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This article is about the operating system OSv. For other meanings of the acronym OSV, see OSV.
Company / developer Cloudius Systems
Written in C++
Working state Alpha
Source model Free and open source software
Initial release September 16, 2013
Marketing target Cloud computing
Available in Multilingual
Update method ?
Supported platforms x86-64 using the KVM, Xen, VMware, and VirtualBox hypervisors. (arm64 on KVM is under development)
Kernel type Monolithic (OSv kernel)
Userland POSIX, Java, Ruby
Default user interface Shell (via SSH), web
License BSD

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 slim, bare bones system including just the functionality necessary to run Java or POSIX applications.[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. It is managed through SSH which is implemented in Java using Apache MINA.


  1. ^ Kurth, Lars (3 December 2013). "Are Cloud Operating Systems the Next Big Thing?". linux.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Madhavapeddy, Anil, and David J. Scott (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. 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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