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Red Hat Releases Windows Virtualization Code

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the show-me-yours-and-I'll-show-you-mine dept.

Red Hat Software 183

dan_johns writes "Only one month after Microsoft released Linux code to improve the performance of Linux guests on Windows, Red Hat has done the reverse. Red Hat has quietly released a set of drivers to improve the performance of Windows guests hosted on Linux's Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. The netkvm driver is a network driver and viostor is a Storport driver to improve the performance of high-end storage. This release includes paravirtual block drivers for Windows. Linux and Windows — virtually coming together at last."

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183 comments

Gentoo?? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210087)

I use Gentoo; how does this affect me?

Re:Gentoo?? (5, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210135)

Now you can run Windows in a VM when people come over to avoid the shame of admitting you run Gentoo?

/me goes back to his Mac and Debian servers.

Re:Gentoo?? (1, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210983)

Yeah, the shame of avoiding DLL- *and* dependency hell crushes me. Thank you for understanding it.
And that horribly beautiful desktop of mine [radiantempire.com]*... I mean how can I live with that? I should shoot myself right now, in front of an Apple shrine.

___
* Aliasing enabled to make it harder to read the shameful things. ;)

Re:Gentoo?? (2, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211243)

Don't do it front of an Apple shrine. Better to find a Debian shrine; you'll get more mileage in the afterlife, and you won't be eternally bonded to Steve Jobs.

Re:Gentoo?? (3, Insightful)

dasmoo (1052358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211607)

You call that beautiful? Just because you can make a desktop rotate doesn't mean you should.

Re:Gentoo?? (1, Informative)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 4 years ago | (#29212175)

You haven't run windows in a while, have you...at least nothing newer than WinME....

Re:Gentoo?? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29212393)

It would have been a simple matter to imitate that desktop in Ubuntu even before Beryl and Compiz merged back together. Actually, since Ubuntu broke the pop-out window effect when they started including it in the default install, it was easier back then than it was the last time I cared about 3D desktop effects.

Re:Gentoo?? (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211151)

Now you can run Windows in a VM when people come over to avoid the shame of admitting you run Gentoo

What shame? Absolutely nothing can establish your Alpha Geek status faster than saying "Umm, I don't have a graphical desktop right now, it's still compiling", and firing up lynx to check your email.

Re:Gentoo?? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211231)

Real geeks check their mail on a hacked up PSP running FreeBSD.

Re:Gentoo?? (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210693)

It doesn't. You'll still spend 99.5% of your computing time waiting for your programs to build. ;)

Re:Gentoo?? (3, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211029)

Protip:

PORTAGE_NICENESS="19"
PORTAGE_IONICE_COMMAND="ionice -c 3 -p \${PID}
FEATURES="${FEATURES} parallel-fetch cchache"
CCACHE_DIR="/var/tmp/ccache"
CCACHE_SIZE="1G"

Re:Gentoo?? (2, Informative)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211327)

I like my protip better: Mount /usr/portage/var (or whatever portage's working directory is) on a 9GB ramdisk, and set MAKEOPTS to -j9.

Re:Gentoo?? (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211399)

Protip:

PORTAGE_NICENESS="19"
PORTAGE_IONICE_COMMAND="ionice -c 3 -p \${PID}
FEATURES="${FEATURES} parallel-fetch ccache"
CCACHE_DIR="/var/tmp/ccache"
CCACHE_SIZE="1G"

Even better.

Plus distcc and crossdev make building a small cluster braindead simple, even with many different architectures.

See! (1, Redundant)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210093)

Isn't it better when we all play nicely?

Re:See! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210117)

Isn't it better when we all play nicely?

Gestures are good, but the proof is in the pudding. If Microsoft keeps up actions like this on a consistent basis, then good things will happen.

I just worry that this is more of a "Oh look, judge, the prosecution's arguments are invalid. Look at these two examples where we worked with open source! See?! We're not bad!"

