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OpenVZ Pushing for Linux Kernel Inclusion 160

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the affront-to-real-partitions-everywhere dept.
RomanianClimber writes to tell us News.com is reporting that SWSoft is trying to get OpenVZ into the Linux kernel. OpenVZ is an operating system level server virtualization solution, built on Linux. From the article: "In this, it has a major ally: Red Hat, the top seller of the open-source operating system, which plans to add the software to its free Fedora version of Linux for enthusiasts. The companies' move to make OpenVZ partitioning standard in Linux is timely, said Pund-IT analyst Charles King."
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OpenVZ Pushing for Linux Kernel Inclusion

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:38PM (#14495776)
    You can compile anything you want into the kernel.

    If this becomes part of the official kernel, then it becomes the kernel maintainer's problem.

    If Red Hat comiles it into their distro's kernel, it is Red Hat's problem to maintain.

    So if I were the kernel maintainer, I would need a very compelling reason to take on the extra work.
    • by m50d (797211) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @03:07AM (#14497601) Homepage Journal
      The kernel maintainers have as policy that they won't give you a stable source interface, if you want your driver to work well you should get it into the kernel (See Documentation/stable_api_nonsense.txt). That's fair enough, but a policy like that gives them a responsibility to accept things into the kernel.
      • The kernel maintainers have as policy that they won't give you a stable source interface, if you want your driver to work well you should get it into the kernel (See Documentation/stable_api_nonsense.txt). That's fair enough, but a policy like that gives them a responsibility to accept things into the kernel.

        It's also their responsability to reject worse coded patches. Linus is known to refuse patches - no matter how sexy the feature is - until they have the quality he wants to see.
    • > You can compile anything you want into the kernel.

      Kernel hacks that aren't part of Linus' kernel are a nightmare to maintain over time. At one point my machine had a PPTP hack, a hack for my HDTV card, and a hack for my video card. Upgrading kernels was a nightmare.

      A project isn't complete until it is easily usable by the major distros (debian especially). This means getting into the kernel, or X, or whatever projects are affected. Not easy sometimes unfortunately.
  • Anyone worried? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paulius_g (808556) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:38PM (#14495780) Homepage
    Now, I've seen SW-Soft at work numerous reasons and I don't quite agree with their principles of development. Just check out their forums, they have an awesome community of people asking features in their higer end products and they never want to implement those. Instead, they're creating some kinds of "solution" to allow "lower TCO" and "easier management", at an extra cost of course. I've used their software, and it's quite buggy.

    Now, Virtuozzo is one of their most awesome products, but I still don't feel right about having a company control over a piece of software embedded into a kernel. I have a chilly feeling about what they might do next and about what they're actually gaining by enabling this.

    Just my two cents, I'm sure I'll get many replies of people disagreeing.
    • No, I'm not worried. If the product is as crappy/buggy as you describe, Linus won't merge it.
      • Re:Anyone worried? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        It is... Virtuozzo is junk - my last host forced everyone to transfer to it (from UML, which was working fine for over a year).

        Despite doubling the amount of available memory to everyone as a sweetner* it ran like a dog.. it was *really* slow - about half the speed of the UML solution. Sure it was pretty, but it spent most of its time spitting out 'out of resources' errors, and would randomly terminate applications - quite often the ssh server, meaning you had to keep rebooting... After 24 hours of almos
    • Re:Anyone worried? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @08:37PM (#14496080)

      I still don't feel right about having a company control over a piece of software embedded into a kernel.

      If Linus merges it into his tree, then how are they the ones that control it? If Redhat merge it into their tree, then how are they the ones that control it?

      The whole point of Free Software is that the user is the one in control, not whoever happens to hold the copyright.

      You do realise that other companies have lots of code in the kernel already, don't you? This is by no means the first company to push to have their code included in the kernel. SGI contributed XFS. IBM contributed JFS. Namesys contributed ReiserFS and are currently pushing to have Reiser4 included.

      I have a chilly feeling about what they might do next and about what they're actually gaining by enabling this.

      Some pretty decent reasons for this off the top of my head are:

      1. They have less maintenance work to do (no updates every time a new kernel comes out).
      2. Less hassle for their users.
      3. More testers/bugfixers.
      4. They gain positive publicity.

