"Today's new kvm architecture is ia64, aka Itanium 2. Like s390, it is only provided in the git tree, not in the tarball. Windows and Linux guests are supported."
"The big item (in more ways than one) for this release is the addition of s390 support. As it is not actually provided in the tarball, you will need to use git to fetch it. You will also need a mainframe."
Avi Kivity summarized the kvm patches bound for the 2.6.25 kernel:
"Changes include performance and scalability improvements, completion of the portability work (though no new architectures are supported with this submission), support for new hardware features, using general userspace memory for kvm (which enables swapping guest memory as well as sharing memory among guests), as well as the usual cleanups and incremental fixes."
The Kernel-based Virtual Machine project, kvm, was started in mid-2006, and has been part of the Linux kernel since the 2.6.20 release in February of 2007. The recent changes can be browsed with gitweb.
"Do we really need 128-bit time? You must be planning to live forever."
"Highlights include in-kernel pic/lapic/ioapic emulation, improved guest support, preemptibility, an improved x86 emulator, and a fair amount of cleanup.
"The changes outside drivers/kvm/ and include/linux/kvm*.h fix the CR8 mask definition (which is not otherwise used in the kernel) and expose some ioapic register definitions even if ioapic support is not compiled in. The diff is appended below."
A recently merged KVM patchset included support for guest SMP, various performance improvements, and suspend/resume fixes. KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, "a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions". In regards to the recently merged guest SMP support which will be part of the upcoming 2.6.23 kernel, Avi Kivity noted:
"Guest smp is fully operational. Kernel build on 2-way smp is 40% faster than on a up guest. Expect significant performance improvements from in-kernel apic and from further tuning."
Avi Kivity [interview] announced significant performance improvements and support for running 32-bit Windows Vista as a guest within the latest release of KVM. Originally merged into the 2.6.20 mainline Linux kernel [story], KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, "a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions". Regarding the new release, Avi announced:
"The happy theme of today's kvm is the significant performance improvements, brought to you by a growing team of developers. I've clocked kbuild at within 25% of native. This release also introduces support for 32-bit Windows Vista."
Avi Kivity is the lead developer and maintainer of the Kernel-based Virtual Machine project, better known as kvm. The project was started in mid-2006, and has been part of the Linux kernel since the 2.6.20 release in February of 2007. kvm is a full virtualization system for x86-based Linux hosts, allowing users to run isolated x86 guest operating systems in virtual machines.
Avi Kivity suggested that combining KVM, the Kernel-based Virtual Machine [story], with the dyntick patch [story] could improve overall KVM performance. He noted that it would likely improve performance of both the host by "avoiding expensive vmexits due to useless timer interrupts," as well as on the guest by "reducing the load on the host when the guest is idling (currently an idle guest consumes a few percent cpu)". Ingo Molnar [interview] pointed out that KVM with his -rt kernel already works with dynticks enabled on both the host and the guest, "using the dynticks code from the -rt kernel makes the overhead of an idle guest go down by a factor of 10-15". Ingo added that he hopes the dyntick patch will be ready to be merged into the upcoming mainline 2.6.21 kernel.
Rik van Riel [interview] noted that there were other ways to reduce the load of the guest when it's idling, "you do not need dynticks for this actually. Simple no-tick-on-idle like Xen has works well enough." Ingo explained, "s390 (and more recently Xen too) uses a next_timer_interrupt() based method to stop the guest tick - which works in terms of reducing guest load, but it doesnt stop the host-side interrupt. The highest quality approach is to have dynticks on both the host and the guest, and this also gives high-resolution timers and a modernized time/timer-events subsystem for both the host and the guest."