Re:See! (4, Insightful)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211251)

It might be a legit improvement and a strategic move from Microsoft. Windows doesn't care if they are being run in a VM on a Linux box. They still sell support, licenses and all that other good stuff. In fact, VM's might mean more windows installs, more license keys sold, more support requests, and more money for Microsoft. Why would they want to stop paying customers from doing what they want on their box. Hell, Microsoft is probably thrilled that people are running Linux on a licensed copy of Windows in a VM rather than native and they are probably thrilled that windows is being installed on VM's on a Linux host. Win win for Microsoft and Linux. Soon they will both have 100% market share. lol.

Re:See! (4, Insightful)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210167)

Since when has Linux /not/ played nicely with windows?

It's the other direction that's strewn with landmines

Re:See! (3, Insightful)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210185)

Landmines explode in either direction. I think it's more like the metal spikes coming out of the ground when you try to drive out of a parking garage without paying.

Re:See! (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210431)

Landmines explode in either direction. I think it's more like the metal spikes coming out of the ground when you try to drive out of a parking garage after paying.

I sorta improved your open-source English code there for ya...

Re:See! (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211685)

I would argue that microsoft plays with knives and tries to cut down the competition but linux plays with sharp toungs and sharp minds and chips away at FUD. So its no so much like those parking garage danger spikes :)

Re:See! (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210335)

At least linux tries. But there is a fundamental shortfall at the moment - lack of support for a common filesystem! Windows only does NTFS, and NTFS-3G in linux grinds to a halt and freezes if you write substantial amounts of data. (This is most often noted by people trying to run VMWare images on an NTFS filesystem from a linux host, since suspending and snapshotting the guest take lots of space). That leaves you with fat32, and 2GB files aren't what they used to be.

Re:See! (1)

seifried (12921) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210371)

Samba? That's a pretty common file system. But yeah I get what you mean.

Re:See! (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210697)

Samba? That's a pretty common file system. But yeah I get what you mean.

Samba isn't the kind of file system he was talking about. Did you mean NFS?

Re:See! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29211353)

People will never get behind that, probably because they're not racists. Seriously, this is 2009. A half-black man is President of the United States. Do you really want to use software named after a racist slur?

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29212043)

Do you really want to use software named after a racist slur?

Yes, Yes I do.

Re:See! (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211051)

A common filesystem(one nicer than fat32, or iso9660, and more generally useful than UDF, at any rate) would be nice; for external storage devices and for certain hobbyist dual-boot scenarios; but I, in my own experience, just don't feel the need as keenly as I used to. I wouldn't be surprised if the reason that one doesn't exist(to any really useful degree) is that others have similar experiences.

With computers so cheap, and getting ever cheaper, and networking going from common to ubiquitous, and little network storage widgets popping up even on home networks, not to mention the increasing amount of stuff that lives on a remote server somewhere, I just don't find myself needed to access one OS's partition from the other very much. If I really do need to grab some file, NTFS-3G's inefficiency just isn't a big deal.

The overwhelming majority of file transfers between OSes(or between the same OS on different machines) that I end up doing these days are via some network protocol, http, sftp, smb, IMAP, etc. that abstracts away the filesystem on the other end, and is spoken just fine by most anything. With virtualization becoming an increasingly common, and for most purposes superior, alternative to dual booting, network transfers even work for two OSes on the same machine.

It would be nice if there were a properly interoperable filesystem in common use(if only so we could shove a stake through exFAT's black heart before it takes off); but it just hasn't been a big deal for a while now, for me.

Re:See! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211063)

I haven't had NTFS-3G do this.

Granted, it's not always fast, but I haven't had it freeze.

Re:See! (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211293)

Come to think of it, I've only had it actually lock up when running VMWare from that ntfs partition. VMWare can be very disk intenstive (snapshots, suspend+resume) and runs largely in kernel mode, maybe it's choking on the delays?

