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Linux Kernel to Include KVM Virtualization

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the last-minute-contenders dept.

Linux 194

It looks like the newest version of the Linux kernel (2.6.20) will include KVM, the relatively new virtualization environment. From the article: "Thanks to its approach KVM already runs in the current kernel, without any extensive bouts of patching and compiling being required, after the fairly simple compilation of a module. Virtual machines that run unmodified operating systems are meant to appear in the host as a simple process and work independently of the host kernel. In a fashion comparable to that of Xen a modified QEMU is used for the supportive emulation of typical PC components of the virtual machines."

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194 comments

Yes... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206070)

...but does this Linux run Linux?

Re:Yes... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206726)

Of course. But remember, it violates Microsoft's Valuable Intellectual Property each time it does so!

Microsoft's Valuable Intellectual Property is important! Respect Microsoft's Authoritah!

how many KVMs (5, Informative)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206082)

First there was KVM [wikipedia.org] switches and then there was the Java KVM [sun.com] (kilobyte VM).

Now there's the linux KVM [sf.net] which has nothing to do with either those or the Kernel VM rewrites of the linux past.

Leave that acronym alone !

Re:how many KVMs (1)

OfficeSubmarine (1031930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206104)

Thank you. I was wondering what this was, with the exact same chain of acronyms. I have to admit to some surprise that they'd use an abreviation as common as KVM. Especially when the end effect, if not the implementation, is similar to that of a kvm switch.

Re:how many KVMs (1)

websaber (578887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206676)

How about LVM for linux virtual machine? Oh wait never mind.

Re:how many KVMs (3, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206150)

All three-letter acronyms are recycled many times already but it will not stop future projects/organizations to recycle them once more.

Re:how many KVMs (3, Funny)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206376)

yep, there just aren't enough TLA...

Re:how many KVMs (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206158)

Well someone here just update the KVM [wikipedia.org] disambiguation page.

Re:how many KVMs (1)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206404)

there is also libkvm (for kvm_open, kvm_read, etc)

Re:how many KVMs (3, Funny)

the-stringbean (884738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206514)

Now all we need is somebody to connect a KVM (switch) to a KVM (virtualisation) machine that's running a KVM (Java KVM)!

I just know that someone is going to comment on KVM overlords soon...

Re:how many KVMs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206562)

KVM overlords? - more like KVM tribbles.

Re:how many KVMs (2, Funny)

freakmn (712872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207124)

Now all we need is somebody to connect a KVM (switch) to a KVM (virtualisation) machine that's running a KVM (Java KVM)!

If I get to pick who gets to hook all this up, my vote goes to K. V. Mahadevan [wikipedia.org] , who is also under KVM in wikipedia. Or perhaps a member of the Belgian Football Team [acronymfinder.com] , while visiting the Kalamazoo Valley Museum [acronymfinder.com] . Actually, looking at a list of Acronyms for KVM [acronymfinder.com] , it appears that this usage of KVM ranks second to last of the 8 that it lists, only above the Belgian Football team, Koninklijke Voetbalclub Mechelen. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me.

Re:how many KVMs (2, Interesting)

lintux (125434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206542)

And it's not even an KDE app! I used to think it was some KDE front-end to an existing virtualization program...

Re:how many KVMs (2, Funny)

gitargr8 (966020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206814)

Obviously KVM wasn't registered with the Federal Acronym Registration Team or F.A.R.T. (Jon Stewart is a funny man)

KVM switch? (4, Funny)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206098)

I take it this has nothing to do with the other meaning for KVM, Keyboard, Video, Mouse switches... there I was thinking that my Belkin KVM switch was finally gonna work properly (I have two mice connected as the switch cannot switch the mice correctly)

Re:KVM switch? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206246)

> there I was thinking that my Belkin KVM switch was finally gonna work properly
> (I have two mice connected as the switch cannot switch the mice correctly)

Keyboard and mouse data comes in packets of about 3 or 4 bytes. If a KVM switch toggles mid-packet the PC and/or the peripheral may get badly confused. A well-designed KVM product will get this right, but many don't; it looks like your Belkin product falls into this category.

KVM swithces also vary enormously in their video quality. It is a mistake to think of a KVM switch as a "commodity" device. It is well worth spending a bit extra to get a well-designed product. You're unlikely to have any problems with Adder or Avocent kit.

