1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

A Lightweight QEMU-Free Linux KVM Host Tool

Virtualization

Published on 17 April 2011 08:42 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization
Comment On This Article

When it comes to Linux virtualization, QEMU is one of the common parts of the virtualization stack. It's a very common emulator that provides dynamic binary translation and can run many unmodified guest operating systems on many different architectures from x86_64 to MIPS and PowerPC.

QEMU could be used with our without an accelerator with one of the original acceleration options being KQEMU, which was a Linux kernel module to speed-up x86 emulation and for a while was under a proprietary licensed and then opened up. KQEMU was unique in that it didn't require any particular virtualization extensions to be provided by the host CPU, but this technology is no longer supported in the latest QEMU releases.

Today, QEMU is able to take advantage of KVM (the Kernel-based Virtual Machine) for hardware virtualization on modern CPUs, where QEMU is now most widely used. QEMU+KVM can accelerate x86/x86_64, PowerPC, and S390 guests. QEMU components have also been integrated into VirtualBox, Xen-HVM, and WIn4Lin Pro Desktop.

While QEMU is open-source and a dominant component in the virtualization field, for those looking to take advantage of the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine without using QEMU, there's a new alternative. An alternative that's written from scratch and designed to be a clean, lightweight solution.

This new native Linux KVM tool was announced at the end of March and was written by Pekka Enberg, Cyrill Gorcunov, and Asias He.

In the Linux kernel mailing list announcement, "The goal of this tool is to provide a clean, from-scratch, lightweight KVM host tool implementation that can boot Linux guest images (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like QEMU) with no BIOS dependencies and with only the minimal amount of legacy device emulation." [For those that didn't notice the statement by Pekka Enberg, it mirrors Linus Torvalds original quote when announcing the Linux kernel back in 1991 if you replace the word "QEMU" with "GNU."]

This tool is still in development but is only around 5,000 lines of C code that is capable of booting a Linux guest image while leveraging the Linux KVM.

Pekka cites this mailing list thread as his reasons for beginning this project. The thread is regarding unifying KVM kernel-space and user-space code into a single project with comments by Ingo Molnar and others.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  2. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  3. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
  4. AMD's Windows Catalyst Driver Remains Largely Faster Than Linux Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Mesa 10.5-devel Brings Some Intel Haswell HD Graphics Changes Over Mesa 10.3
  2. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
  3. Is The Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Fast Enough For Steam On Linux Gaming?
  4. Linux 3.18 File-System Performance Minimally Changed But Possible Regressions
Latest Linux News
  1. ArrayFire Accelerated Compute Library Open-Sourced
  2. Amazon's Fire TV Stick: A Nice, Affordable Media Center Option
  3. Google Puts Chrome NPAPI Support On Final Countdown
  4. There's New In-Fighting Over The Future Of Compiz
  5. GTK+ Inspector Gains More Features Ahead Of GNOME 3.16
  6. Clang 3.6 Will Hopefully Have OpenMP Support
  7. A Go Front-End Could Soon Be Landing In LLVM
  8. Linux 3.18-rc6 Released, A Worrisome Regression Remains
  9. HandBrake 0.10 Brings H.265 & VP8 Encoders
  10. Gngr: A New Web Browser Focused On Privacy
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Hurrican SDL Port
  2. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  3. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  4. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  5. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control