Container-based virtual machines (CVMs) allow users to run system-level programs, such as Docker and systemd, in their workspaces.
If you're a site admin or a site manager, you can enable CVMs as a workspace deployment option.
Coder implements container-based virtual machines (CVMs) using the Sysbox container runtime, which allows unprivileged users to run system-level applications, such as Docker and systemd, securely from their workspace containers. Sysbox requires a compatible Linux distribution to implement these security features; for additional information, see the Sysbox User Guide: Design Notes.
Nestybox maintains the Sysbox runtime and provides an enterprise offering called Sysbox EE that includes additional security features and capabilities.
The cluster must allow privileged containers and
hostPathmounts. See Security for more information on why this is still secure.
You can use any cloud provider that supports the above requirements, but we have instructions on how to set up supported clusters on AWS and Google. Azure-hosted clusters will meet these requirements as long as you use Kubernetes version 1.18+.
The host paths required for CVM functionality depend on whether you've enabled
Caching and Auto loading of the
shiftfs kernel module. You can find
these settings under Manage > Admin > Infrastructure.
The following table documents the host paths that are mounted:
|Caching||Auto Load |
The container-based virtual machine deployment option leverages the Sysbox container runtime to offer a VM-like user experience while retaining the footprint of a typical container.
Coder first launches a supervising container with additional privileges. This container is standard and included with the Coder release package. During the workspace build process, the supervising container launches an inner container using the Sysbox container runtime. This inner container is the user’s workspace.
The user cannot gain access to the supervising container at any point. The isolation between the user's workspace container and its outer, supervising container is what provides strong isolation.
NVIDIA GPUs can be added to CVMs on bare metal clusters only. This feature is not supported on Google Kubernetes Engine or other cloud providers at this time.
Support for NVIDIA GPUs is in beta. We do not support AMD GPUs at this time.