      Why the FUD?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I've got to agree with the parent that there's no reason to fear companies putting software into the kernel. Lots of them do, and we're always encouraging companies to write open source drivers in the kernel.

        What follows is purely speculation based on my feelings. Do not consider it to be factual, or make stock/software purchasing or sales decisions based on it. YMMV, IANAL, whatever.

        The real problem I see, as an ex-swsoft customer, is that they really don't care as much about bugs or broken features as t
      • The whole point of Free Software is that the user is the one in control

        Going wildly offtopic for a moment, that may be the *intention*, but it's not generally the case. In practice, if the user is a developer who is skilled in the relevant area, then they are in control - they can hack bits in and/or out to their heart's content.

        Where the user is not skilled in the appropriate area, or is semi- or non-technical, they have no more control than they do with any other OS. They can tweak settings here and there
    • I'd like to post my agreement; VZ is generally a massive pile, is a resource hog extrodinare, and sucks royally compared to both Linux VServers and FreeBSD jails. HSPComplete is even uglier. I mean, the vzbackup scripts require SSH, even if you're using them to backup the local machine, and they have this nasty habit of locking on a random VPS and then dying silently.
    • Not only that, but they sometimes actively prevent interested people from buying their products. I'm in a company that is placed three hour drive from Munchen and one hour from Venice, and they insist we do business with them through their Moscow office... Because they think Moscow is somehow closer to me. Three timezones of difference and the only link being 4 hour flight from Frankfurt/Main are somehow closer than 30 minute plane flight to Frankfurt/M. Strange though, that they didn't recommend Novosibir

  • by TheAxeMaster (762000) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:39PM (#14495781)
    If you want something in there, then by god, put it in there. There's no huge patchwork system that affects everyone using linux when one company wants to change the underlying functioning. They can do it, and sell it if they can, while the rest of us can go happily on our way not using it.
    • Exactly- if it gets into the kernel, it's not like it would default to include itself in the kernel build.

      It'll more than likely end up as one of those "If you don't know what this is, you don't need it" features.
  • by Slipgrid (938571) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:39PM (#14495782) Homepage Journal
    Memory is like an orgasm. It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it. --Cray Seymore
  • Hardware support? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Visaris (553352) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:39PM (#14495783) Journal
    Both Intel and AMD are releasing CPUs which support OS partitioning in hardware this year (2006). Does the OpenVZ project support or have plans to support these hardware features?
    • Along those lines, I've read a bit about this, but I've never read exactly what it is that this will do, just that 'it helps with virtualization'. I run VMWare now. Will this new hardware support do anything for me, or will it just make it easier for the VMWare folks to write their program?
    • OpenVZ won't benefit from virtualization-assist hardware features.
    • by jonabbey (2498) * <jonabbey@ganymeta.org> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @09:12PM (#14496226) Homepage

      OpenVZ doesn't care about processor virtualization features. OpenVZ (like VServer) is all about implementing a system like FreeBSD jails. In this model, there's only one kernel running, but different sets of processes are isolated from each other through operating system features. The separation applies to things like the 'ps' command and the /proc interface in general, as well as things like sockets and networking.

      With OpenVZ/VServer, you can set up security and network separation so that certain processes will think of themselves as on 'internal-web-server', while others will think of themselves as 'external-web-server', and the two sets of processes would not be able to interact with each other in ways other than through the same kind of networking connections that they would use if they were on separate pieces of physical hardware.

      Something like Xen or VMWare achieves this virtualization by simulating separate processors, memory, and I/O space hardware. OpenVZ/VServer doesn't incur this overhead, but does require much more significant modifications to the Linux kernel, as lots of system calls have to be modified to enforce the process group separation rules.

      • Something like Xen or VMWare achieves this virtualization by simulating separate processors, memory, and I/O space hardware.

        Erm, no. VMWare does this, but Xen doesn't.

        The whole point of Xen was to get rid of the overhead involved in simulating a real processor. Instead, the Linux kernel was ported to Xen, almost as if it were a new chip architecture. Something like VMWare has to check for the kernel trying to manipulate I/O or do paging, and translate those instructions into what VMWare wants them to do. Si

        • Yes, of course. If you read what I said, though, I didn't contradict that.

