Version 2.0.0 of the open source machine emulator and virtualizer QEMU has been released introducing support for the KVM emulator on ARM systems..
QEMU (short for "Quick EMUlator") is a free and open-source hosted hypervisor that performs hardware virtualization.
In announcing the new version Michael Roth of the IBM-Linux Technology centre commented:
This is one of our most extensive releases ever, with 2,500+ commmits from 179 authors.
The new features he lists includes:
- Initial support for KVM on AArch64 systems (some features such as migration are not yet implemented)
- Support for all 64-bit mode ARMV8 user-accessible instructions except for the optional CRC and crypto extensions
- Support for the Hyper-V reference time counter via the "hv-time" suboption of "-cpu". This can improve performance of Windows guests substantially for applications that do many floating-point or SIMD operations. (Requires KVM and Linux 3.14).
QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.
When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance.
When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. QEMU supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, QEMU can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, and S390 guests.
I find it interesting that the first time I blogged about QEMU was in 2004. Funny how far virtual machines have come since then!