KVM, the virtualization mechanism, rocks

For years now, my primary machine has been a laptop. I've been avoiding running Xen 1 because the hypervisor it injects between hardware and Linux hasn't been very friendly for power saving. Modern laptops are too often hot enough without any extra help.

Well, I'm happy to say that as of now, KVM is definitely stable enough to replace my use of Xen for test setups. I expect that shortly it will become what I recommend for server use, too. And because it lets Linux be Linux, instead of doing any oddities with the hardware, all the powersaving etc goodness still works perfectly.

So far, I've stumbled on two things:

  1. The version of KVM in Ubuntu, even gutsy, is just too old. With a bit of fiddling with the patches, KVM v46 built a perfectly working deb.

  2. The isolinux graphical bootup, used in Ubuntu, crashes KVM (and with v28, it crashes the host machine -- beware!). See the bug report. I got around that by using mini.iso, but you could always fall back to debootstrap; that was all we ever really had with Xen.

And while I have the soapbox: I have a dream. It's KVM running with SDL/VNC graphics in a window that's resizeable all the way to the virtual machine, with XRandR. Please make it happen!


So, the edited version of the patches:

And just remove from-debian-qemu/62_linux_boot_nasm.patch, it seems to have made it upstream.

  • kvm
  • xen
  • virtualization
  • xrandr
  • idea

  1. What's up with http://www.xensource.com/, by the way? That website is just a pile of horrible non-informative enterprise speak. Utterly useless, and that tends to alienate the techie community pretty fast. At least it's alienating me.