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Re: [Qemu-devel] [libvirt] Modern CPU models cannot be used with libvirt

From: Doug Goldstein
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [libvirt] Modern CPU models cannot be used with libvirt
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 16:39:21 -0600

On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM, Anthony Liguori <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 03/10/2012 09:58 AM, Eduardo Habkost wrote:
>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 12:42:46PM +0000, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
>>>> I could have sworn we had this discussion a year ago or so, and had
>>>> decided
>>>> that the default CPU models would be in something like
>>>> /usr/share/qemu/cpu-x86_64.conf
>>>> and loaded regardless of the -nodefconfig setting.
>>>> /etc/qemu/target-x86_64.conf
>>>> would be solely for end user configuration changes, not for QEMU builtin
>>>> defaults.
>>>> But looking at the code in QEMU, it doesn't seem we ever implemented
>>>> this ?
>>> Arrrgggh. It seems this was implemented as a patch in RHEL-6 qemu RPMs
>>> but,
>>> contrary to our normal RHEL development practice, it was not based on
>>> a cherry-pick of an upstream patch :-(
>>> For sake of reference, I'm attaching the two patches from the RHEL6
>>> source
>>> RPM that do what I'm describing
>>> NB, I'm not neccessarily advocating these patches for upstream. I still
>>> maintain that libvirt should write out a config file containing the
>>> exact CPU model description it desires and specify that with -readconfig.
>>> The end result would be identical from QEMU's POV and it would avoid
>>> playing games with QEMU's config loading code.
>> I agree that libvirt should just write the config somewhere. The problem
>> here is to define: 1) what information should be mandatory on that
>> config data; 2) who should be responsible to test and maintain sane
>> defaults (and where should they be maintained).
>> The current cpudef definitions are simply too low-level to require it to
>> be written from scratch. Lots of testing have to be done to make sure we
>> have working combinations of CPUID bits defined, so they can be used as
>> defaults or templates. Not facilitating reuse of those tested
>> defauls/templates by libvirt is duplication of efforts.
>> Really, if we expect libvirt to define all the CPU bits from scratch on
>> a config file, we could as well just expect libvirt to open /dev/kvm
>> itself and call the all CPUID setup ioctl()s itself. That's how
>> low-level some of the cpudef bits are.
> Let's step back here.
> Why are you writing these patches?  It's probably not because you have a
> desire to say -cpu Westmere when you run QEMU on your laptop.  I'd wager to
> say that no human has ever done that or that if they had, they did so by
> accident because they read documentation and thought they had to.
> Humans probably do one of two things: 1) no cpu option or 2) -cpu host.
> So then why are you introducing -cpu Westmere?  Because ovirt-engine has a
> concept of datacenters and the entire datacenter has to use a compatible CPU
> model to allow migration compatibility.  Today, the interface that
> ovirt-engine exposes is based on CPU codenames.  Presumably ovirt-engine
> wants to add a Westmere CPU group and as such have levied a requirement down
> the stack to QEMU.
> But there's no intrinsic reason why it uses CPU model names.  VMware doesn't
> do this.  It has a concept of compatibility groups[1].
> oVirt could just as well define compatibility groups like GroupA, GroupB,
> GroupC, etc. and then the -cpu option we would be discussing would be -cpu
> GroupA.
> This is why it's a configuration option and not builtin to QEMU.  It's a
> user interface as as such, should be defined at a higher level.
> Perhaps it really should be VDSM that is providing the model info to
> libvirt? Then they can add whatever groups then want whenever they want as
> long as we have the appropriate feature bits.
> P.S. I spent 30 minutes the other day helping a user who was attempting to
> figure out whether his processor was a Conroe, Penryn, etc.  Making this
> determination is fairly difficult and it makes me wonder whether having CPU
> code names is even the best interface for oVirt..
> [1]
> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1991
> Regards,
> Anthony Liguori

FWIW, as a user this would be a good improvement. As it stands right
now when a cluster of machines is established as being redundant
migratable machines for each other I must do the following for each
virsh -c qemu://machine/system capabilities | xpath
/capabilities/host/cpu > machine-cpu.xml
Once I have that data I combine them together and use virsh
cpu-baseline, which is a handy addition from the past of doing it
manually, but still not optimal. This gives me a model which is mostly
meaningless and uninteresting to me, but I know all the guests must
use Penryn for example. If ovirt and by extension libvirt let me know
that guest X is running on CPU-A, I know I could migrate it to any
other machine supporting CPU-A or CPU-B (assuming B is a super set of

Doug Goldstein

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