Yesterday Linus Torvalds merged Jeremy Fitzhardinge's latest xen-upstream branch into the Linux kernel. Among the Xen virtualization changes include adding a virtual network device driver, virtual block device driver, Xenbus sysfs and virtual device hot-plug driver, and SMP guest support. The complete list of Xen changes can be found from the Kernel git commit. Thanks go out to Jeremey Fitzhardinge for pointing out this commit.
To further enhance the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) in the Linux 2.6.23 kernel is a number of interesting updates. In The Linux 2.6.23 kernel, KVM will now support SMP guests, performance improvements, suspend/resume fixes, and random fixes with other clean-ups. According to chatter on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, the SMP guests on a dual-core system was about 40% faster than a single-core processor. The KVM updates for the Linux 2.6.23-rc1 merging can be read at Google Groups.
Intel has announced today that they have invested $218.5 million into VMware Inc that produces a variety of virtualization solutions. This investment means Intel will own roughly 2.5% of VMware's outstanding common stock. With this investment, you can probably look for VMware software that is optimized for use on Intel's architecture. The press release is available from Intel.
In the 2.6.20 kernel we were presented with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization, and now in the Linux 2.6.21 kernel will mark the introduction of VMWare's VMI into the Linux upstream kernel. VMWare's kernel component will allow for para-virtualized operating systems to run within virtual machines. VMI is short for the Virtual Machine Interface, which was introduced in July of 2005. More information on the VMI Linux 2.6.21 introduction can be found at TechWorld.
QEMU Accelerator (KQEMU) the previously closed-source kernel module for offering increased performance with QEMU, is now open-source! This new version (version 1.3.0pre10) complies with the GNU GPL license. A detailed technical specification and API description for this virtualization accelerator is also available. QEMU 0.9.0 has also been released today.
Yesterday was the release of kvm-10. This new Kernel-based Virtual Machine release issues stabilization fixes, migration fixes, shadow page table caching, cleanup IRQ handling, and more hypercall work. KVM is available from SourceForge.
Interested in running guest operating systems whether it be Linux or Microsoft Windows? If you are running a recent x86 processor with either AMD or Intel virtualization technology support, you can benefit from one of the changes found in the Linux 2.6.20 kernel. KVM is short for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, which allows for full virtualization of unaltered guest operating systems. KVM Virtualization is easy to use and the user-space component is simply a modified version of QEMU. At Phoronix we have compared the performance of KVM against Xen and kqemu, and this article can be read here (discussion link).
While KVM -- Kernel-based Virtual Machine -- will appear in the mainline Linux 2.6.20 kernel release, ending off the year yesterday was a new KVM release (Release 9). New in this KVM virtualization release is API documentation, more stabilization fixes, and interactivity improvements. More on KVM and this release can be found at SourceForge.
Xen version 3.0.3 has been released. Xen 3.0.3 implements a new CPU scheduler, support for dynamic-allocation and copy-on-write disks, enhanced support for IA64 systems, initial support for PowerPC, and more. The downloads and release announcement is available here.
Spending some time this afternoon with QEMU, which can be attained from the official Fedora 5 Extras repository, the experience was quite pleasant to say the least -- not having tried QEMU since its v0.7.2 release last year. QEMU is a open-source processor emulator that uses dynamic translation. Some of the items tried with QEMU on Fedora Core 5 was memtest86+ v1.65, SimplyMEPIS v6.0, GParted LiveCD v0.2.4-2, and Gentoo v2006.0 x86 LiveCD. With each of these environments, there were no major performance problems running it on a Pentium M laptop after some tweaking was done with the configuration. In the near future we may be looking at a performance examination for QEMU under various operating systems -- however, that article is still in the early planning stages.
220 Virtualization news articles published on Phoronix.