Re:KVM switch? (3, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206294)

Don't get me started on belkin, I've had trouble with everything they've made. I've even got a usb bluetooth adapter here that isn't xp sp2 compatible. It's an F8T001_v1, I've had it since before SP2 was released, and I tried it again recently and they still haven't made SP2 drivers for it (last driver release was 2003).

But seriously, I read an article once about why kvms can't switch mice properly, apparently it's because the ps2 mouse protocol has no synchronisation in it. So when a cheap kvm switches the mouse to the other pc, switching in the middle of a data packet more often than not, the pc starts thinking the start of the packet is the middle. This results in things like "moving the mouse clicks the buttons" and other such fun. Most mouse drivers can identify this problem and correct for it, but it takes a few seconds of mouse movement. Even better, some laptops have a kind of ps2 merge circuit for their ps2 touchpad and external mouse, so if the external mouse gets out of sync there is no way to correct it, because the merge is too stupid and the drivers can't see the touchpad and mouse separately, so it can't independently change the synch of the external mouse.

In other words, either get a decent kvm, a kvm that can switch usb mice (which do have synch and so don't have this problem), or stick to two separate mice.

Oh, one more word of kvm warning, they often can't handle resolutions above 1024x768 on the monitor without blurring badly. Whether this is the fault of the cheap cables they always come with or the kvm itself, I don't know.

Re:KVM switch? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206600)

Those words of advice are for cheap KVMs.. however, I use a linksys one which handles 1600x1200@100Hz perfectly well, has never given me grief with mice (which admittedly is a USB one with a PS2 adapter) and was cheap at £20. (its the dual-port one with the integral cables).

On the other hand, we have a 8-port Lindy KVM which is a right PITA sometimes, often not switching video for our servers running at not-very-high-res.

Re:KVM switch? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207400)

Yeah, I forgot the other video issues. Some cheap kvms (generally older ones with physical switch) cause the monitor to turn off when you switch them, and some (cheap/old) monitors then take some time to come back online. It sounds like the problem you're having is worse than that though.

The better kvm's don't pass the signal for the mouse through directly, instead they pretend to be a mouse to both pcs, routing the data from the real mouse to the appropriate one. This prevents the synch errors on switching by having the kvm only send complete packets to the pc. It does introduce a one-packet delay in the mouse though (imperceptible), and often makes the mouse show up as being a wheelmouse (for compatibility) even if it isn't.

There is no power on earth... (1)

ostiguy (63618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207004)

that will making a Belkin KVM work properly.

Ever hear of 5 9s reliability? Belkin KVMs are a single 9 solution, and sometime I doubt they even hit that.

Re:There is no power on earth... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207132)

Actually, you can - just don't ever, ever, move the mouse while switching.

What benefits does this give? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206128)

I'm at work now, and believe or not slashdot is not blocked (almost anything else is), so I can't read the article.
What are the benefits of this vs regular (as in qemu, vmware) virtualization?

Re:What benefits does this give? (0)

larytet (859336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206540)