          Just because Xen doesn't simulate a x86 processor doesn't mean that it doesn't simulate a processor. The processor that Xen simulates is a Xen-x86 processor, in which the only processor functions that have to be emulated are ones that are not virtualizable without Intel and AMD's upcoming virtualization ISA modifications, "Intel Virtualization Technology/Vanderpool", and "Pacifica".

          But the kernel does boot and exceute on top of

      • It would be helpful if there were a chart comparing pros and cons of various virtualization approaches.

        In particular, Xan has an advantage that different operating systems can run concurrently.

        If you want Linux, and only Linux, then OpenVZ/Vserver might be a better solution. But if the single kernel crashes, all of the isolated virtualized sets of processes also crash. Under Xen, if one kernel crashed, the other kernel's (which might even be a different OS) are less likely to be affected.

        OpenVZ/V
  • by blastard (816262) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:40PM (#14495791)
    Has there been a serious investigation of potential patent claims against OpenVZ. This looks like a potentially hazardous inclusion.

    If due diligence has been done, and no problems on the horizon, then that's great. Just would hate to have something like this included and have it open up another SCO-like situation. Recognizing that one is Copyright based, and the other would probably be Patent, and in particular US patent based.
  • If they want to have aspects of OpenVZ added to the kernel to support the lower level functionality like they do for UML and XEN then really this artical isnt anything really worth talking about it just seems normal and i wouldnt see Tovalds knocking back such a request.

    If its anything more then that then yeah, they'll get told to bugger off (and so they should).

    BTW i didnt RTFA on this one :)

  • Xen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chabotc (22496) <chabotc @ g m a i l . com> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:41PM (#14495797) Homepage
    Wasn't redhat doing a major Xen push too? Fedora Core 5 will include xen host and guest kernels plus xen3, and from what i heard their putting a major effort into getting that usable too.

    Never bet on a single horse i guess?

    Or am i missing something and are OpenVZ and Xen very different products? (doesn't sound like it)

    Upside of Xen seems to be the ability to run *bsd and other OS's in guest domains too, no mention of this in OpenVZ
    • Re:Xen (Score:3, Informative)

      by adamshelley (441935)
      From: the website [openvz.org]

      Second technique: Para-Virtualized Machines. This technique also requires a VMM, but most of its work is performed in the Guest OS code, which in turn is modified to support this VMM and avoid unnecessary use of privileged instructions. The paravirtualization technique also enables running different OSs on a single server, but requires them to be ported. The paravirtualization approach is used by Xen, UML.

      Third technique: Virtualization on the OS Level. Most applications running on
    • Re:Xen (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sakielnorn (946716) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @08:03PM (#14495921)
      Or am i missing something and are OpenVZ and Xen very different products? (doesn't sound like it) Upside of Xen seems to be the ability to run *bsd and other OS's in guest domains too, no mention of this in OpenVZ

      Essentially, Xen creates a new kernel for each virtual machine instance (or dom-u), while OpenVZ appears to use the same kernel instance for each virtual server. The latter approach seems to have benefits for performance and scalability, but if you discover a kernel bug in an OpenVZ server, all other instances are immediately susceptible, whereas with Xen, only the dom-u you are in is exploited (though if all instances are running the same kernel, you're up the creek). You'd generally need to be able to exploit the dom0 in order to affect all dom-u's.

      Obviously, you're right about Xen supporting multiple OSes per instantiation versus OpenVZ.

      • by Otter (3800)
        but if you discover a kernel bug in an OpenVZ server, all other instances are immediately susceptible, whereas with Xen, only the dom-u you are in is exploited (though if all instances are running the same kernel, you're up the creek).

        Does anyone actually run Xen with multiple kernel versions on productions systems? It seems like an enormous source of work and trouble with very minimal return. It's not like the vulnerabilities and bugs in 2.6.n weren't almost all in 2.6.n-1 as well.

