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KVM Pushes Linux Virtualization Forward In Linux 3.13

Linux Kernel

Published on 14 November 2013 03:24 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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The Kernel-based Virtual Machine updates for the Linux 3.13 kernel were filed today and includes a fair amount of improvements for virtualization on PowerPC hardware, but there's also some x86 improvements too.

The PowerPC version of KVM for Linux virtualization allows the HV and emulation versions of the Kernel-based Virtual Machine to now co-exist in the same Linux kernel image. There's also other assorted PowerPC virtualization improvements.

For more common x86 virtualizationm, there's improvements to nested virtualization and various bug-fixes.

ARM virtualization is still in its infancy since hardware-assisted virtualization became possible with the Cortex-A15 SoCs. On the KVM ARM front, there's now transparent huge-page support, improved over-commit handling, and support for big endian guests.

The last KVM feature advertised for the Linux 3.13 kernel is a nw interface to connect KVM with VFIO. This change helps when passing devices to guests that use NoSnoop PCI translations so drivers inside the guest can use WBINVD instructions -- this along with user-space work allows for some NVIDIA graphics cards to work on Windows guests. As covered on Phoronix a few days ago, there continues to be KVM and VFIO work for passing graphics cards to guest VMs so that they can use the hardware directly from a real driver on the guest operating system.

More of the KVM improvement details for the Linux 3.13 merge window can be found from the pull request issued by Paolo Bonzini.

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