Currently, KVM is stable (at least with the guests we test :), and is fast enough for desktop use on recent processors. For server workloads, an optimized version of the MMU virtualization is needed. This is currently in progress. KVM is available as a patch to recent Linux kernel versions and as an external module that can be used with your favorite distro- provided kernel. We are working to merge KVM into Linux so that the functionality is available with no hassle. Working: * Intel-based hosts (requires VT capable processors) * AMD-based hosts (requires SVM capable processors) * Linux guests (32-bit and 64-bit) * Windows guests (32-bit) * SMP hosts In progress: * Optimized MMU virtualization Planned: * SMP guests What do I need to use kvm? You will need an x86 machine running a recent Linux kernel on an Intel processor with VT (virtualization technology) extensions, or an AMD processor with SVM extensions (also called AMD-V). What is Intel VT / AMD-V? Intel VT and AMD's AMD-V are instruction set extensions that provide hardware assistance to virtual machine monitors. They enable running fully isolated virtual machines at native hardware speeds, for some workloads. How can I tell if I have Intel VT or AMD-V? With a recent enough Linux kernel, run the command: egrep '^flags.*(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo If something shows up, you have VT. You can also check the processor model name (in /proc/cpuinfo) in the vendor's web site. Note that some manufacturers disable VT in the machine's BIOS, in such a way that it cannot be re-enabled. What user space tools does kvm use? kvm uses a slightly modified qemu program to instantiate the virtual machine. Once running, a virtual machine is just a regular process. You can use top(1), kill(1), taskset(1) and similar tools to manage virtual machines. What virtual disk formats can kvm use? kvm inherits a wealth of disk formats support from qemu; it supports raw images, the native qemu format (qcow), VMware format, and many more. What is the difference between kvm and Xen? Xen is an external hypervisor; it assumes control of the machine and divides resources among guests. On the other hand, kvm is part of Linux and uses the regular Linux scheduler and memory management. This means that kvm is much smaller and simpler to use. On the other hand, Xen supports both full virtualization and a technique called paravirtualization, which allows better performance for modified guests. kvm does not at present support paravirtualization. What is the difference between kvm and VMWare? VMware is a proprietary product. kvm is Free Software released under the GPL. What is the difference between kvm and QEMU? Qemu uses emulation; kvm uses processor extensions for virtualization. Do you have a port of kvm for Windows? Not in this release. What kernel version does it work with? kvm should work with any recent kernel (2.6.16 and above, likely even earlier) How much RAM do I need? You will need enough memory to let the guest run comfortably while keeping enough for the host. 1GB is probably a minimum configuration for the host OS. What OSs can I run inside kvm VM? We have tested Linux (32/64 bit) and Windows (32 bit). Others may or may not work. What happens if I kill -9 a VM process? From the guest's perspective, it is as if you yanked the power cord out. From the host's perspective, the process is killed and all resources it uses are reclaimed. Does kvm support SMP hosts? Yes. What is the procedure to install a Windows guest? Currently Windows guest installation is broken. The problem arises from the APIC implementation. At the moment the APIC is emulated by qemu, which is not as tightly integrated to the kvm virtual cpu as it should be. There is work in progress to implement the APIC within kvm to fix the problem. Until then, start qemu with the -noapic option. If you have a guest that uses the APIC HAL, the following workaround is suggested: 1. Run the guest without kvm (-no-kvm) My Computer -> Properties -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> [Whatever under Computer] -> Properties -> Update Driver -> Not at this time -> Next -> Install from a list -> Next -> Don't search -> Next -> Standard PC -> Next. "Standard PC" is the noapic HAL. What is Qumranet's product? Qumranet is a startup company financed by Sequoia Capital and Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). The company is still in Stealth mode.

Re:What benefits does this give? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206834)

Hey hey, well done, you've provided our audience with excellent motivation for using the preview button like the form suggests!

Re:What benefits does this give? (4, Informative)

BokLM (550487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207000)

Why is this comment rated informative ?
For thoses who are interested, look at this page :
http://kvm.sourceforge.net/faq.html [sourceforge.net]

It is the same thing, but it is actually readable.

Not frist psot! (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206138)

Not first post, but at least I can be the first not to kvetch about them not integrating a physical object with a piece of software. -sigh-

The article talks about a news article mistakenly stating it was for Intel processors only. I imagine it said that because the official site says it's for Intel only. http://kvm.sourceforge.net/howto.html [sourceforge.net]

It does also say elsewhere on the site http://kvm.sourceforge.net/faq.html [sourceforge.net] that it's for certain AMDs also.

It claims it can run 32-bit windows inside the virtualization. Does this mean Windows can directly access the hardware, and provide true 3D support and such? Or is it simply another hardware emulator with all the associated problems? Too bad 'windows guest' installation is broken at the moment.

I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206250)

If you it gives another OS *full* access to everything then you'd be just as vulnerable to viruses , worms etc as if you were running that OS natively and you could well find your linux filesystem hosed. Hopefully guest OSes will be in a sandbox or at the very least only allowed to directly access specific user defined hardware resources. If not then I certainly won't be taking advantage of this system anytime soon.

Not everything, just video (3, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206358)

One of the main barriers to Linux adoptoin is the fact that you can't ru Windows games in Linux, unless you reboot into windows. If LVM / Xen / QEMU / VMWare started realizing this and made video driver performance a priority, they could have a real market leader on their hands.

I know if there was a VM out there that coudl run Windows games with full native windows video accelleration, I woudl pay very good money for it.

Sound / disk / CPU performance has been there in VMs for years, at least froma desktop users standpoint. The one area that lags behind all other sis video support. Even with VMWare (arguable the fastest VM out there right now), running a full scrteen Windows session under Linux feels sluggish at best...a nd there isno Direct3D support at all.