        • by DShard (159067)
          but what if you wanted to run redhat WS 3+4 and debian sarge. the kernels there are not even close to being the same. Of course at this point it would be a big pain to even think about that, but after hardware virtualization gets in place its a no brainer.
    • by slamb (119285) *
      Or am i missing something and are OpenVZ and Xen very different products? (doesn't sound like it)

      They have similar goals, but they're pretty different technically. For example, with Xen you have to partition the memory space quite rigidly - each virtual machine gets 128MB or whatever. They can't borrow from others memory that's not being used. So if you look at a Xen-based virtualization provider like RimuHosting [rimuhosting.com], you'll see that their highest virtualized configuration gives you 320MB of memory. If you lo

    • by nathanh (1214)

      Or am i missing something and are OpenVZ and Xen very different products? (doesn't sound like it)

      Yes, they are very different things. OpenVZ is more like BSD Jails or Solaris Zones (aka Solaris Containers). Xen is more like mainframe virtualization and very roughly like VMware (though not as useful).

      OpenVZ is probably faster because kernel resources are shared. Xen permits different kernels or even different operating systems to run at the same time. OpenVZ will scale to a larger number of simultane

      • I believe this is not the first time Linux can be splitted like a container. When Linux runs on IBM hardware, it can already split into Sysplex and LPARs.

  • I have often wanted a means to run 2 OS instances on one machine. I, personally, would like a way to run FC5 and winXP simultaneously. This definately seems like a step in the right direction.
    • by RidiculousPie (774439) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @08:05PM (#14495929)
      There are several ways to do this, with varying levels of stability and performance.

      QEMU [bellard.free.fr] will run Linux, BSDs, and Windows, from either Windows or Linux.
      Colinux [colinux.org] will run linux from Windows XP. I'm not sure what the latest Fedora Image for it is, but I run a 2.6 kernel based Gentoo build from XP frequently (for that nethack fix).

      I'm not sure either is suitable, but i would recommend looking at them, as they are both interesting projects, if not immediately useful to you.
      • CoLinux is pretty swank from within Windows.

        You don't like nethack on Win32? That's how I get my nethack fix.

        The only problems I have are getting networking to work right between the colinux environment and Windows. The instructions for it online in the colinux wiki suck.
    • From wikipedia "Whereas VMs attempt to virtualize "a complete set of hardware," VPSs represent a "lighter" abstraction, virtualing instead "an operating system instance." All VPSs run atop a single operating system kernel. The VPS mechanism multiplexes this one OS kernel to look like multiple OS (and server) instances, especially from the perspective of running applications, users, and network services.

      You don't want a VPS, what you want is something to create a VM like VMWare. It creates seperate virtual
      • by aevans (933829) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @08:22PM (#14496002) Homepage
        You don't want a VPS.... but your hosting provider does, especially now that off the shelf hardware is so fast that under full load, if you divide the CPU by 10 or even 100 under lighter loads, your'e still I/O and network bound.
        • You don't want a VPS

          Yes you do - you just don't know it yet.

          I've been using FreeBSD jails (similar idea) for a few years, and that kind of virtualization is a great way to isolate potential security exploits from the rest of the system. Want to try a binary-only application? Fire it up inside a jail. Need to run some PHP app with a sketchy track record? Host it on a jailed Apache server.

          Many of us are starting to use jails where we would have used chroot a few years ago. I know I'm hopelessly gee

      • But, paravirtualization is faster than Virtual machines. Xensource booted windowsxp, but I never saw a downloadable product. Performance wise, you could get a large speed boost and run both WinXP and linux. If its true and OSX and XP Both are have xen packages, that will be some very interesting configurations this year.
        • You aren't gonna be able to download a Xen image of Windows because that would be copyright infringement. The original version of windows running under xen was made when Microsoft was still working with the Xen devs.
  • Perspective (Score:5, Informative)

    by kbahey (102895) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:51PM (#14495857) Homepage
    SWSoft are the makers of Virtuozzo [wikipedia.org] a commercial product that allows hosting companies to offer Virtual Private Servers.