I'd be very curious what you get from the following test - here is my output from running the following command on both ntfs and ext3 filesystems:

time dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=1024 count=2000000

On NTFS:
2000000+0 records in
2000000+0 records out
2048000000 bytes (2.0 GB) copied, 146.024 s, 14.0 MB/s

real 2m26.053s
user 0m1.168s
sys 0m15.221s

On ext3
2000000+0 records in
2000000+0 records out
2048000000 bytes (2.0 GB) copied, 18.2012 s, 113 MB/s

real 0m18.213s
user 0m0.448s
sys 0m9.605s

As you can see, the ntfs-3g write speed is slower by a factor of 8! Moreover mount.ntfs saturates a core under sustained writing. It's just not good enough for running an i/o intensive application on.

Re:See! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29212307)

You're using 1k blocks. That's going to be much slower. Here's your test (shortened, because I didn't want to wait):

> dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=1024 count=20000
20000+0 records in
20000+0 records out
20480000 bytes (20 MB) copied, 1.33289 s, 15.4 MB/s

> dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=1048576 count=20
20+0 records in
20+0 records out
20971520 bytes (21 MB) copied, 0.469102 s, 44.7 MB/s

Slightly more data, yet faster. And it does somewhat sustain that:

> dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=1048576 count=2048
2048+0 records in
2048+0 records out
2147483648 bytes (2.1 GB) copied, 65.6037 s, 32.7 MB/s

Keep in mind, this is on my external hard drive. It likes to buffer a lot (not sure if it's Linux, the drive, or ntfs-3g), so it makes sense that it's slower when sustained. But it's nowhere near as bad as your results.

I suppose it's possible I simply have a faster CPU, but it does seem like the killer here is the number of writes, not the size of them. I've certainly copied gigabytes onto and off of this drive without much issue.

Then again, I mostly use it for just that -- an external hard drive to throw movies onto. I'd never try to run a VM on top of it.

Re:See! (4, Informative)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211401)

The NTFS drivers for Linux work pretty well.. And ext2 IFS [fs-driver.org] works except for:

* Inodes that are larger than 128 bytes are not supported.
* Access rights are not maintained. All users can access all the directories and files of an Ext2 volume. If a new file or directory is created, it inherits all the permissions, the GID and the UID from the directory where it has been created. There is one exception to this rule: a file (but not a directory) the driver has created always has cleared "x" permissions, it inherits the "r" and the "w" permissions only. See also section "What limitations arise from not maintaining access rights?".
* The driver does not allow accessing special files at Ext2 volumes, the access will be always denied. (Special files are sockets, soft links, block devices, character devices and pipes.)
* Alternate 8.3-DOS names are not supported (just because there is no place to store them in an Ext2 file system). This can prevent legacy DOS applications, executed by the NTVDM of Windows, from accessing some files or directories.
* Currently the driver does not implement defragging support. So defragmentation applications will neither show fragmentation information nor defragment any Ext2 volume.
* This software does not achieve booting a Windows operating system from an Ext2 volume.
* LVM volumes are not supported, so it is not possible to access them.

Re:See! (2, Interesting)

izomiac (815208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211829)

I prefer Ext2FSD [ext2fsd.com] myself, but neither is ideal. They require a helper application that doesn't autostart (there's a non-working option for it), and they can be fickle about mounting (e.g. click mount and it doesn't happen, or open the drive and Windows asks to format it). I've had data loss with NTFS-3g (hopefully that bug's been squashed), and exFAT isn't supported in Linux.

IMHO filesystem compatibility is a great example of how Linux devs are bad at leaving boring, but critical applications half done. E.g. they work, but have you have to jump through hoops and even then there are major bugs and little to no polish. Ideally, you could use any Windows or Linux filesystem in the other OS transparently with all features, to the point that the common user doesn't need to know what filesystems their partitions use.

All that said, I use FAT32 or Ext2 for shared partitions for lack of a better alternative.

FUFME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210133)

'virtually coming together at last' - that would have been a good marketing slogan for FUFME...

Lack of Caring (4, Interesting)

tychoish (1013857) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210139)

I suppose this is a good thing, and I'm a big fan of the virtualization, but really, why? Windows fails to compel.

Re:Lack of Caring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210231)

Maybe but some of us make a good portion of our income from doing stuff with Windows. I only run it in VMware which is good enough to do my work.

