KVM Pushes Linux Virtualization Forward In Linux 3.13
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 14 November 2013 at 03:24 PM EST. Add A Comment
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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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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