    A rival technology is Xen [cam.ac.uk] from Cambridge University, which is free.
    • Xen has caused major shifts in business direction for commercial virtualisation companies: VMWare suddenly released their VMWare player [vmware.com] in part as an effort to make their "virtual machine file format" the standard one. Look they even want to support virtualisation standards [vmware.com] now! SWSoft kicked off OpenVZ for similar motivation: because Xen is a competing solution and (they gamble) that it is going to be better to give away a corresponding part of their "crown jewels" to get more of a market share.

      Getting y
  • Galaxy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by msbsod (574856) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:59PM (#14495908)
    Nice to see some progress in the Linux arena. But neither the quoted article nor the OpenVZ web site list too many alternative solutions. Here is one from another world (non-unix): OpenVMS [hp.com] Galaxy by Digital (now HP). Galaxy is part of OpenVMS, since more than half a decade.

    http://h71000.www7.hp.com/wizard/wiz_3191.html [hp.com] (check the date - 1999!)
    http://www.s-and-b.ru/syshlp/vms_html/6512/6512pro .html [s-and-b.ru] (an early online documentation, hosted by on a non-Digital/HP system)
    http://h71000.www7.hp.com/availability/index.html [hp.com] (Lots of information about High Availability/Disaster Tolerance)

    "All the world's a stage" or was it "All the galaxy's a stage?"
    http://scifi.about.com/library/weekly/aa022800b.ht m [about.com]
  • User Space Linux? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by molo (94384)
    How does this benefit over current inclusion of User Space Linux? Does it allow other operating systems a la VMware? Is it platform-agnostic? Any info?

    -molo
    • Re:User Space Linux? (Score:2, Informative)

      by ovz_kir (946783)
      There are three different types of virtualization, they are outlined in this short article [openvz.org].

      In short, OpenVZ uses the single-kernel virtualization approach, which differs from either VMware or Xen: instead of trying to emulate something, kernel is modified to support multiple isolated environments, so each such environment looks-and-feels like a separate server. Good things about it is (1) best possible performance (no to little performance overhead due) and (2) hardware resources (CPU, RAM etc.) are contr

  • Pros and cons (Score:2, Informative)

    by countach (534280)
    So what are the pros and cons of Xen versus OpenVZ? My initial reaction is that Xen is the way to go because it is REALLY running different Linux instances. This is good because you can upgrade different instances to different OS versions. I know on those big Sun boxes with virtual environments its a pain in the butt because to upgrade the OS you have to upgrade a zillion applications at once to the new OS version which is a nightmare. But with real virtualisation with completely different kernels running y
    • Re:Pros and cons (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They aren't quite the same thing. Xen is more useful in a number of situations, but requires multiple copies of the kernel to be running. Yes, in some instances it is an advantage (such as when developing kernel drivers, so that a panic/oops doesn't take down the entire system), but for hosting (which is what Virtuozzo is for), you want better resource usage. Unfortunately, OpenVZ doesn't include the filesystem driver, which gives much better resource sharing, but at least it still includes the per-VPS r
    • My initial reaction is that Xen is the way to go because it is REALLY running different Linux instances.

      It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you want to host full-blown virtual machines, each with their own static resources, then Xen is great.

      If you're only trying to isolate one specific application, though, and you're not sure how much memory, disk, or CPU to allocate to it, then the style of virtualization that OpenVZ (among others) uses may be exactly what you needed.

  • Virtuozzo and OpenVZ (Score:5, Informative)

    by gantry (180560) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @08:31PM (#14496044)
    Although Virtuozzo is "built on top of OpenVZ", is Virtuozzo's kernel component a publicly available version of OpenVZ, built without using any proprietary patches or modules?

    http://openvz.org/documentation/tech/virtuozzo [openvz.org] states "Differently from OpenVZ, Virtuozzo(TM) is developed and designed to run production workloads in 24×7 environments ..."

    and goes on to list, among Virtuozzo's advantages over OpenVZ:

    "Higher VPS density. Virtuozzo(TM) provides efficient memory and file sharing mechanisms enabling higher VPS density and better performance of VPSs.

    "Improved Stability, Scalability, and Performance. Virtuozzo(TM) is designed to run 24×7 environments with production workloads on hosts with up-to 32 CPUs."

