VMware Works On Mainlining More Linux Kernel Code
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 16 October 2012 at 08:46 AM EDT. 5 Comments
VMware developers continue to work on mainlining more of their Linux kernel code to support their virtualization platform in the name of improving the "out of the box" experience for Linux VM guests. The latest work has been on pushing forward VMCI and VSOCK for the mainline Linux kernel.

While the work hasn't hit the Linux 3.7 kernel and is still undergoing review, VMware has been pushing VMCI, the Virtual Machine Communication Interface, and VSOCK, VMCI Sockets, as being worthy of mainline for Linux.

VMCI provides a mechanism for virtual machines to communicate with host kernel modules and to VMware hypervisor. For using VMware VMCI, VMCI Sockets support is needed for user-space applications on the host and virtual machine to communicate. VMCI Sockets have a socket address family compatible with UDP/TCP at the interface level. VMCI and VMCI Sockets are used for VMware features like "shared folders" and VMware Tools for zero-config network-less access to the VMware host services.
"In an effort to improve the out-of-the-box experience with Linux kernels for VMware users, VMware is working on readying the Virtual Machine Communication Interface (vmw_vmci) and VMCI Sockets (vmw_vsock) kernel modules for inclusion in the Linux kernel. The purpose of this post is to acquire feedback on the vmw_vmci kernel module. The vmw_vsock kernel module will be presented in a later post."
The VMCI and VSOCK patches in their latest form currently undergoing review and feedback can be found on the kernel mailing list. VMware has been pushing for VMCI in the mainline Linux kernel going back several months, but hopefully we will see it merged for the Linux 3.8 kernel when the time comes.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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