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KVM, QEMU, and kernel project management

Apr 01, 2010, 19:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"The KVM virtualization subsystem is seen as one of the great success stories of contemporary kernel development. KVM came from nowhere into a situation with a number of established players - both free and proprietary - and promptly found a home in the kernel and in the marketing plans of a number of Linux companies. Both the code and its development model are seen as conforming much more closely to the Linux way of doing things than the alternatives; KVM is expected to be the long-term virtualization solution for Linux. So, one might well wonder, why has KVM been the topic of one of the more massive and less pleasant linux-kernel discussions in some time?

"Yanmin Zhang was probably not expecting to set off a flame war with the posting of a patch adding a set of KVM-related commands to the "perf" tool. The value of this patch seems obvious: beyond allowing a host to collect performance statistics on a running guest, it enables the profiling of the host/guest combination as a whole. One can imagine that there would be value to being able to see how the two systems interact.

"The problem, it seems, is that this feature requires that the host have access to specific information from the running KVM guest: at a minimum, it needs the guest kernel's symbol table. More involved profiling will require access to files in the guest's namespaces. To this end, Ingo Molnar suggested that life would be easier if the host could mount (read-only) all of the filesystems which were active in the guest. It would also be nice, he said elsewhere, if the host could easily enumerate running guests and assign names to them."

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