    Why should Linux accept a kernel patch if (unlike Linux itself) it is not designed to run 24×7 environments with production workloads on hosts with up-to 32 CPUs?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    well this will probably run multiple kernels, but probably means multiple times the work and the administration headaches, with Solaris Zones [blogspot.com] you share the kernel, but you only need to administer one core install of the OS.

    A base install of Solaris in a zone, uses just 100MB of harddisk space. And on modern hardware takes less than 15 minutes per zone to install. Of course if you use the latest and greatest Solaris Express releases, you can use ZFS+Zones [blogspot.com] to cut the size of each zone down to 50MB of
    • It doesn't run multiple kernels. It's like a FreeBSD jail() on steroids - has a virtual local network stack and process space, but everything is still running under a common shared kernel. IMO Xen is still far better (and many people agree with me, it seems).

      As far as Solaris Zone setup time, I have my own scripts that already set up a new Xen domain in a matter of a couple minutes from scratch for several Linux distributions - Sun's hardly doing anything earth-shaking there...
  • by Stumbles (602007)
    Hmmm, that smell. That smelly smell that smells..... like..... we demand that we are not demanding you do as we demand cause we got clout on our side. Hrmphf.
  • by drix (4602)
    Real men use
    # chroot /var/secure /vmlinux
  • by egburr (141740) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @09:08PM (#14496214) Homepage
    What I'd really like to know is if there will be some way for me to ssh in to my server and "press" the power button for a virtual machine and have it start up. Or, will it require that I be able to export my display before I can start it up? And would there be any way to remotely grab the console of an already active virtual machine?
    • I think you are hinting at the requirement of VMWare Workstation and Player to "need" a display before they will run a VM.

      You can work around this requirement using the X Virtual Frame Buffer (Xvfb). Install Xvfb and the associated xvfb-run script (google it if it is not part of your distro - it comes with Debian but can be downloaded separately).

      Then run vmplayer/workstation thus:

      xvfb-run /usr/bin/vmplayer /data/vmware/wxp-cv/winXPPro.vmx

      Your VM will start in a virtual display, and run for as long as that
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Your question doesn't quite make sense under OpenVZ. There isn't a console per se in OpenVZ guests, just as there isn't a separate kernel. You certainly can enable/disable guests at runtime via the command line, and they run through the boot process, but they don't have their own kernel or console. Once you do "vzctl start 1234" the system will run init within VPS number 1234, and then "vzctl exec 1234 some regular command" can be used to run a command within VPS number 1234, or "vzctl enter 1234" will g
  • Is this similar to FreeBSD jails http://www.freebsddiary.org/jail.php [freebsddiary.org] and Solaris Zones http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/content/zones/ [sun.com] or is it something new?

    If it is, it's a good thing to have, though all that "commercial firm pitching a free version of their product into baseline kernel" thing sounds a bit dodgy.

  • A Pund company name... awesome.

    *waits for it*
  • xen has so much support, and soon in-hardware support from both AMD and Intel. xen is the virtualisation layer of now and the future.
    • My virtual private server runs on VZ (which, I gather, is some sort of management suite that runs on top of OpenVZ). It works fine for me; however, I can see that Xen will be the future. As you say, the community is bigger and there are situations where Xen is useful and VZ isn't. For that matter, my VPS host has stopped pushing new VZ licenses and they have instead promoted their new Xen packages. True, there is probably a small hit to resources in going to Xen from VS; but compared to the rest of the
  • For anyone who has used this. Is the relationship like the way OS/2 (2.0-3.0) used to run Windows?
  • ....Hey, let's just put EVERYTHING into the kernel! User space? Bah!
  • by d3matt (864260)
    Pardon my ignorance, but how is OpenVZ different from Xen? If there is little difference, why not just make a bigger push behind Xen rather than attempt to get their own IP into the kernel.
    • Xen runs a kernel per virtual machine instance, OpenVZ runs one kernel but maintains separate process spaces for each virtual system (or whatever they call it). So, with OpenVZ, *all* the virtual systems are running the same distro of Linux, but with Xen you can run several different distros (RedHat, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake), as well as a completely different OS such as NetBSD or FreeBSD.
  • by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday January 18, 2006 @01:02AM (#14497224) Journal
    All the current x86 virtualization stuff is going to be out of date soon. It will be just adding kludges to the kernel to implement stuff that required by virtualization deficiencies in old x86 stuff. If you need those kludges, Xen should be enough.