I don't use that KVM bullshit though. VMware and VirtualBox have had guest drivers for years and years. KVM is behind the times to say the least.

Re:Lack of Caring (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210407)

Way to display your ignorance! We're talking about paravirtualization, not the crappy performance you'll get from workstation or virtualbox. This is on par with esx, hyperv and xen. So, having better paravirtualization support for windows on kvm really leaves virtualbox completely in the dust. And I'm sure this is all done by ms and rh with a view to the server, not the guy who wants to virtualize xp to run cstrike.

Re:Lack of Caring (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211709)

I agree that KVM (and XEN) absolutely smoke virtualbox. I run a XenServer cluster at work and have a couple esxi test boxes and a couple Fedora11 (for testing with KVM+virt-manager+PCI mapping) and can say with some experience that all of those solutions are vastly faster than virtualbox on similar hardware.

I do utilize virtualbox for some testing when I need function and quick deployment over speed. It is a good program, but there are much better options for serious virtualization.

Reason To Care (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210547)

Windows itself may not be compelling, but a few of the apps sure are to a whole lot of people.

I'm OS-agnostic, but certain apps (IE: Access) keep me locked-in to at least a Windows terminal server. Many mission-critical apps are not easily ported to other platforms.

Likewise, qmail is a compelling reason to run Linux.

Proprietary cost-leading utilities (ex. MagicJack) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210627)

Yea I'm going to have to agree that there isn't much of a compelling reason, except commerce presumes the client will always be from a Microsoft persuasion. MagicJack has had problems running in Wine despite it being nothing more than a Hardware SIP solution that just needs USB support passed to a VM and the client to interface with the hardware. It's a no-go from what I've discovered. I haven't tried BOCHS and the acceleration architecture, though I hear the other two virtualization machines (one from Sun I believe) appear to be working..

Does anyone want to suggest somthing better than the late Milly Bays' MagicJack and where to buy? I'm expecting MagicJack to run into immediate downtime from the CIA and FBI unable to scale their Patriot Act-enabling hardware that filters and eavesdrops on all the voice data tunneled through their series of tubes.

Re:Lack of Caring (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29212077)

I suppose this is a good thing, and I'm a big fan of the virtualization, but really, why? Windows fails to compel.

Fortunately, whether or not you personally see the use of something is not a deciding factor whether it gets done ;)

How does this affect security? (4, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210157)

I've always wondered how paravirtualizing some functions such as I/O or networking affects security.

Say a VM gets compromised, and is able to do what it wants with the block devices, how tough would it be to get out of the VM? If malicious code is able to access the host's block device that runs in kernel mode and start running code directly on the host's OS, game over.

Re:How does this affect security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210253)

The block devices for the guest are exclusive to the guest. They are either dedicated hard drives, not mounted on the host system, or files on the host system's file system, that are not mounted on the host system.

So, if the guest in the VM gets compromised, it will be able to compromise the guest, and only the guest (unless it finds a vulnerability).

And if you use Qemu's snapshot mode, all you have to do after a compromised VM is reboot it.

Re:How does this affect security? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210403)

You can think of it a little like an application and memory protection - yeah if the process could suddenly circumvent the virtualized address space and access kernel memory the machine is rooted, but otherwise it can only trash its own memory space. Yes, a compromised VM can do anything to the virtualized block devices but unless it can disable the translation and access the real block devices it can only trash its own disk. In both cases there's some fairly simple, solid and well understood locks in place to ensure that this sort of thing just doesn't happen.

Of course there are some scenarios for the paranoid, like it was shown how on a multi-core machine one process could deduct another process' private SSH key by manipulating the CPU cache and timing attempt. Obviously there are similar threats with virtual machines running on same hardware, but I'd say the pracitcal threat is minor. I think it's well with in the same probability of other threats where you need a disaster recovery plan like the server room roof collapsing, your senior system administrator going postal on your systems or whatever.

