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Re: [Qemu-devel] Announcing qboot, a minimal x86 firmware for QEMU

From: Daniel P. Berrange
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] Announcing qboot, a minimal x86 firmware for QEMU
Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 12:01:36 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 03:51:43PM +0200, Paolo Bonzini wrote:
> Some of you may have heard about the "Clear Containers" initiative from
> Intel, which couple KVM with various kernel tricks to create extremely
> lightweight virtual machines.  The experimental Clear Containers setup
> requires only 18-20 MB to launch a virtual machine, and needs about 60
> ms to boot.
> Now, as all of you probably know, "QEMU is great for running Windows or
> legacy Linux guests, but that flexibility comes at a hefty price. Not
> only does all of the emulation consume memory, it also requires some
> form of low-level firmware in the guest as well. All of this adds quite
> a bit to virtual-machine startup times (500 to 700 milliseconds is not
> unusual)".
> Right?  In fact, it's for this reason that Clear Containers uses kvmtool
> instead of QEMU.
> No, wrong!  In fact, reporting bad performance is pretty much the same
> as throwing down the gauntlet.

On the QEMU side of things I wonder if there is scope for taking AArch64's
'virt' machine type concept and duplicating it on all architectures. It
would be nice to have a common minimal machine type on all architectures
that discards all legacy platform stuff and focuses on the minimum needed
to run modern virtual machine optimized guest OS. People would always know
that a machine type called 'virt' was the minimal virtualization platform,
while the others all target emulation of realworld (legacy) baremetal

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