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Jailhouse v0.1 Released As A Basic Hypervisor For Linux

Linux Kernel

Published on 29 August 2014 08:55 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
2 Comments

Nearly one year ago we wrote about the announcement of Jailhouse as a new Linux hypervisor and after being in development all of this time they have announced their first release that comes with the necessary features to properly support Intel x86 CPUs.

Jailhouse v0.1 Released As A Basic Hypervisor For Linux


Jailhouse is a partitioning hypervisor for Linux that with v0.1 supports all needed features for Intel x86 CPUs. Jailhouse can take full advantage of VT-d DMA, etc. This work has been spearheaded by Siemens. Here's the proper description via the Jailhouse project site:
Jailhouse is a partitioning Hypervisor based on Linux. It is able to run bare-metal applications or (adapted) operating systems besides Linux. For this purpose it configures CPU and device virtualization features of the hardware platform in a way that none of these domains, called "cells" here, can interfere with each other in an unacceptable way.

Jailhouse is optimized for simplicity rather than feature richness. Unlike full-featured Linux-based hypervisors like KVM or Xen, Jailhouse does not support overcommitment of resources like CPUs, RAM or devices. It performs no scheduling and only virtualizes those resources in software, that are essential for a platform and cannot be partitioned in hardware.

Once Jailhouse is activated, it runs bare-metal, i.e. it takes full control over the hardware and needs no external support. However, in contrast to other bare-metal hypervisors, it is loaded and configured by a normal Linux system.
Its management interface is based on Linux infrastructure. So you boot Linux first, then you enable Jailhouse and finally you split off parts of the system's resources and assign them to additional cells.

Jailhouse 0.1 was announced this morning on the kernel mailing list. The source code to this new Linux hypervisor is available via GitHub.

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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