Re:How does this affect security? (4, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210405)

That depends on if you are using Xen or Qemmu. There's a design flaw in Xen/SELinux that will allow a hacked guest to write to the physical drive without notifying SELinux. This was "fixed" when the Qemm/SELinux interaction was worked out. There's a blog from one of the Red Hat SELinux guys that gives more detail, but I can't find the link just now.

VMware guest - host security issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210929)

That depends on if you are using Xen or Qemmu. There's a design flaw in Xen/SELinux that will allow a hacked guest to write to the physical drive without notifying SELinux. This was "fixed" when the Qemm/SELinux interaction was worked out. There's a blog from one of the Red Hat SELinux guys that gives more detail, but I can't find the link just now.

There was also an issue with VMware recently as well:

                http://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2009-0006.html

A second issue allowed a guest to crash the host (and therefore all other VMs):

                http://www.vmware.com/security/advisories/VMSA-2009-0005.html

Virtualization is great for utilization efficiency of hardware (especially with Windows guests), but it is by no means a way to improve security.

Re:How does this affect security? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210443)

Paravirtualisation just means that you're using a set of simple interfaces to communicate with the hypervisor driver, rather than an emulated physical device. You're still sending commands from the guest to the hypervisor (or, in the case of Xen, to a privileged guest), and it is still completing them on your behalf by talking to the hardware. If anything, PV is more secure, because the code running outside the guest is much simpler than a full emulated device. If there's a bug in the host PV drivers that permits arbitrary code execution then it's possible to escape from the VM. If there's a bug in the host's device emulator, then it's possible to escape from the VM. The second is more likely, because the code is much more complicated. A Xen PV block device interface, for example, is about 200 lines of code.

Re:How does this affect security? (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211301)

when I worked at VMware we used to just call it "cheating". You'd often hear engineers referring to "the drivers we use to cheat", and communicating through the "backdoor port".

Re:How does this affect security? (5, Informative)

Anthony Liguori (820979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210665)

I've always wondered how paravirtualizing some functions such as I/O or networking affects security.

Say a VM gets compromised, and is able to do what it wants with the block devices, how tough would it be to get out of the VM? If malicious code is able to access the host's block device that runs in kernel mode and start running code directly on the host's OS, game over.

Unlike Hyper-V and Xen, in KVM a paravirtual device looks an awful lot like an emulated device. For instance, virtio-net appears to the guest as a normal PCI device. It's quite conceivable that a hardware vendor could implement a physical virtio-net card if they were so inclined. In our backend, we implement virtio-net like any other emulated device.

This means from a security perspective, it's just as secure as an emulated driver. It's implemented in userspace and can be sandboxed as an unprivileged user or through SELinux.

VMware uses a similar model. Hyper-V and Xen prefer to not model hardware at all and use special hypervisor-specific paths. From a security perspective, the fact that these devices are on a different code path means that they have different security characteristics than emulated devices. For instance, in Xen, a paravirtual network device is backed directly in the domain-0 kernel so an exploit in the xenpv network device is much more severe than an exploit in a Xen emulated network device (since the device emulation happens in an unprivileged stub domain).

Stop and re-think that question... (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211917)

You're visualizing running Windows in any project...doesn't the question of security go out the window when the logo comes up?

2,000,000 viruses, malware in regimental quantities...it's not exactly the team that's trying hard to clean up it's act.

You still have to buy someone ELSE's antivirus program to expect it to make it through the day, and even then most corporations have each machine flush-n-fill every night. This has been the environment of Windows for 20 years. And you ask how it changes security?

Now *that's* funny.

A good thing. (4, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210179)

Cooperation like this is a great gesture. MS releasing code to help Linux run better in their VM's is a good thing and I am glad Red Hat returned the favor. With shops today running a mixed environment this helps them with transitioning or running apps side by side. Great for Linux development/testing on Windows and now better Windows development/testing on Linux systems. Now if only Apple would allow OSX to run in a VM. Developers could have one system running the OS of their choice and do all their cross platform development and testing on one system. Great for small developers who might code on a laptop or prefer to have a single system for development.

