Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Software IT

Linux Kernel to Include KVM Virtualization 194

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the last-minute-contenders dept.
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Linux Kernel to Include KVM Virtualization

Comments Filter:
  • Yes... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...but does this Linux run Linux?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gopal.V (532678) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:41AM (#17206082) Homepage Journal

    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      All three-letter acronyms are recycled many times already but it will not stop future projects/organizations to recycle them once more.
    • Well someone here just update the KVM [wikipedia.org] disambiguation page.
    • by oudzeeman (684485)
      there is also libkvm (for kvm_open, kvm_read, etc)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by freakmn (712872)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lintux (125434)
      And it's not even an KDE app! I used to think it was some KDE front-end to an existing virtualization program...
    • Even in C/C++, 24 character id's using a 5-character library prefix made it a lot easier to keep track of all the modules. 3-character acronyms have as much capacity as IPv4.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Andrewkov (140579)
      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 !

      KVM? Personally, I'm waiting for the Gnome version.

  • KVM switch? (Score:5, Funny)

    by advocate_one (662832) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:44AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > 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 mista
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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
      • by gbjbaanb (229885)
        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.
    • 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.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      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)

      I have one of their 4-port USB SOHO KVM switches. I have no problems when I'm switching between Macs hooked up to it, but for the machine running Windows XP, it always takes several seconds for the OS to re-recognize the USB keyboard and USB mouse. I don't
  • Not frist psot! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:54AM (#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.
    • 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.
      • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@@@keirstead...org> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:34AM (#17206358) Homepage
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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.

          • by julesh (229690)
            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 b
            • by jrockway (229604)
              > 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.

              Let me let you in on a little secret. The people that work on stuff like this have no interest in running Windows in order for 3D to work. In fact, they probably aren't gamers either.
          • It's not the drivers that are the problem but DirectX.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Alioth (221270)
          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.
          • by julesh (229690)
            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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mad Merlin (837387)

          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.

          • by ckaminski (82854)
            If it's an inhibitor, explain Quake and UT? No, it's dependence on Direct3D, instead of using OpenGL.

            • by X0563511 (793323) *
              Don't forget dependance on the rest of the Direct* family. (DirectPlay, DirectInput, DirectRape, etc)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Viol8 (599362)
          "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.
    • Does this mean we won't need Win4Lin? (no more damned W4L-imposed kernel dependency or fearing that netraverse 2.6.8.1 won't run nice on a 2.6.21, or 2.7.x, or 2.8.x someday...).

      I don't see (yet) that this will threaten VMware, but if the KVM could fake hardware enough that I could not need Wine, Cedega/Codeweavers, or Win4Lin, then I could run that legacy Win98 disk of my and run my Lotus Apps in there...

      (rubbing hands expectantly...)
  • Excellent (Score:2, Interesting)

    by October_30th (531777)
    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 (Score:3, Informative)

      by brunes69 (86786)
      You can do that in VMWare player and VMWare server, both of which are free (as in beer).

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BokLM (550487) *
        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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by repvik (96666)
      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)
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:09AM (#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?
  • by cortana (588495) <sam@robots.orAAAg.uk minus threevowels> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:28AM (#17206330) Homepage
    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?
    • 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 onl
    • by Nimey (114278)
      Plex86 is no longer a going concern.
    • by julesh (229690) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:13AM (#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.
      • by evilviper (135110)
        Qemu and Bochs are PC emulators, not virtual machines, which is a slightly more subtle distinction, but still one that needs to be made.

        No, Qemu, used along with with the "Qemu Accelerator" is just as much a virtual machine as VMWare.
        • by julesh (229690)
          True, but the Qemu Accelerator isn't open source, so the same criticisms then apply to that as apply to VMware.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by baadger (764884)
            Actually there is/was an open source effort to replace the KQEMU "accelerator" module... QVM86 [nongnu.org]. Unfortunately it needs work, it's functional but only operates on x86 (no x86_64). There are patches against current CVS for compatibility with KQEMU 1.3.x and QEMU 0.8.2 on the QVM86 newsgroup but development seems to have otherwise stagnated.

            Also the author of KQEMU did say he would open up the source if sponsored.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ed Avis (5917)
      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.
    • by Bri3D (584578)
      MOL (Mac-On-Linux). [maconlinux.org] Sure it's PowerPC, it's still virtualization.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:41AM (#17206378) Homepage
    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.
  • VMotion/HA? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stile 65 (722451) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:48AM (#17206408) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by smodak (720991)
      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.
    • Read their FAQ (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shadowlore (10860)
      It says in their FAQ:
      "kvm today supports non-live migration, where there is a pause while memory content is transferred. Pauseless live migration is work in progress."
  • A W E S O M E ! ! ! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:39AM (#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.
  • KVM? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:43AM (#17207542)
    Does this mean I can use 2 mice independently on my system? Cool!
  • by jlbprof (760036)

    I understand we are talking about virtual machines that is multiple OS's running on the same machine simultaneously.

    My question is: what does that offer me? Other then possibly running a linux and XP on my home machine what could that possibly offer anyone?

    Thanx

    Julian

    • by arodland (127775)
      Well first off... what's wrong with that?

      Second... you haven't shopped for hosting anytime in the past year, have you?
    • by shish (588640)

      It's more use on servers -- where as typically you have several vastly overpowered servers* each doing one thing (so if the kernel crashes, or gets rooted, or a bit of hardware goes dead, only one service is affected); with VMs you can put all those installations onto one physical bit of hardware and make much better use of it. If one of the servers suddenly needs more CPU power, or the hardware needs changing for other reasons, you can migrate the installations to a different bit of hardware, thus having 1

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Running Windows and Linux at the same time is a pretty big deal, if you need access to Windows-only apps. It's good for web developers, who need to check out their results in IE, and it may make some Windows to Linux migration attempts easier (since the migration might otherwise be held up by a desperate need for a single legacy app).

      What else does it offer you, the consumer? Well, you can try things that no sane mortal should attempt with their computer. Install crapware and find out what it actually do

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

Working...