And as far as your comment - there is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing this. Just look at X, it interfaces direct with the kernel via DRI, and it's secure.. a crashing X session won't bring your whole machine down.

Re:Not everything, just video (2, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206538)

One of the main barriers to Linux adoptoin is the fact that you can't ru Windows games in Linux, unless you reboot into windows. If LVM / Xen / QEMU / VMWare started realizing this and made video driver performance a priority, they could have a real market leader on their hands.

If the full interface documentation for recent Nvidia and ATI video cards was released, and GPL-compatible drivers existed, this would probably already be in the works.

Re:Not everything, just video (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207104)

If the full interface documentation for recent Nvidia and ATI video cards was released, and GPL-compatible drivers existed, this would probably already be in the works.

If the emulators allowed direct hardware access, interface documentation wouldn't be required. You'd fire up Windows, granting it access to all resources associated with the card's PCI ID, and it would use its own driver. Of course, you'd have to give it exclusive access to the display for the duration of its session, but I don't see that being a huge issue.

Re:Not everything, just video (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206556)

Er. No, it's not secure. We're just lucky that most leet haxors (that we know about...) are really just script kiddies without the technical know-how to do the fancier stuff. A malicious program running on your GPU or other expansion card has privileged access to your physical memory.

The PC architecture (and I use the term loosely...) simply doesn't have proper memory protected I/O "channels" like mainframe I/O. (I dunno about PCI Express, since it's a cut-down channel architecture, maybe it, maybe in conjunction with an AMD-syle x86_64 IOMMU, could properly memprotect all thos noncpu processors modern PeeCees tend to have).

Re:Not everything, just video (2, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206584)

Games is not the main barrier to adoption. The home desktop is low price, low margin cut-throat business. Why would VMware, XenSource etc. want to go after a market which will be difficult to support, and not provide them with the money they need to keep going? The corporate market (particularly servers) is far larger and far more important for them - so don't expect video drivers to ever be a priority.

Re:Not everything, just video (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207156)

The corporate market (particularly servers) is far larger and far more important for them - so don't expect video drivers to ever be a priority.

If you read Xen's marketing material, the corporate desktop is pretty important to them too. And what with Vista providing a "degraded experience" for machines without Direct3D support, I'd expect them to be working on it right now, hopefully in time to get support working before most of their potential clients have Vista rolled out.

Re:Not everything, just video (2, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206646)

Games may be an inhibitor for Linux adoption in the home market, but Xen/QEmu/KVM/VMWare aren't aimed at the home market at all. When you consider the fact that what you want is most definitely not a simple task, you may understand why nobody has done it yet.

Re:Not everything, just video (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207084)

If it's an inhibitor, explain Quake and UT? No, it's dependence on Direct3D, instead of using OpenGL.

Re:Not everything, just video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206680)

a crashing X session won't bring your whole machine down

Hahahahaha.

Re:Not everything, just video (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207216)

"a crashing X session won't bring your whole machine down."

If it locks up the video sub system it can make the machine unusable except via a net or dumb terminal connection , which could mean the machine needs a reboot. Not good in a business enviroment.

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (0)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206488)

You managed to get modded insightful on that, and I totally fail to see how.

How in the WORLD does access to the video, sound, or any other daughterboard grant access for a virus?

And how in the WORLD does a virtual machine work without access to a storage device? (I'm assuming you're going to say a virtual storage device.) And even WITH that, how in the world does a Windows virus infect a Linux executable? (It'd have to written specifically for that purpose with the assumption that you are running KVM un-secure. That's got to be even more obscure than Linux itself, which doesn't have many viruses due to obscurity and relative knowledge-level of its users. (They are less likely to click things without thinking.)

So I grant you that write-access to a storage device COULD theoretically be a problem. But access to anything else? No way. Direct access to hardware is the only way to get the performance needed to justify running a virtual machine on a desktop PC. And if that's not what this is for, it's simply another virtualization product. (Albeit a free one.)

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (4, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206568)

How in the WORLD does access to the video, sound, or any other daughterboard grant access for a virus?

DMA + lack of IOMMU [wikipedia.org] = unrestricted access to system memory

... in the WORLD

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207174)

"You managed to get modded insightful on that, and I totally fail to see how."

So you proved.

"So I grant you that write-access to a storage device COULD theoretically be a problem. But access to anything else? No way."

So you don't think that screwing up the video would be a problem? Well I suppose if you only access your linux box through a net connection or serial terminal it wouldn't be.