    This is because Intel and AMD are going to allow new and far more efficient ways of doing virtualization, with hardware assistance (lookup Intel Vanderpool and AMD Pacifica).

    So, I don't see much long term gain for the effort for all the minuses.

    You risk lower quality and increased maintenance costs. And you might also increase exposure to patent claims (but I bet IBM can smash anyone to pulp especially with virtualization patents).

    You will still need developers to work on Vanderpool and Pacifica stuff, and I think you'd get better "bang for buck" with that (plus I think it will be a lot more fun).
    • You risk lower quality and increased maintenance costs

      Pardon me sir and nothing personal, but I don't give a SHIT about maintenance costs...
      Since when do you people care so much about maintenance costs? That Raymond-dude really got into your brains didn't he?
      If it's fun to use and doesn't break other things, put it in the god-damn kernel
      And let the blood-sucking companies care or not about costs
      Where's your hacker spirits for christ's sakes??
    • The key work on virtualisation precedes IBM and it dates back to Cambridge University and Titan. Perhaps this is why IBM do not persue their patents on virtualisation much these days. IBM likes Xen and even has articles about it in their Developerworks website.

      The Xen approach is more generalised than OpenVZ and they have already expressed their interest in supporting true VM supporting hardware like the AMD Pacifica. They also have the concept of being able to checkpoint and move VMs between machines. Th

  • I myself work on software which uses a VServer modification to the kernel. Although I do see advantages to setting this up so that it's included into the kernel. I see many more problems that this create then the good it would bring through.

    Two really big problems I see are these two.

    1) There is many other virtual server projects which do the same thing as OpenVZ. If one is included into the kernel, and the others conflict with eachtother over that, that's really going to complicate the linux world.
    2) Multi
    • I hope linus says no, or comes and checks the slashdot comments to read this and then tells them no. I may even have to fire him off an email about this.

      I may be completely off-base here, but do you by any chance have a massively inflated sense of your own importance?
      • I wouldn't mind that - its not as if there's a lack of ego on /. but his comment Most of them are probably incompatible with eachother, so the code has to make sure those conflicts do not happen. tells me he doesn't know what he's talking about, so yes, you're quite right.

        For what its worth, reading the other posts on this topic does suggest that OpenVZ is a good thing to have, and would not interfere with other virtualisation systems - OpenVZ is more about process separation than true virtualisation anyway
        • I don't have an "ego", I just believe in voicing ones opinions instead of being a sheepie and following what I am told.

          If you knew anything about the linux kernel and how these virtualization patches work you would have understood my statement. It is perhaps not me who "doesn't know what he's talking about", but it is you with the limited knowledge of how these work.

          For these virtualization patches to work on a kernel, they have to modify key features and code of the kernel. If you had looked into what your
      • Not really, just being one of the linux community members, I voice my opinions, I don't sit there with my mouth shut and ignore things that go on around me. As long time linux user, when we see something, we talk about it. Thist post on slashdot is the first post in many years. Just because I say I would like to contact Linus with an email or something, doesn't mean I think I am more important then anyone else. Although I may have a better chance because I have been using linux for many many years, I'm a s
  • My opinion? (as if anyone cares!)

    This shouldn't be in the kernel.

    -/Most end-users won't care about this technology. For them, Hypervisor is more of interest (whoa! no more dual booting, dude!!)
    -/The functionality is more relevant to businesses who have no issue with custom kernels.....but then why not go for something supported/enterprise-grade?
    -/It's the crappy freeware version intended to sell the upscale enterprise version. Why put something intentionally crippled in the kernel?
    -/ There are sev

  • E.g. http://globalservers.com/ [globalservers.com]

    It is like colocation but less expensive. You share cpu & disk with other servers, but it is easier to maintain than a complete dedicated server.
  • There are so many different virtualization projects nowadays. And I keep hearing about magic new CPU features added to the latest Intel or AMD chips which will make virtualization easier than it is today, in some way. Is there a comparative review of the various approaches?

    (I still miss running dosemu... that was fun...)

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