Intel Discontinues Development Of Open-Source HAXM Software

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 7 January 2023 at 06:18 AM EST. 23 Comments
For years Intel has been developing HAXM as a hardware-accelerated execution manager with a focus on using it for the Android Emulator and QEMU in conjunction with Intel VT enabled processors. HAXM works not only on Linux but Windows, macOS, and some BSDs. Unfortunately, Intel has decided to discontinue development of HAXM.

HAXM stands for the Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager and is self-described as:
HAXM is a cross-platform hardware-assisted virtualization engine (hypervisor), widely used as an accelerator for Android Emulator and QEMU. It has always supported running on Windows and macOS, and has been ported to other host operating systems as well, such as Linux and NetBSD.

HAXM runs as a kernel-mode driver on the host operating system, and provides a KVM-like interface to user space, thereby enabling applications like QEMU to utilize the hardware virtualization capabilities built into modern Intel CPUs, namely Intel Virtualization Technology.

HAXM's most recent release was at the end of November when HAXM 7.8 was made public. HAXM proved useful particularly around Android software development on Intel systems, particularly on Windows where there are less hypervisor options available. But then after that release development ceased... It wasn't due to the end of year holidays but now the HAXM GitHub project has been archived.

Intel HAXM

The following notice was added this week by an Intel engineer:

This project will no longer be maintained by Intel.

This project has been identified as having known security escapes.

Intel has ceased development and contributions including, but not limited to, maintenance, bug fixes, new releases, or updates, to this project.

Intel no longer accepts patches to this project.

The discontinuation notice was posted this week with marking the end of Intel's HAXM software. No further information was shared as to additional reasonings for discontinuing HAXM development.

[Update 12 January]: Intel has updated their HAXM GitHub repository and has now stated there are no known security defects. They reached out to Phoronix to say they originally posted the wrong security notice on their repository - the project is discontinued, but no known security escapes. They also added the following to their GitHub page with rationale for discontinuing the project:
HAXM was created to bring Intel Virtualization Technology to Windows and macOS users. Today both Microsoft Hyper-V and macOS HVF have added support for Intel Virtual Machine Extensions. We have therefore decided to retire the HAXM project. HAXM v7.8.0 is our last release and we will not accept pull requests or respond to issues after this.
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