Setup: Linux isolated host

These are the instructions on how to fuzz the kernel on isolated machines. Isolated machines are separated in a way that limits remote management. They can be interesting to fuzz due to specific hardware setups.

This syzkaller configuration uses only ssh to launch and monitor an isolated machine.

Setup reverse proxy support

Given only ssh may work, a reverse ssh proxy will be used to allow the fuzzing instance and the manager to communicate.

Ensure the sshd configuration on the target machine has AllowTcpForwarding to yes.

machine:~# grep Forwarding /etc/ssh/sshd_config
AllowTcpForwarding yes


The isolated VM does not deploy kernel images so ensure the kernel on the target machine is build with these options:


Code coverage works better when KASLR Is disabled too:


Optional: Reuse existing ssh connection

In most scenarios, you should use an ssh key to connect to the target machine. The isolated configuration supports ssh keys as described in the generic setup.

If you cannot use an ssh key, you should configure your manager machine to reuse existing ssh connections.

Add these lines to your ~/.ssh/config file:

Host *
	ControlMaster auto
	ControlPath ~/.ssh/control:%h:%p:%r

Before fuzzing, connect to the machine and keep the connection open so all scp and ssh usage will reuse it.


Install Go 1.8.1:

tar -xf go1.8.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz
mv go goroot
export GOROOT=`pwd`/goroot
export PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin
mkdir gopath
export GOPATH=`pwd`/gopath


Get and build syzkaller:

go get -u -d
cd gopath/src/

Use the following config:

	"target": "linux/amd64",
	"http": "",
	"rpc": "",
	"sshkey" : "/path/to/optional/sshkey",
	"workdir": "/syzkaller/workdir",
	"kernel_obj": "/linux-next",
	"syzkaller": "/go/src/",
	"sandbox": "setuid",
	"type": "isolated",
	"vm": {
		"targets" : [ "" ],
		"target_dir" : "/home/user/tmp/syzkaller",
                "target_reboot" : false

Don't forget to update:

  • target (target OS/arch)
  • workdir (path to the workdir)
  • kernel_obj (path to kernel build directory)
  • sshkey You can setup an sshkey (optional)
  • vm.targets List of hosts to use for fufzzing
  • vm.target_dir Working directory on the target host
  • vm.target_reboot Reboot the machine if remote process hang (useful for wide fuzzing, false by default)

Run syzkaller manager:

./bin/syz-manager -config=my.cfg

If you get issues after syz-manager starts, consider running it with the -debug flag. Also see this page for troubleshooting tips.