Never happen with Apple (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210239)

For better or worse, right or wrong, Apple is convinced they are a hardware company. They make their money on hardware in their mind, they just use their software to help sell their hardware. So they don't want you doing virtualization. They are not at all interested in your running their software on other people's hardware. For that matter, they aren't really interested in you running VMs all on their stuff. They'd much rather you have to buy 5 Xserves than buy 1 and do 5 VMs.

Just life, and it isn't likely to change unless Apple starts losing money (and probably not even then).

Re:Never happen with Apple (2, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210321)

The nice thing is that if you need to run VMs on OS X, you can move VMs from VMWare ESXi to VMWare Parallels on the Mac with little effort. Most of the time, it can copy directly. Worst case, you might need to copy the hard disk files and reinstall the VMWare client stuff.

Though it would be nice for Apple to have VM functionality built into the OS, or available easily, thankfully there are programs that allow Macs to be VM hosts. VMWare is a big one, but I have used Sun's VirtualBox as well, and even though it might not have the features that VMWare has, it still is decent.

Re:Never happen with Apple (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210753)

The nice thing is that if you need to run VMs on OS X, you can move VMs from VMWare ESXi to VMWare Parallels on the Mac with little effort.

Running virtual machines on top of OS X is not what Sycraft-fu was talking about.

The ability to run Mac OS X virtually without violating the license is extremely limited: only the Server version is permitted to be virtualized, and only on Apple's hardware. This doesn't mean it's not technically possible to run OS X on a VM on non-Apple hardware, but only virtualized OS X Server is supported by VMware and Parallels, and only on the Mac versions of their software.

Re:Never happen with Apple (1)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210775)

I almost had a heart attack when you said "VMWare Parallels", for a moment I thought that Parallels/SWSoft bought VMWare and almost curled into a ball and cried. To me Parallels/SWSoft are one of the most horrible and horrendous destroyers of web products out there. Buy a company, fire everyone, bury the project, rinse and repeat until no competition exists. If they can't bury a project increase the costs and have ludicrous licensing schemes instead. They must have gone to the same school of business as the worst Microsoft execs. I truly and utterly loath them and have boycotted all their commercial products, sadly OpenVZ just rocks too much for me to abandon it.

But back on point, I believe you meant VMWare Fusion.

Re:Never happen with Apple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29211443)

I don't think that would ever happen. VMware is owned by EMC, who are - for lack of a better word, massive. Massive enough to crush Parallels by blinking in its general direction.

If anyone buys anyone, it'll be EMC buying Parallels.

You can vitualize Leopard server on a Mac (1)

osssmkatz (734824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211601)

Actually, you can virtualize Leopard server on a Mac. So yes, one X-serve can run several virtual servers if you will. You do have to buy at least a Mac Mini. But Apple seems to have shifted on this.

Re:Never happen with Apple (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211613)

I don't know what idiot modded you offtopic, you summed up the situation perfectly.

Apple is a hardware driven company, if they were to sell OS X on its own (like Windows) they would make huge losses. Apple and Microsoft are asymmetric competitors. Microsoft is reliant on 3rd parties to build nice PCs to run its software. Apple does it themselves, and retains full control over all the little details.

If Apple were to start losing money (and I don't think it'll happen anytime soon), it would be a huge mistake to start selling OS X for x86. That would bankrupt the company for sure.

It's just good business sense. It's not in the interests of Apple to shift into primarily selling software, because then they'd be competing directly with Microsoft. Only an idiot would deliberately make it hard for themselves to stay in business.

Re:A good thing. (2, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210245)

MS only released it because they got caught violating the GPL.

Re:A good thing. (4, Insightful)

spitzak (4019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211153)

Not really. The authors of the code wanted it released in such a way that it could be incorporated into the kernel source code. This meant it had to be GPL or the kernel maintainers would not add it. It is irrelevant whether or not releasing it some other way would violate the GPL, as the authors never intended to do that.

The real news is that somehow magically Microsoft was not forced to GPL every bit of code that they ever wrote, despite their repeated claims that the GPL is a "virus" that "infects everything it touches". They basically proved that they directly lied about this.

