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run Linux on Yosemite easily from the CLI

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Statistics on linux

Number of watchers on Github 464
Number of open issues 5
Average time to close an issue about 14 hours
Main language JavaScript
Average time to merge a PR about 6 hours
Open pull requests 0+
Closed pull requests 0+
Last commit over 2 years ago
Repo Created over 4 years ago
Repo Last Updated almost 2 years ago
Size 275 KB
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beta software! proceed with caution

Download, install and run Linux on OS X in less than 60 seconds!

npm installs hypercore linux and runs it as a daemon using the new Mac OS Yosemite hypervisor (via hyperkit).

See this youtube video for a demonstration with a cool soundtrack.

This module is a low level component that is part of HyperOS, made by the team working on the Dat data version control tool. We are working on integrating the other HyperOS components to support advanced functionality like running containers, sharing filesystems etc.

Mac OS Yosemite only for now, Windows support coming later through Hyper-V integration (see this issue if you wanna help)


  • hyperkit is a very new project, expect bugs! You must be running OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite or later and 2010 or later Mac for this to work.
  • if you happen to be running any version of VirtualBox prior to 4.3.30 or 5.0 then hyperkit will crash your system either if VirtualBox is running or had been run previously after the last reboot (see xhyve's issues #5 and #9 for the full context). So, if you are unable to update VirtualBox to version 4.3.30 or 5, or later, and were using it in your current session please do restart your Mac before attempting to run xhyve.
  • (these warnings were borrowed from coreos-xhyve)

js-standard-style Build Status dat


npm install linux -g



  1. Run linux init in a folder where you want to store your linux runtime config
  2. Run sudo linux boot to start the local linux server daemon
  3. Run linux ssh to log in to the server daemon over ssh
  4. Run linux halt to stop the server daemon when you're done
$ linux
Usage:     linux <command> [args...]

  init     creates a new ./linux folder in this directory to hold config
  boot     boots up linux from config in ./linux
  status   checks if linux is running or not
  ssh      sshes into linux and attaches the session to your terminal
  run      runs a single command over ssh
  halt     runs halt in linux, initiating a graceful shutdown
  kill     immediately ungracefully kills the linux process with SIGKILL
  pid      get the pid of the linux process
  ps       print all linux processes running on this machine


# initialize a linux folder to hold state
$ linux init
Created new config folder at /Users/max/test/linux

# starts a linux daemon
$ sudo linux boot
Linux has booted { ip: '',
  hostname: 'simon-mittens-snuggles-toby',
  pid: 20665 }

# ssh login
$ linux ssh
Warning: Permanently added '' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
 __    __    __
/  \__/  \__/  \__   Welcome to HyperOS Linux!
\__/  \__/  \__/  \ 
   \__/  \__/  \__/
tc@simon-mittens-snuggles-toby:~$ pwd
tc@simon-mittens-snuggles-toby:~$ exit
Connection to closed.

# run a single command over ssh
$ linux run hostname

$ linux status
Linux is running { pid: 20665 }

# gracefully shutdown
$ linux halt

$ linux status
Linux is not running

special thanks

  • thanks to nlf (Nathan LaFreniere) for help, if you like docker you should definitely check out his projects dhyve and dhyve-os
  • thanks to boot2docker for some stuff I borrowed from their rootfs folder
linux open issues Ask a question     (View All Issues)
  • over 4 years codesign xhyve
  • over 4 years verify initrd.gz/vmlinuz64 local versions are cache invalidated on updates
  • over 4 years 'linux kill' should have a nicer error if you don't use sudo
  • over 4 years Adapter for docker-machine?
  • over 4 years hyper-v integration on windows
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