I'm not saying any of this happens now , but if it becomes common then who's to say some virus writer won't add in a little bit extra to his code to check for running in a virtual env?

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207472)

So you don't think that screwing up the video would be a problem?

assuming that you are talking about crashing the X server, no, because you can just restart X without affecting the rest of the server. with packages like VMWare Server, you don't need to run an x server on the host. you can run the VMWare console app on a spearate machine to actually see and operate the guest operating systems. so you can run your VMs on a box with a rather rudimentary install and access it from a more robust linux or windows install with a GUI. in theory, even if a display mode error occurs, only the VM's console is inaccessible and can be restarted, or deleted and restored from a backup. even if you manage to crash the console app, the host and the VMs on it are still running fine.

perhaps this is an improvement in all of Xorg and not just ubuntu, but on my ubuntu machine i can log in multiple users at the same time from the console (display:0) and even ctrl+alt+backspace to restart the Xserver in one session and have the other logged in user not be affected.

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207696)

"assuming that you are talking about crashing the X server, no, because you can just restart X without affecting the rest of the server."

Sorry , it doesn't always work like that. I've had X servers totally lock up video cards which stay locked even once the X server process has been killed and no amount of X restarts solved it. The only thing that worked was shutting down then switching the machine off then on again. Now this may be limited to certain graphics cards (Matrox in my case) but the fact it happens at all should be a warning.

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207926)

I've had X servers totally lock up video cards which stay locked even once the X server process has been killed and no amount of X restarts solved it.

while i have never seen that in the wild, the fact remains that video failure does not necessarily take down a whole server. if you were able to kill the X server process after the display adapter froze, you were obviously still able to access the machine. if you can access the machine, presumably others can too. since you don't need X to run VMs, your guest OS's can still operate. there is a world of difference between having your X server panic and freeze of it's own accord and being able to write a virus for windows to reach out of the VM and into linux to cause similar mayhem.

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208074)

"that video failure does not necessarily take down a whole server."

No it doesn't , but if you're running windows virtualised then the odds are you're using the console and if you can't use the console because some virus has crashed the display then that possibly defeats the purpose of having the machine in the first place especially if it happens to be your workstation.

Re:I hope Windows can't access the hardware. (4, Insightful)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207482)

How in the WORLD does access to the video, sound, or any other daughterboard grant access for a virus?

If you don't know, please leave your geek-card at the door on your way out.

Short answer - DMA. [wikipedia.org]

Long answer - memory protection between processes (and in this case guest OSes) is done by the MMU, making sure that process A can't read/write to memory owned by process B (or in this case guest OS and host OS). Unfortunately, the memory space seen by devices on extention buses like PCI is not mapped by the MMU. If a process has direct access to a device that supports DMA, it can tell the device to read or write memory that belongs to other processes (f.ex. order the sound card to read the sound buffer from kernel space. The process can then read the sound buffer to get access to kernel memory).

To safely allow a process (or guest OS) direct access to hardware devices, the hardware architecture and OS needs to be designed so that a DMA from the hardware device can only access memory owned by the process that ordered the DMA.

Excellent (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206174)

But is this going to let me run 32-bit Windows under 64-bit Linux? Apparently Xen can't do it and that really bugs me.

VMWare (2, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206276)

You can do that in VMWare player and VMWare server, both of which are free (as in beer).

http://www.vmware.com/ [vmware.com]

qemu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206348)

VMware is closed-source proprietary product. Please use qemu/kqemu and help kill VMWare instead.
If it wasn't for qemu, VMWare wouldn't be free as in beer.

Thank yuo.

Re:qemu (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206416)

VMware is closed-source proprietary product. Please use qemu/kqemu and help kill VMWare instead.
kqemu is also a closed-source proprietary product.

Re:qemu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206444)

Fabrice Bellard, (author of ffmpeg) has stated his intention to open up kqemu if sponsored.
VMWare and Xen already have some million in the bank. kqemu has nil. Read the wikipedia article....

Re:qemu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206436)

LOL, QEMU? That's total crap compared to VMware. QEMU is slow even with the proprietary closed-source "speeder upper" part and hardly runs anything. QEMU kill VMware? LOL

Re:qemu (2, Insightful)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206582)

Why does it matter if you're running a proprietary OS in a proprietary VM? If you're concerned about only using free software, why bother with the proprietary OS? If you're wanting to virtualize Free operating systems, use Xen. It rocks.