Re:A good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29212353)

When the hell did they "get caught" violating the GPL?

Re:A good thing. (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211003)

It's about time, really, that MS quit saying "We don't want people running Linux" and started saying "If they're gonna run it, we want them running it on top of Windows".

Re:A good thing. (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211631)

It's just good business sense. If they can sell more copies of Windows and Office, that's good for them. It's the same way that Microsoft has interests in the Mac world: the more people buy Windows to run as a VM on their Mac, and the more people buy Office for Mac, the better.

But the moment you're no longer reliant on Windows or Office, that's when MS will start panicking.

Re:A good thing. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211889)

It Is simpler then that. If virtualized windows runs slow on a Linux host. Then windows Looks bad as Linux would run much faster. Making Linux seem faster then windows. And vice versa. Also if you are virtualizing you want your virtualizing softwae to seem it runs faster then the competition. So any attempt to hinder such work will only hurt yourself.

Re:A good thing. (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29212197)

Cooperation like this is a great gesture.

Rofl this isn't co-operation, this is the purest form of competition! If you think that two companies with rivaling products do things to just get along then I am afraid that I have to wake you up and welcome you into what is called the Real World.

How is this new news? (3, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210191)

How is this new news? Xen and VMWare have had PV drivers for Windows for ages...

Re:How is this new news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210367)

"vmware" is a company. However, none of their products have paravirt for windows.

Re:How is this new news? (0, Flamebait)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210473)

Because this is Linux. Whenever Linux gets a feature that other systems have had for ages, it's news. In terms of fanboys, Linux is the MySQL of the operating system world; features are stupid when Linux doesn't have them, and suddenly become the greatest thing ever when Linux gets them.

Or, in summary, you must be new here - did you buy that UID?

Re:How is this new news? (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210717)

This story is about *linux the kernel*, the only real linux and not "linux the operating system"; although obviously the word is colloquially used to refer to an operating system (even occasionally by me). Are you new here or are you just slinging mud at something you don't understand, perhaps on the company payroll?

That said, I don't think this story is really news. Every time FOSS projects gain better Windows compatibility in some aspect, it shouldn't be news...let alone wishy-washy bullshit about M$ and FOSS holding hands...

Re:How is this new news? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211665)

This story is about *linux the kernel*, the only real linux and not "linux the operating system"

Actually this story is about Windows and KVM...

Re:How is this new news? (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211969)

This story is about *linux the kernel*, the only real linux and not "linux the operating system"

Actually this story is about Windows and KVM...

Thanks, I knew that. KVM is a loadable kernel module for linux, the kernel. It is not one of the distros people call "linux", which is the point. KVM can run Windows, just like other kernel modules can do lots of different things. As far as licensing is concerned, loadable kernel modules are derived works of the kernel.

Re:How is this new news? (1)

Anthony Liguori (820979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210685)

The Xen PV drivers have historically been closed source for Windows. Fortunately a brave soul in the community stepped up and wrote a set of GPL drivers but Citrix still maintains their proprietary drivers. In general, there's a great deal of fragmentation with Xen PV drivers because they haven't been Open Source from the start.

I think the fact that KVM is avoiding this is quite good.

Re:How is this new news? (3, Informative)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211657)

Fortunately a brave soul in the community stepped up and wrote a set of GPL drivers

Yes. Me. :)

Quiet release (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210255)

Tell me, since when does a press release for Techworld + a front-page /. article count as releasing "quietly"?

Re:Quiet release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210331)

It's not on fox news is it

Re:Quiet release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29210803)

Tell me, since when does a press release for Techworld + a front-page /. article count as releasing "quietly"?

When it's actually not an official press release and when a person outside the company submits to /.

They're gearing up to announce it at their summit [redhat.com] I would guess...

Re:Quiet release (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211067)

There's this interesting fourth dimension that you might have heard of. Its ordering makes it possible for something to be quiet and be released *at the same place*, as long as the one follows the other. You should try it! :)

But beware: It can be deadly beyond 1.893456-3.15576 Gs from your starting point.

