VMware's overhauled Linux graphics driver stack is shaping up and coming together nicely in time for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which will allow for 2D/3D guest acceleration within virtualized guest machines.
Here's a heck of a Christmas present if you happen to be a VMware customer and use their virtualization software with Linux guests where the desktop experience is important: vmwgfx_branch has finally been merged to master! This merge touches over 16,000 lines of code in their X.Org graphics driver.
A second development release of GNOME Boxes is now available. GNOME Boxes is an in-development virtual machine management application.
Just as expected, QEMU 1.0 was officially released this week. QEMU 1.0 offers up some new features in the virtualization world.
Recently I published some controversial benchmark results of the Xen performance on the Linux 3.0 kernel compared to bare-metal and KVM virtualization along with noting awkward Linux power management when using Xen. The results were valid and have now been confirmed by Xen developers and they have narrowed down the cause of the serious performance issues.
Citrix has brought the Xen hypervsior to the ARM Cortex A15, which uses the ARMv7 virtualization extensions.
It looks like an upcoming advancement to Oracle VM VirtualBox is support for a kernel mode-setting (KMS) driver.
Version 1.0 of QEMU will be released next month in time for the holidays with several interesting advancements. QEMU is the popular open-source machine emulator and virtualizer that also plays a role in the Linux KVM virtualization stack.
For those interested in Linux KVM virtualization, Red Hat has published the videos from this year's KVM Forum conference.
Replacing QEMU 0.14, which was released back in February, is now QEMU 0.15. This new major update to this open-source processor emulator that's commonly used with KVM (the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine) delivers on several prominent features.
Less than a month after beta releases began, Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1 has been officially been released. This is a major update to Oracle's virtualization platform they received from the 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
The German developers at Oracle (formerly Sun, after they acquired innotek GmbH) appear to be aimed at quickly getting out VirtualBox 4.1 out the door as soon as possible, or perhaps they are just in a rush to get to the biergarten in the nice summer weather currently across southern Germany (that'd be my excuse). Regardless, Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 3 was released this afternoon, just days after releasing VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 with PCI pass-through support. That was just four days after their first beta, which presented various new features to the cross-platform Oracle virtualization world.
Just a week after Oracle released VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1, the second beta for this forthcoming feature release of the former Sun virtualization stack is now available. The VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 release has various bug-fixes since the first beta, but for Linux hosts it also introduces PCI pass-through support.
Linux-KVM mentions QED, the new QEMU Enhanced Disk format. This new disk format for QEMU/KVM is designed to be much faster than QCOW2 and other existing disk formats available to virtualization users.
VirtualBox 4.0 was released last December and with nearly seven months passing since any major update or roadmap for a new major feature release, I had been wondering what were Oracle's future plans for this virtualization platform they received from Sun Microsystems as part of their acquisition. Fortunately, Oracle today announced the first beta of VM VirtualBox 4.1. The VirtualBox 4.1 release does deliver several new features, but nothing too ground-breaking in the heated virtualization world.
Back in April I reported on a lightweight QEMU-free Linux KVM host tool. This written-from-scratch solution is designed to just boot guest Linux images with the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) while being just a few thousand lines of code. A second version of the Native Linux KVM Tool has been released and it's being targeted for inclusion into the Linux 3.1 kernel.
While QEMU works well for many Linux users interested in virtualization and processor emulation, it lacks various features found in other virtualization solutions like Oracle VM VirtualBox and VMware's products. QEMU doesn't yet have a nice virtual graphics driver stack for accelerating 2D/3D on the host and there's limited hardware emulation. QEMU hasn't even properly supported USB 2.0 devices, but that is now changing.
Two weeks ago I extensively talked about VMware's Linux graphics driver used by their virtualization products. To provide graphics hardware acceleration support within VMware guest instances, they have an elaborate (and open-source) driver stack complete with the upstream kernel DRM module and a Gallium3D user-space driver. This driver has been around since 2009, but it's about to be overhauled by VMware and it will bring some interesting changes.
Brought up several times in our forums and elsewhere over the past few days has been VMware's Gallium3D driver that they use for guest 3D acceleration on their proprietary virtualization platform.
One of the items brought up this week at UDS Budapest was about providing OpenGL / OpenGL ES support for QEMU guests. The need for OpenGL ES 2.0 support in QEMU guests has come up since it's used in emulating Maemo / MeeGo for development environments. This would also make it possible to use Canonical's Unity desktop in a virtualized environment.
While Linux KVM virtualization works well for many, one of the areas where the Kernel-based Virtual Machine and its QEMU integration have lagged behind other virtualization solutions like VirtualBox and VMware is in terms of its 2D/3D support within guests. The KVM-QEMU situation is slightly more positive today though with the introduction of a basic KMS (kernel mode-setting) driver for KVM-QEMU riding in the Linux kernel.
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.
For the many Linux virtualization users out there using Red Hat's virtualization stack with libvirt, virt-manager, virt-viewer, etc, version 0.9.0 of their virtualization platform management library (libvirt) is now available.
For those of you that prefer Xen virtualization under Linux rather than KVM/QEMU, VirtualBox, VMware, or any of the other virtualization solutions available, the Xen 4.1 Hypervisor has just been released with some major changes.
While it was not long ago that QEMU 0.13 was released, QEMU version 0.14 is now available with more improvements to this open-source processor emulator.
Yesterday and today there's been patches published by Oracle's Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk that make it possible for open-source GPU Linux drivers that use the TTM (Translation Table Maps) in-kernel memory management to work within Xen virtualization. The TTM drivers include the open-source Radeon and Nouveau DRM drivers, among others.
Oracle's VM VirtualBox virtualization software just went into beta two weeks ago, but since then they have put out four beta releases. Now though Oracle is already ready to announce the official release of VM VirtualBox 4.0.
Oracle's been on a wild ride the past few days. Besides Oracle's second quarter earnings having beaten their own expectations and that of the street, they've been releasing updates this week to a number of their Sun-acquired open-source projects. MySQL 5.5 was finally released, Open Office 3.3 made it out (along with a new web-based Oracle Cloud Office product), and their German counterparts have been releasing VirtualBox beta releases like mad.
The German developers working on Oracle VM VirtualBox are doing well at managing to resist the temptations of Christkindlmarkts, Glühwein, and skiing, to get VM VirtualBox 4.0 out the door right away. It was just last Monday they put out the first beta followed by another before week's end. Yesterday they then put out a third beta of Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0.
It was just on Monday that Oracle released Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 1 with the introduction of "extension packs", OVA format support, ICH9 and Intel HD Audio support for guests, a revamped user-interface in some areas, support for limiting a VM's CPU time and I/O bandwidth, and a number of other changes. Three days later, however, this release has been succeeded by VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 2.
226 Virtualization news articles published on Phoronix.