env.LD_LIBRAY_PATH = "/lib"
fs.mount.libc.type = "chroot"
fs.mount.libc.path = "/lib"
fs.mount.libc.uri = "file:[relative path to Graphene root]/Runtime"

More examples can be found in the test directories (

). We have also tested several applications, such as GCC, Bash, and Apache. The manifest files for these applications are provided in the individual directories under

For the full documentation of the Graphene manifest syntax, see the


Automatically running applications via Graphene Shielded Containers (GSC)

Applications deployed as Docker images may be graphenized via the

gsc tool

Getting help

For the full documentation of the Graphene, see the

Graphene documentation

For any questions, please send an email to [email protected] (

public archive 

For bug reports, post an issue on our GitHub repository:

Deprecated Code

We have some branches with legacy code (use at your own risk).

Build with Kernel-Level Sandboxing

This feature is marked as EXPERIMENTAL and no longer exists in the master branch. See


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