Re:qemu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207236)

I want to play Baldurs Gate. On linux. And a friend can lend me his -pirated- windows 2000 CD.
And No, I don't want the VMWare spyware to tell this to Microsoft.

Re:qemu (2, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17208096)

Take off your tinfoil hat and let your head breathe.

You think VMWare tells anything to Microsoft? Why would they? They are about as far from being "in bed" with them as you can imagine. For one, Microsoft is their #1 competitor (with Virtual Server).

You can rest assured that VMWare tells **as little as possible** to Microsoft about everything.

All this is not to mention the fact that what you are implying would be highly unethical and if VMWare actually did that, they would have been found out long ago and publicly flogged. VMWare does not "phone home" to anyone, including VMWare Inc. itself.

Re:VMWare (2, Funny)

BokLM (550487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206450)

You can do that in VMWare player and VMWare server, both of which are free (as in beer).

You mean I can get drunk if I use them too much ?

Re:VMWare (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206610)

Strange.


I've never been able to complete an installation of 32-bit Windows XP Pro SP2 on 64-bit Linux/VMware server. It locks up the computer completely when it's installing drivers.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206314)

That's supported with VMware.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206516)

Actually I can run 32-bit Windows under 64-bit Linux using Xen in HVM mode using my Intel CPU's VT instructions.

Re:Excellent (2, Informative)

repvik (96666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206552)

Yes:

"The driver supports i386 and x86_64 hosts and guests. All combinations are allowed except x86_64 guest on i386 host. For i386 guests and hosts, both pae and non-pae paging modes are supported." (From LKML)

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206888)

I use 32 bit window on my 64 bit (xen hypervisor/linux dom0) on a daily basis

Only up to date processors? How up to date? (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206232)

It mentions some code names but I'm not au fait with Intel or AMD code names. How long have these functions been in CPUs? Will my P4 support it or is it only the latest core duos and so forth?

Re:Only up to date processors? How up to date? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206334)

very.. I believe only the core's / some 'p4' based xeons ..
look for 'intel VT' and 'amd virutalization (pacifica)'
in your chip specs..

if you didn't buy it in the last year or so, most likeley not.

Re:Only up to date processors? How up to date? (4, Informative)

d34d.10n (924456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206400)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

"Intel VT was officially launched at the Intel Developer Forum Spring 2005. It is available on most Pentium 4 6x2, Pentium D 9x0, Xeon 3xxx/5xxx/7xxx, Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors. On some implementations, IVT support may be switched off in the BIOS/EFI."

"AMD processors using Socket AM2, Socket S1, and Socket F include AMD Virtualization support. In May 2006, AMD introduced such versions of the Athlon 64 and Turion 64 processors. AMD Virtualization is also supported by release two (x2xx series) of the Opteron processors."

Re:Only up to date processors? How up to date? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207200)

Basically you need a 900-series Pentium 4 or more recent chip, or similarly recent AMD chips. This is new, but not quite as new as core 2.

Instant kernel switching? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206238)

Is this related to that new experimental Linux system call in the kernel that will allow instantaneous switching to another operating system/kernel?

Re:Instant kernel switching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207650)

No, what you mean is the kexec() syscall that has already been in the kernel for some time.

Explanation Please (1)

iamnafets (828439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206254)

What the hell does this mean?

But... (0, Offtopic)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206280)

...will it run .NET ?

*ducks*

SVM for .net / Java (2, Interesting)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206808)

Probably a joke but shouldn't be. The kernel developers could make it possible to accelerate the JVM/CLR by giving faster access to the actual hardware pages. What I mean is, the JVM has a 'scratch' area where recently created objects are allocated and then after garbage collecting this area the leftover objects are moved out. They do this because the vast majority of objects last only a tiny amount of time. So to be able to do a GC *only* of this scratch area the JVM actually replaces reference assignment with code that ads to a big list of all objects that took references to objects in this scratch area. Even though this is obviously slow it means the JVM doesn't have to garbage collect the entire contents of memory to make sure nothing has a ref to a new object.

If the JVM could get access to the hardware's dirty page bit that says if a page has been modified since last checked then the JVM could do direct reference assignment and then when garbage collecting only search the modified pages for references into the 'scratch' area. I expect this would be many times faster than the pointer write barrier used now.

