Kernel Isolation Tester

KIT is a dynamic testing framework that discovers functional interference bugs in Linux containers.

Getting started


Hardware: x86-64 CPU (more cores are better); >=128GB memory; >=128GB storage (bare-metal machine recommended);

Software: Linux systems with QEMU and KVM support (Ubuntu 22.04 recommended);

KIT only needs root privilege for installing some dependencies and create VM images.


You can download the code via:

git clone --recurse-submodules [email protected]:rssys/kit.git


Run following commands to install dependencies:

# Build KIT
sudo apt-get install make build-essential automake autoconf gcc-multilib g++-multilib libselinux1-dev libselinux1 libsepol-dev libsepol2
# Build customized gcc
sudo apt-get install flex bison
# Build kernel
sudo apt-get install libelf-dev libssl-dev bc
# Build Debian images
sudo apt-get install debootstrap
sudo apt-get install qemu-utils

KIT relies on QEMU-KVM to efficiently execute test cases. Please refer to this link for KVM installation and how to run QEMU-KVM as a non-root user. If everything is successfully configured, you should expect the output to be similar to the following when running:

user@hostname:~$ qemu-system-x86_64 -nographic -enable-kvm
SeaBIOS (version 1.15.0-1)

iPXE ( 00:03.0 CA00 PCI2.10 PnP PMM+07F8B470+07ECB470 CA00

Booting from Hard Disk...
Boot failed: could not read the boot disk

Booting from Floppy...
Boot failed: could not read the boot disk

Run prerequisite/ to finalize the setup, which includes installing the go compiler, patching the syzkaller code, and building KIT and the customized gcc.


Make sure the following configurations are within the kernel build configuration file:

# For Debian images

# For host-guest communication

You might also need to disable SELinux by setting CONFIG_SECURITY_SELINUX =n, in case it stops the booting process.


  • Congyu Liu, Sishuai Gong, Pedro Fonseca. Kit: Testing OS-level Virtualization for Functional Interference Bugs. In Proceedings of the 28th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), Vancouver, Canada, 2023


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