While the VirtualBox virtualization platform that's owned by Oracle (formerly Sun) picked up OpenGL acceleration support for virtualized guest operating systems in late 2008 and then gained similar Direct3D support for VMs in early 2009, there's now an effort underway to try to get a Gallium3D driver developed.
Xen 4.0 was just released a few days back with a variety of features from graphics card pass-through support to online resizing of guest disks, but features for Xen 4.1 are already brewing. Xen 4.1 will be the next major release for this once-popular virtualization platform and its feature list is quickly growing.
While the Xen virtualization platform has lost much of its spotlight to KVM, the Kernel-based Virtual Machine that has been living in the mainline Linux kernel for a few years now, Xen 4.0.0 has made it into the world this week.
This week there was the release of QEMU 0.12.2 (and the subsequent release of KVM-QEMU 0.12.2) with support for block migration, but this point release was mostly made up of small fixes and tweaks. IBM's Anthony Liguori though has begun making plans for the next major release of this open-source processor emulator. QEMU 0.13 will be the next big release and Anthony is hoping it will be completed by June and boast a large number of new features.
Version 0.12.2 of qemu-kvm was released earlier this week. This version continues to be derived from the upstream QEMU code-base with various KVM enhancements. For the most part it's various fixes making up the qemu-kvm 0.12.2 release, but there is a new feature and that is block migration.
Virt-Manager, the GUI-driven virtualization manager that was started by Red Hat about three years ago is out this week with a new update. From the version number, 0.8.1, it may seem like a small update as the previous release was v0.8.0 and it already brought an improved GUI and other advancements, but in fact the new point release is quite significant.
Recently we have been talking a lot about VMware's Gallium3D driver that they recently released along with DRM code that does support kernel mode-setting and allows this new 3D driver to function under their virtualization platform. By running this Gallium3D driver on the guest operating system of their VMware virtualization platform, it's possible to leverage the GPU hardware acceleration on the host not only for OpenGL acceleration but for areas of other state tracker coverage like OpenCL, OpenVG, X-Video / X11, and more. This virtual Gallium3D driver really makes things interesting in the virtualization world for the GPU.
Earlier this month we talked about new VirtualBox 3.1 features when this Sun virtualization platform was still in beta, but this morning VirtualBox 3.1 final is now out the door for those interested in Windows, Linux, and Solaris virtualization. VirtualBox 3.1 adds support for teleportation (live migration of VMs between hosts), VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots, network attachments can now be changed on active VMs, and support for more flexible storage attachments.
For months Sun's VirtualBox virtualization software picked up OpenGL and Direct3D acceleration support for virtualized guest operating systems, but now 2D/3D hardware-acceleration support for those running operating systems under VMware's virtualization products are imminent.
Sun Microsystems had released VirtualBox 3.0 earlier this year with OpenGL 2.0 support for guests, long-awaited SMP guest support, and other improvements. This was a nice release for this virtualization platform, but VirtualBox 3.1 is now approaching. The first beta release of VirtualBox 3.1 has been released today and it brings a few key changes.
For those that use virt-manager as their virtual machine manager, version 0.8.0 was released last night and it introduces some noteworthy features. Version 0.8.0 of virt-manager features a new VM cloning wizard, an improved user-interface, system tray icon support, CPU pinning support, security settings improvements, and various other improvements and bug fixes. The improved user-interface for virt-manager includes a major overhaul to the main manager viewer. With the security settings there is now support for viewing them as well as changing these settings.
VirtualBox 3.0 has been in beta for less than a month, but Sun Microsystems has now decided to officially release this major update to their virtualization software. Most notably, VirtualBox 3.0 finally brings support for SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) to guest operating systems. In addition, guest operating systems running with VirtualBox 3.0 are now able to access OpenGL 2.0 support with hardware acceleration on supported hardware / drivers.
Earlier this month VirtualBox 3.0 Beta 1 was introduced by Sun Microsystems, which brought OpenGL 2.0 support for virtualized guests along with SMP support for guest operating systems. There were other notable changes present too. Introduced this afternoon is now the second beta release for VirtualBox 3.0.
Sun Microsystems has announced the first beta release of VirtualBox 3.0 Beta 1. The major additions to VirtualBox 3.0 so far is guest SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) support for up to 32 virtual CPUs, Windows guests now support Direct3D 8/9 applications and games, and there is now OpenGL 2.0 support for Windows, Linux, and Solaris guests.
While the Kernel-based Vitual Machine (KVM), VMware, and VirtualBox have been generating most of the attention as of late when it comes to Linux virtualization, Xen is still alive and kicking. In fact, the Xen development team just announced the release of Xen 3.4.0.
QEMU 0.10.0 was released earlier this month as the first major update to this open-source processor emulator in more than a year. Being pushed out yesterday afternoon was now the first point release for QEMU 0.10.0. This newest update to QEMU contains a variety of fixes from screen corruption to fixing the console size with tiny displays.