Maybe a system call could take a mmap region and return a bitmask of page dirty flags? I think in any case there are plenty of things the kernel developers could do to make software virtual machines better if they tried. I think they just don't care to since that world is alien to them.

Virtualisation on Linux (4, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206330)

Xen [xensource.com]
VMWare [vmware.com]
linux-vserver [linux-vserver.org]
UML [sourceforge.net]
OpenVZ [openvz.org]
Plex86 [sourceforge.net]
Qemu [bellard.free.fr]
Bochs [sourceforge.net]
lhype [ozlabs.org]

and now

KVM [sourceforge.net]

http://linuxvirtualization.com/ [linuxvirtualization.com] has some good linux to recent announcements regarding virtualisation software on Linux.

Are there any more?

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206420)

I just went to the http://linuxvirtualization.com/ [linuxvirtualization.com] site and was quite interested in the very top post. What really excited me was KVM has gained save/resume support. That sounds like (but I could be wrong...) I can just suspend my Windows VM and come back to it at a later point. That would be a great feature as I always do the same thing every time I run Windows and it is annoying the run QEMU and restart all the programs I need open to do a ten second task.

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206532)

... annoying the run QEMU and restart all the programs I need open to do a ten second task.
I don't think this feature will be quick enough to save you time though.

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

Kynde (324134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206824)

... annoying the run QEMU and restart all the programs I need open to do a ten second task.

I don't think this feature will be quick enough to save you time though.


It's pretty slick in vmware.

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206496)

Yeah, there is Parallels [parallels.com] which runs on Windows, Linux, and OSX.

I feel VMware is still king of the hill for most anything (especially Windows on Linux). I have yet to use any other system that can match it in terms of features, performance and compatibility. I know that sounds like an advertisement but it is one of the few pieces of software I have consistently bought the latest version of since it was first released like 7 or 8 years ago. It tends to be much less buggy than anything else also.

You can only do better if you're talking about running Linux on Linux. In those cases something like Xen or UML give maximum performance.

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206520)

Plex86 is no longer a going concern.

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (4, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206564)

Many of these are substantially different from standard virtualization systems, though:

linux-vserver and OpenVZ are chroot-based virtual hosting environments, not virtualized operating systems. You can add OpenVSD to the list of such projects, although it appears to be practically dead.

Qemu and Bochs are PC emulators, not virtual machines, which is a slightly more subtle distinction, but still one that needs to be made.

UML is something different entirely -- an operating system that is designed to run as a process on another operating system with a similar syscall interface.

That leaves KVM, Xen (which uses an exokernel, so is effectively its own OS, not a Linux-hosted VM), VMware (which is proprietary) and plex86 (which will only run modified kernels so doesn't provide a true virtual machine).

So, you see, KVM is effectively the only Linux-based VM system (by the traditional definition) on that list.

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

netdur (816698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207672)

- dad! give me 5 dollars - 4 dollars? what are you going to do with 3 dollars? 2 dollars too much for you... take dollar! and give half to your little sister

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206794)

Virtuozzo?

Re:Virtualisation on Linux (2, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207020)

You left out dosemu [dosemu.org] (the earliest hardware virtualization, using the V86 mode of all 386-compatible processors - but also supporting 32-bit DPMI applications) and DOSBox [sourceforge.net] (which is based on bochs). Also Cooperative Linux [colinux.org] for running a Linux system under other OSes, such as Windows.

For those brain-dead like me: (4, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206378)

http://www.haifux.org/lectures/152/kvm-external.pd f [haifux.org]

This breaks down in fairyly simple terms where KVM fits in. Basically, the approach is pretty close to the VMware approach but presently requires the newer, more advanced processors to operate. So where VMware can run on more hardware such as my Pentium M processor based laptop, KVM will not likely work as far as I can tell. (Please tell me I'm wrong if I am.)

I'm disappointed that I will not be able to play with this new toy any time soon as I don't think I will be buying new hardware any time soon.

Re:For those brain-dead like me: (5, Funny)

Conley Index (957833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206438)

I'm disappointed that I will not be able to play with this new toy any time soon as I don't think I will be buying new hardware any time soon.
You can always emulate modern hardware...

Re:For those brain-dead like me: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206500)

I have a spare 486,I think it can run a emulated beowulf cluster.Where do i get the program?

