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In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @fedora-virt and @fedora-xen-list lists.

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

Fedora Virtualization List

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.

Fedora Virtualization Status

Mark McLoughlin produced[1] another detailed virtualization status report. Among the details of various package releases and bug updates Mark reminds us that "The Fedora 12 Alpha release is now baked and will be released next week on August 25th."

The final list of virt features for Fedora 12[2] looks like:

  • KSM - Allow KVM guest virtual machines to share identical memory pages. This is especially useful when running multiple guests from the same or similar base operating system image. Because memory is shared, the combined memory usage of the guests is reduced.
  • KVM Huge Page Backed Memory - Enable KVM guests to use huge page backed memory in order to reduce memory consumption and improve performance by reducing CPU cache pressure.
  • KVM NIC Hotplug - Allow the addition of a guest network interface (NIC) a guest virtual machine without needing to restart the guest.
  • KVM qcow2 Performance - Improve the I/O performance of virtual machines using disk images in the qcow2 image format.
  • KVM Stable Guest ABI - Allow guest virtual machines to be presented with the same application binary interface across QEMU upgrades.
  • libguestfs - A library for accessing and modifying virtual machine disk images. guestfish is an interactive shell tool for editing virtual machine disk images. Technically, this actually launched in F11, but not as a "Feature"[3].
  • Network Interface Management - Provide tools to easily set up commonly used network configurations, like bridges, bonds, vlan's and sensible combinations thereof, in particular for virtualized hosts.
  • SR-IOV - Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) is a PCI feature which allows virtual functions (VF) to be created that share the resources of a physical function (PF).
  • VirtgPXE - Replace the deprecated etherboot pxe booting infrastructure with the more modern and currently upstream supported gpxe.
  • Virt Privileges - Improve security by adjusting the privileges of QEMU processes managed by libvirt. Also, allow KVM to be used by unprivileged users.
  • Virt Storage Management - Enable VM hosts to discover new SAN storage and issue NPIV operations.
  • Libvirt Technology Compatibility Kit - Provide a functional test suite for virtualization and report on hypervisor compatability. "Note, FESCo didn't approve TCK as a feature, but that should't stop us pimping it :-)"

Be sure to check out Mark's full report below.

Fedora Xen List

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.

Dom0 Kernel Status

Pasi Kärkkäinen forwarded[1] a pvops dom0 roadmap from Jeremy Fitzhardinge. Pasi also noted[2] "the 32bit PAE (i686) dom0 kernel crash problem has been fixed".

Daniel Berrange reported[3] "FYI, I have just installed a Fedora 12 x86_64 guest on a Fedora 11 x86_64 KVM host". "Once installed, I installed the Xen dom0 kernel from re-configured grub, and successfully rebooted into a Xen Dom0, and was able to create paravirt guests successfully. Most of the libvirt-TCK test suite passed, and the only bugs look trivial to solve in libvirt's Xen driver."

"So for that environment at least, the Dom0 kernels are looking pretty good when used with F12 and the libvirt Xen driver is still functioning reasonably well."

Boris Derzhavets recently wrote[4] [5] detailed instructions for creating a F11 dom0.