At parity once again (2, Interesting)

stox (131684) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210323)

No longer does Microsoft enjoy an advantage hosting mixed VM's. I am sure the boys in Redmond are not amused. Kudos to the folks at RedHat.

Re:At parity once again (1, Redundant)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210413)

I am sure the boys in Redmond are not amused.

Microsoft and Red Hat agreed to support each others' operating systems in their virtual environments [redhat.com], so this action is to be expected.

Re:At parity once again (2, Interesting)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210485)

I am sure the boys in Redmond are not amused.

Microsoft and Red Hat agreed to support each others' operating systems in their virtual environments [redhat.com], so this action is to be expected.

Yes, they expected it just like they expected people to extend Kerebos Authentication and XML filetypes right back at them. Microsoft embraces and extends OTHERS, they don't GET embraced and extended.

Windows Server able to run Linux VMs easily means more people willing to move from Linux to Windows, cause they can virtualize their Linux apps until they've ported them over -- and since they went to all that trouble to pay for Windows server... Might as well keep it.

It doesn't really "work" for Microsoft the other way around, ya know.

Re:At parity once again (4, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210643)

Yes, they expected it just like they expected people to extend Kerebos Authentication and XML filetypes right back at them. Microsoft embraces and extends OTHERS, they don't GET embraced and extended.

No; Microsoft and Red Hat joined each others' virtualization validation programs. As a result, Red Hat will support Windows server operating systems on Red Hat's virtualization software. This support is a direct result of Red Hat participating in Microsoft's validation program [windowsservercatalog.com].

The list of vendors participating in Microsoft's program includes other companies, such as VMware, Citrix, Cisco, Oracle, and Sun.

Re:At parity once again (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29210477)

Eh, MS still gets money for the licenses of those virtualized systems. I doubt they're *too* upset over it.

Is it OK to say this? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211441)

I, for one, welcome our new Virtual Operating System, Linux/Windows powered, Bi-Curious overlords!

Oh wait, I used too many commas, damn.

Penis (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29211447)

All I *really* want for windows/linux interoperability is good EXT3 drivers for windows, that don't cause your drive to be fscked everytime you boot into linux. A good kernel driver for ntfs would be nice too - but fuse ntfs-3g works fairly well.

Not yet all it's made out to be (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211653)

The win32 virtio-net drivers have been available for ages, albeit closed-source, and the win32 virtio-blk drivers haven't been through performance optimization yet and are slower than qemu's default IDE emulation. So -- *yawn*.

Wake me up when the virtio-blk port is fast; until then, this is interesting to anyone with a copy of the Windows DDK and an interest in helping out, but not necessarily so much for the rest of the world.

exchange/ad on linux (haha) (4, Interesting)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29211659)

The problem for me with this is that Windows is a poor server OS. The only compelling reason to run Windows servers is active directory and exchange. IIS is not nearly as good as apache or nginx or comanche or lighttpd (specifically, overhead, flexability, security, and performance!)

The costs for many organizations to engineer, deploy, and support windows servers for exchange and sharepoint is equal to or greater that the cost of outsourced/hosted. You can get hosted exchange for under $12/user/month at rackspace which compares well enough to a MCTS for Windows server and exchange as that 55,000 can do well over 350 exchange accounts without a power bill.

A linux server may take some expertise to setup but needs far far less daily upkeep. You can employ many less techs and hire in from the local tech shop for big deployments. I have an email server (ubuntu 6.04) that has been running for over 3 years without any effort on my part. The only downtime it has ever had was when the power failed and it shut down after the UPS was drained. $1200+ about 6 hours config (say $85/h) and no maintenance is something is am sure no windows server can or ever has matched.

back on point here, stop investing time and money is getting windows to run faster virtualized, put those dollars into alternatives to windows software. it has happened before that an OSS alternative (apache) has become so dominant that the big vendors have the alternatives rather than the standard. (bind, apache, sendmail and postfix, courier etc)

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