Re:For those brain-dead like me: (5, Informative)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206502)

Yes, it needs processor with Intel VT-x (Vanderpool) or AMD SVM (Pacifica). So Pentium 4/D (available since 2005), most of Core Duos, Core 2 or AMD CPUs sold since August this year (Socket F/1207 and AM2) qualify.

Re:For those brain-dead like me: (3, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206648)

No, KVM will work, but it will not be as fast as you'd like. With the new CPU instructions, it will be a lot faster. (the reason is down to the memory management unit, with a VM every time it context switches, it throws away some cached page state. The new CPUs deal with this so you get the better performance).

I read a ng post where the author said his VM desktop was fine, but with the new CPUs you'd get performance very near running natively.

Re:For those brain-dead like me: (2, Informative)

idlake (850372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207588)

Basically, the approach is pretty close to the VMware approach but presently requires the newer, more advanced processors to operate.

That's not a good way of putting it, because it incorrectly suggests that VMware somehow pioneered virtualization and KVM follows it. But what VMware actually pioneered was a workaround for a lack of virtualization instructions on older x86. Modern x86 virtualization follows models that have been around since long before VMware existed.

VMotion/HA? (4, Interesting)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206408)

The company I work for now is virtualizing on RedHat boxes running VMWare, and one of the neat features that it has is called VMotion, which lets you nearly instantly move a virtual machine from one box to another without interrupting its execution (except a slight delay). The high availability (HA) feature, which they also have but we have not yet configured, allows this to happen automatically if a host box goes down. There are rules about which VMs may not run on the same machines, etc. (for redundancy purposes, you don't want all your web servers running on the same host, for example).

Is this at all possible with KVM? If not, are they planning it? Is it possible to approximate it with something like OpenMosix, since (IIRC) OpenMosix can move processes around dynamically when nodes fail or get bogged down, and a VM is just a process (assuming a central SAN that all the host boxes connect to)?

Re:VMotion/HA? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206468)

Is this at all possible with KVM? If not, are they planning it? Is it possible to approximate it with something like OpenMosix, since (IIRC) OpenMosix can move processes around dynamically when nodes fail or get bogged down, and a VM is just a process (assuming a central SAN that all the host boxes connect to)?

How about the moon on a stick? Would you like the moon on a stick?

Re:VMotion/HA? (2, Funny)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206486)

Not unless it really IS made of cheese.

Re:VMotion/HA? (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206656)


How about the moon on a stick? Would you like the moon on a stick?


I'm an American, you insensitive clod. That means on a stick, wrapped in a pork rind, breaded, then deep fried. Mmmm.

Re:VMotion/HA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206666)

How well can Xen do this?

Re:VMotion/HA? (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207370)

I saw no such features on the XenSource site, but it may be more difficult, because the VMs aren't userspace processes in Xen. I don't know how VMWare does it, but I know it does it well. :)

Moshe Bar founded both XenSource (the people behind Xen) and Qumranet (the company behind KVM), so hopefully he'll be able to develop something like this if he hasn't already.

Re:VMotion/HA? (3, Informative)

smodak (720991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17206774)

Well, the company behind KVM (I realy hope they choose some other name for the finished product) reportedly has Moshe Bar on their payroll. IIRC he is the guy involved in OpenMosix, so I'd think that this facility, if not already available, would be available very soon.

Re:VMotion/HA? (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207054)

That's incredibly awesome. Thanks for the info!

A W E S O M E ! ! ! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17206766)

According to http://kvm.sourceforge.net/faq.html [sourceforge.net] is will support VMWare images and it does run win32.

Now turn that kernel into a BIOS http://linuxbios.org/Welcome_to_LinuxBIOS [linuxbios.org] and you will be able to use the same images for all your machines.

Graphics Acceleration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17207260)

How well (if at all) does this support Graphics Acceleration? Can I play DirectX games in Windows on Linux? How about OS X (on Macintosh hardware, of course). This could be very interesting for desktop computing as we know it if these things work properly...

No paravirtualization? How stupid. (0, Flamebait)

keeboo (724305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207272)

Oh, great. It does require hardware extensions for virtualization. -- For some reason I don't feel like upgrading the whole server park here just to migrate from Xen to this thing.

And what if I desire paravirtualization (because it's faster and cleaner) even with such VT-enabled processors available to me?

IMO, unless this technology envolves into something Xen-alike, it was bad decision to include it into the kernel tree.

KVM? (2, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17207542)

Does this mean I can use 2 mice independently on my system? Cool!
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