MicroVM: Activating Internet Access

Mastering the Tools to Harness Full Potential of Firecracker MicroVMs


3 min read

Leveraging Firecracker for Optimal Functionality with Tun/Tap and Firectl

For individuals navigating the world of cloud computing, virtualization and containers, understanding and effectively utilizing Firecracker becomes imperative.

Firecracker microVMs are designed to enable customers to manage secure, multi-tenant container and function-based services. To control these microVMs, one can use the command-line tool called 'firectl'. This article elucidates the process of attaching a tun/tap device to firectl for facilitating internet access.

A tun/tap device is a virtual network kernel device often used for creating virtual network interfaces. Using tun/tap, data can be redirected from a physical network interface to a program, enabling the creation of virtual network stacks. When setting up firectl, components like the tun/tap device play an instrumental role in ensuring a seamless, optimized networking environment within the microVMs.

However, one key point to note is that simply attaching the tun/tap device to firectl wouldn't grant internet access. A user needs to run specific commands โ€“ the focus of our discussion:

For IP Address and Default Gateway, we are using things already prepared in my previous article - Open vSwitch: Create TunTap Devices

Setup the IP Address

To set up the IP address for your network interface, the ifconfig command is used.

Here, eth0 refers to your network device, and netmask is the IP address associated with the network mask:

ifconfig eth0 netmask up

The 'up' option at the end of the command will activate the network interface immediately after configuring it.

Define Route

Route all traffic via the gateway at your specified IP using the ip route add default via command. is the gateway in this instance, and dev eth0 specifies the device through which the traffic should be routed.

ip route add default via dev eth0

Configure DNS

Then configure your Domain Name System (DNS) settings. To do so, use the 'echo' command to append a 'nameserver' record to your /etc/resolv.conf file. In the following command, '' is a Google public DNS server:

echo "nameserver" > /etc/resolv.conf

This 'nameserver' command instructs the system to use the specified IP address for name resolution.

By running these specific commands, you can configure the internet access within your Firecracker microVMs using firectl. It is through these steps that we integrate a tun/tap device within the firectl setup, allowing a seamless and robust networking environment.


Setting up internet access in Firecracker microVMs using the tun/tap device with firectl requires executing specific commands.

These steps, despite being an extra part of the firectl setup, are crucial for efficient microVM operation. A clear understanding of these commands enhances microVM performance, security, and resource management efficiency.

About Me ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป

I'm Faiz A. Farooqui. Software Engineer from Bengaluru, India.
Find out more about me @ faizahmed.in

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