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BHyVe: A New Hypervisor Coming To FreeBSD 10.0

BSD

Published on 10 February 2013 09:44 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD
50 Comments

BHyVe is a legacy-free hypervisor being developed by FreeBSD developers that was recently merged into mainline to be part of the FreeBSD 10.0 release. The BHyVe virtualization hypervisor relies upon Intel VT-x and already has several interesting features as it aims to be truly legacy-free, high-performance, while being contained within a very small footprint.

BHyVe is dependent for now upon Intel VT-x virtualization support on modern CPUs while AMD SVM support is still being developed. BHyVe also depends upon other modern features like Extended Page Tables and VirtIO. It's making its debut in FreeBSD 10.0 but does support guests going back to FreeBSD 8.3. Right now though this is the only operating systems supported in an unmodified state.

BHyVe currently has IOAPIC emulation, memory-mapped local APIC support, guest idle detection, and some level of AHCI emulation. Still being worked out with this FreeBSD hypervisor is removing blocking I/O operations, suspend/resume support, AMD SVM, and support for older GPUs without nested paging virtualization.

With taking advantage of modern CPU functionality and software features, the BHyVe implementation between its kernel module, library, and user-space utilities amount to about 250 thousand lines of code. The code was merged into FreeBSD head in just the middle of January.

BHyVe was talked about last weekend at FOSDEM 2013 during the BSD track and more details on this open-source hypervisor can be found out on the FreeBSD Wiki and bhyve.org. This BSD hypervisor isn't nearly as advance or feature-complete as Linux KVM or Xen, but at least it's moving along and improving the BSD world.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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