Non-Go Prototyping

To realize the full benefits of gokrazy, you need to use only software written in Go. If there is no Go software for what you want to do, creating that piece of software can pose a seemingly unsurmountable hurdle. To make some quick progress and figure out if your idea can be implemented, it might make sense to temporarily use existing software before starting your own implementation.

This article shows a couple of techniques for getting non-Go software to work on gokrazy, in increasing order of complexity.

Note that software which is manually installed like shown here will not be automatically updated by gokrazy and hence poses a security risk. Use these techniques only for prototyping.

Go software not written for gokrazy: Grafana

It would not suffice to add Grafana to your gokr-packer command, as the resulting Grafana binary requires assets, supports plugins, keeps state, etc.

Hence, you need to manually install Grafana into a directory underneath /perm. A convenient way to do that is to use breakglass to download the “Standalone Linux Binaries” release from Note that I am serving the file from my computer because my busybox version supports neither HTTPS nor DNS.

/tmp/breakglass531810560 # wget
/tmp/breakglass531810560 # tar xf grafana-5.3.2.linux-arm64.tar.gz

We cannot start Grafana yet, as its binary is dynamically linked. One way to fix this is to place the sources which correspond to the release you just unpacked (e.g. from in your $GOPATH and recompile the binaries:

GOARCH=arm64 CGO_ENABLED=1 CC=aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc go install \
  -ldflags "-linkmode external -extldflags -static" \

Note that it is usually easier to set the environment variable CGO_ENABLED=0 to get a statically linked binary, but Grafana uses sqlite3, which is written in C, so we resort to the -ldflags variant.

At this point, we can start Grafana from breakglass:

/tmp/breakglass531810560 # cd grafana-5.3.2
/tmp/breakglass531810560/grafana-5.3.2 # wget
/tmp/breakglass531810560/grafana-5.3.2 # install -m 755 grafana-server bin/ && rm grafana-server
/tmp/breakglass531810560/grafana-5.3.2 # ./bin/grafana-server
INFO[10-30|19:27:51] Starting Grafana                         logger=server version=5.0.0 commit=NA compiled=2018-10-30T19:27:51+0100

To have gokrazy start Grafana, we can use a Go package like this:

package main

import (

func main() {
  const bin = "/perm/grafana/bin/grafana-server"
  if err := syscall.Exec(bin, []string{bin, "-homepath=/perm/grafana"}, nil); err != nil {

C software: WireGuard

WireGuard is a modern VPN tunnel, which consists of a Linux kernel module and a configuration tool. See rtr7/kernel@c7afbc1f for how the kernel module was added to the router7 kernel.

The configuration tool can be statically cross-compiled. We can run Debian in a Docker container to not mess with our host system:

% mkdir /tmp/wg
% cd /tmp/wg
% docker run -t -i debian
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# dpkg --add-architecture arm64
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# apt update
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# apt install libmnl-dev:arm64 libelf-dev:arm64 linux-headers-amd64 crossbuild-essential-arm64 pkg-config wget
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# wget
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# tar xf WireGuard-0.0.20181018.tar.xz
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# cd WireGuard-0.0.20181018/src/tools
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# make CC=aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc LDFLAGS=-static
root@d1728eaaa6e1:/# exit
% docker cp -L d1728eaaa6e1:/WireGuard-0.0.20181018/src/tools/wg .

Now we can copy and run the wg binary via breakglass:

/tmp/breakglass531810560 # wget
/tmp/breakglass531810560 # chmod +x wg
/tmp/breakglass531810560 # ./wg --help
Usage: ./wg <cmd> [<args>]

C software: tc

Linux’s Traffic Control system (used e.g. for traffic shaping) is configured with the tc tool.

tc is a special case in that it requires to be dynamically linked. The different queueing disciplines are implemented as plugins, and statically linking tc results in a binary which starts but won’t be able to display or change queueing disciplines.

Because gokrazy doesn’t include a C runtime environment, we’ll need to copy not only the tc binary, but also the dynamic loader and all required shared libraries. We can run Debian in a Docker container to not mess with our host system, and use the freeze tool to automate the tedious parts of the process:

% docker run -t -i debian:trixie
root@6e530a973d45:/# dpkg --add-architecture arm64
root@6e530a973d45:/# apt update
root@6e530a973d45:/# apt install iproute2:arm64 qemu-user-static golang-go ca-certificates
root@6e530a973d45:/# go install
root@6e530a973d45:/# ~/go/bin/freeze -wrap=qemu-aarch64-static $(which tc)
2022/03/20 11:45:46 /sbin/tc
2022/03/20 11:45:46 Copying tc together with its 12 ELF shared library dependencies
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /sbin/tc /tmp/freeze2237965672/tc]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [cp /usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/ /tmp/freeze2237965672/]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 [tar cf /tmp/freeze2237965672.tar freeze2237965672]
2022/03/20 11:45:46 Download freeze2237965672.tar to your gokrazy device and run:
root@6e530a973d45:/# exit
% mkdir /tmp/freeze
% cd /tmp/freeze
% docker cp 6e530a973d45:/tmp/freeze2237965672.tar .
% caddy file-server -listen=:4080

Now we can copy the contents of the temporary directory to e.g. /perm/tc and run the tc command in breakglass:

/tmp/breakglass531810560 # wget -O- | tar xf -
/tmp/breakglass531810560 # cd freeze2237965672
/tmp/breakglass531810560/freeze2237965672 # LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$PWD ./ ./tc
Usage: tc [ OPTIONS ] OBJECT { COMMAND | help }