VirtualBox, the popular virtualization software platform owned by Sun Microsystems (though Sun may soon be owned by IBM), has been reaching a number of 3D milestones in the past few months. Back in December, Sun had introduced OpenGL acceleration for Windows guests through a modified OpenGL driver for the XP/Vista virtualized operating systems that would then execute the OpenGL calls through the host operating system and its driver/hardware. A month later that support was extended to include Direct3D acceleration on guest operating systems (well, just Windows operating systems for DirectX) through a modified driver and using part of WINE to translate the Direct3D calls into OpenGL. Sun Microsystems has just released the first beta for VirtualBox 2.2 and it includes more 3D work as well. This time, virtualized Linux guests now have OpenGL 3D acceleration support!
QEMU, the popular open-source processor emulator that can be run as a user-space program and also has found its way into use by the KVM and VirtualBox projects, will soon reach version 0.10.0 As was announced on the QEMU development list, a 0.10.0 branch has been created in its SVN repository and the 0.10.0 release has been made available. This release does bring some exciting changes.
While VMware's virtualization platform has been popular with many Linux users, its entire virtualization infrastructure has been closed-source. This though may change to some extent. VMware has announced the release of View Open Client, which is an open-source program to view VMware-hosted virtualized desktops. The code to View Open Client is being made freely available in hopes of VMware's partners adapting the code to the needs of their clients. This code is being distributed under the LGPL 2.1 license.
Last month VirtualBox 2.1 was released with several interesting changes and among them was support for OpenGL. With this latest open-source virtualization software from Sun Microsystems, it became possible to run some OpenGL programs within a guest virtual machine while allowing the host system's graphics card to accelerate the drawing. All the modifications that are needed by the guest operating systems is to just install a VirtualBox OpenGL driver. What was missing, however, was support for the Direct3D API, but that is now emerging within the VirtualBox camp.
Sun Microsystems has announced the release this morning of VirtualBox 2.1 with several enticing additions. VirtualBox 2.1 introduces support for hardware virtualization (through Intel VT and AMD's AMD-V) on Mac OS X host systems, support for 64-bit guest operating systems on 32-bit host systems, support for Intel Nehalem (Core i7) virtualization enhancements, full VMDK/VHD support, a new NAT engine, and new Host Interface Networking implementations on Linux and Windows. Perhaps though one of the most exciting changes in VirtualBox 2.1 is initial support for OpenGL acceleration on the guest operating systems.
VirtualBox 2.0.4 has been released this morning as the second maintenance release in the 2.0 series. This virtualizer for x86 hardware that's owned by Sun Microsystems now has better reporting for VT-x failures, Qt interface fixes, virtualization crash fixes, Solaris host support for Crossbow Virtual Network Interfaces, Ubuntu 8.10 support, Linux clipboard fixes, and other changes. The VirtualBox change-log can be viewed on the project's Wiki. Download VirtualBox 2.0.4 here.
XenSource today has announced the release of Xen 3.3.0. This update to this popular open-source virtual machine adds power management support to the hypervisor (the C and P states), HVM emulation domains, PVGrub, improved PV performance, improvements to the shadow page-table algorithm. hardware-assisted paging enhancements, CPUID feature leveling, PVSCSI drivers, HVM frame-buffer optimizations, device pass-through enhancements, full x86 real-mode emulation for HVM guests on Intel VT, and finally a new QEMU merge against upstream development. Xen 3.3.0 also has other changes for the x86 and IA64 versions. The mailing list release announcement can be found at XenSource.
It went under our radar due to the KDE 4.0 release event, but this week XenSource had released Xen 3.2.0. This is the first official Xen virtualization release in the 3.2 branch, which arrives with a number of new features. Among the mentioned end-user features are Xen Security Modules, ACPI S3 suspend-to-RAM for the host system, support for more boot-loaders in fully virtualized guests, faster emulation of standard VGA modes for HVM guests, and configurable timer modes for HVM guests (in some situations). In addition, Xen 3.2.0 introduces other changes for all supported machine architectures and improved "architectural cleanliness" for this virtualization environment. More information and source download links are available from the XenSource announcement.
QEMU, an open-source processor emulator, is out today with a new release. QEMU 0.9.1 introduces just under two dozen changes and is just under a year since the release of QEMU 0.9.0. Among the new changes in QEMU 0.9.1 include TFTP booting from host directory, monitor multiplexing to several I/O channels, CPU model selection support, support for MIPS 64-bit FPU and MIPS64, SVM x86 virtualization capabilities, strace for Linux user-land emulation, and VMware SVGA II graphics card support. The complete change-log and download links are available from the QEMU website.
It's been a while, but Xen for Solaris has finally been updated. John Levon poimts out that this latest build is based upon Xen 3.0.4 and Solaris "Nevada" Build 66. Some of the improvements in this latest build include PAE support, HVM support, new virt-manager tools, improved debugging support, and last but not least is managed domain support. The download for the July 2007 Solaris Xen update can be found over at Sun's website.
This week we've seen Xen and KVM updates for the Linux 2.6.23 kernel and now LGuest was merged into the Linux kernel yesterday. LGuest is a simple hypervisor for Linux on Linux that doesn't require AMD or Intel virtualization technology. This 5,000 line hypervisor does take about a 30% performance hit but the performance will likely improve with time. With this minimal hypervisor you just "modprobe and go". More information on LGuest is available in the kernel git commit and at Kernel Trap.
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.
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