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. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
  2. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  3. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  4. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
Latest Linux News
  1. Intel 2.99.917 X.Org Driver Released, 3.0 Release Finally Near
  2. Server-Side XCB Is Being Discussed For The X.Org Server
  3. Adreno A4xx Rendering With Freedreno Takes Shape
  4. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
  5. Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux GPU/Driver Benchmarks
  6. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  7. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  8. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  9. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  10. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Speeding up systemd networking service
  2. Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel's Mesa Driver
  3. Looking for an nVidia GPU, but not sure how well they are supported.
  4. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  5. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  6. Are there an app using HSA ?
  7. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  8. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do