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QEMU and kvm on big.LITTLE aarch64

From: Michal Schulz
Subject: QEMU and kvm on big.LITTLE aarch64
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 21:23:18 +0100

Dear Qemu friends!

I have been using qemu for years for low-level development of software (bare 
metal for raspberrypi or operating systems such as AROS for x86, x86-64, ppc). 
Since I am busy with my new project - a JIT translator of M68k running on bare 
metal aarch64 machines, I’ve started to use qemu-system-aarch64 heavily, 
especially with raspi3 emulated machine.

Recently I have attempted to to run qemu-system-aarch64, version 5.1.0, on an 
aarch64 machine. It is Pinebook Pro with RK3399 big.LITTLE SOC, running Manjaro 
linux, kernel version 5.9.1-3. When using tcg everything works just fine, but 
as slow as I would expect it. In order to give it some speed I’ve attempted to 
enable kvm there. Unfortunately, all I get is following:

# qemu-system-aarch64 -M raspi3 -enable kvm
qmeu-system-aarch64: /build/qemu/src/qemu-5.1.0/exec.c:850: 
cpu_address_space_init: Assertion `aside == 0 || !kvm_enabled()` failed.

Of course, KVM is enabled in linux kernel. Please note that use of '-cpu host' 
parameter does not change anything. Also, attempt to define the CPU affinity 
for qemu using taskset tool has no influence on this behaviour.

Therefore a question - is it possible to use kvm on aarch64 with big.LITTLE 
architecture? Or is tcg my only possible solution there?

with best regards
Michal Schulz

Michal Schulz

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