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Re: [PATCH] docs: Introducing pseries documentation.

From: Cédric Le Goater
Subject: Re: [PATCH] docs: Introducing pseries documentation.
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 09:57:02 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.2.0

Hello Leonardo,

On 11/17/21 21:14, lagarcia@linux.ibm.com wrote:
From: Leonardo Garcia <lagarcia@br.ibm.com>

The purpose of this document is to substitute the content currently
available in the QEMU wiki at [0]. This initial version does contain
some additional content as well. Whenever this documentation gets
upstream and is reflected in [1], the QEMU wiki will be edited to point
to this documentation, so that we only need to keep it updated in one

0. https://wiki.qemu.org/Documentation/Platforms/POWER
1. https://qemu.readthedocs.io/en/latest/system/ppc/pseries.html

Signed-off-by: Leonardo Garcia <lagarcia@br.ibm.com>

Thanks for this update,

Some general comments,

There are other ppc documents :


that should be moved maybe and/or referenced by this file ? Feel free
to do a follow up.

On the terminology, I think we should use in the text :

   pSeries, PowerNV, POWER[0-9]

When it comes to QEMU machines names, it's 'pseries', 'powernv'

Some small comments,

  docs/system/ppc/pseries.rst | 185 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  1 file changed, 185 insertions(+)

diff --git a/docs/system/ppc/pseries.rst b/docs/system/ppc/pseries.rst
index 932d4dd17d..2de3fb4d51 100644
--- a/docs/system/ppc/pseries.rst
+++ b/docs/system/ppc/pseries.rst
@@ -1,12 +1,197 @@
  pSeries family boards (``pseries``)
+The Power machine virtualized environment described by the `Linux on Power

para-virtualized ?

+Architecture Reference document (LoPAR)
+is called pseries. This environment is also known as sPAPR, System p guests, or
+simply Power Linux guests (although it is capable of running other operating
+systems, such as AIX).
+Even though pseries is designed to behave as a guest environment, it is also
+capable of acting as a hypervisor OS, providing, on that role, nested
+virtualization capabilities.

on POWER9 and above processors. Maybe we should start introducing the
KVM-pseries term.

  Supported devices
+ * Multi processor support for many Power processors generations: POWER5+,
+   POWER7, POWER7+, POWER8, POWER8NVL, Power9, and Power10 (there is no support
+   for POWER6 processors).

POWER8NVL is for baremetal only.

+ * Interrupt Controller, XICS (POWER8) and XIVE (Power9 and Power10)
+ * vPHB PCIe Host bridge.
+ * vscsi and vnet devices, compatible with the same devices available on a
+   PowerVM hypervisor with VIOS managing LPARs.
+ * Virtio based devices.
+ * PCIe device pass through.
  Missing devices
+ * SPICE support. Firmware
+`SLOF <https://github.com/aik/SLOF>`_ (Slimline Open Firmware) is an
+implementation of the `IEEE 1275-1994, Standard for Boot (Initialization
+Configuration) Firmware: Core Requirements and Practices
+QEMU includes a prebuilt image of SLOF which is updated when a more recent
+version is required.
+Build directions
+.. code-block:: bash
+  ./configure --target-list=ppc64-softmmu && make
+Running instructions
+Someone can select the pseries machine type by running QEMU with the following
+.. code-block:: bash
+  qemu-system-ppc64 -M pseries <other QEMU arguments>
+sPAPR devices
+The sPAPR specification defines a set of para-virtualized devices, which are
+also supported by the pseries machine in QEMU and can be instantiated with the
+`-device` option:
+* spapr-vlan : A virtual network interface.
+* spapr-vscsi : A virtual SCSI disk interface.
+* spapr-rng : A pseudo-device for passing random number generator data to the
+  guest (see the `H_RANDOM hypercall feature
+  <https://wiki.qemu.org/Features/HRandomHypercall>`_ for details).

spapr-vty and tpm.

+These are compatible with the devices historically available for use when
+running the IBM PowerVM hypervisor with LPARs.
+However, since these devices have originally been specified with another
+hypervisor and non-Linux guests in mind, you should use the virtio counterparts
+(virtio-net, virtio-blk/scsi and virtio-rng) if possible instead, since they
+will most probably give you better performance with Linux guests in a QEMU
+The pseries machine in QEMU is always instantiated with a NVRAM device
+(``spapr-nvram``), so it is not needed to add this manually.

also a spapr-vty and a spapr-pci-host-bridge

However, if someone
+wants to make the contents of the NVRAM device persistent, they will need to
+specify a PFLASH device when starting QEMU, i.e. either use
+``-drive if=pflash,file=<filename>,format=raw`` to set the default PFLASH
+device, or specify one with an ID
+(``-drive if=none,file=<filename>,format=raw,id=pfid``) and pass that ID to the
+NVRAM device with ``-global spapr-nvram.drive=pfid``.
+Switching between the KVM-PR and KVM-HV kernel module
+Currently, there are two implementations of KVM on Power, ``kvm_hv.ko`` and
+If a host supports both KVM modes, and both KVM kernel modules are loaded, it 
+possible to switch between the two modes with the ``kvm-type`` parameter:
+* Use ``qemu-system-ppc64 -M pseries,accel=kvm,kvm-type=PR`` to use the
+  ``kvm_pr.ko`` kernel module.
+* Use ``qemu-system-ppc64 -M pseries,accel=kvm,kvm-type=HV`` to use 
+  instead.
+KVM-PR uses the so-called **PR**\ oblem state of the PPC CPUs to run the 
+i.e. the virtual machine is run in user mode and all privileged instructions
+trap and have to be emulated by the host. That means you can run KVM-PR inside
+a pseries guest (or a PowerVM LPAR for that matter), and that is where it has
+originated, as historically (prior to POWER7) it was not possible to run Linux
+on hypervisor mode on a Power processor (this function was restricted to
+PowerVM, the IBM proprietary hypervisor).
+Because all privileged instructions are trapped, guests that use a lot of
+privileged instructions run quite slow with KVM-PR. On the other hand, because
+of that, this kernel module can run on pretty much every PPC hardware, and is
+able to emulate a lot of guests CPUs. This module can even be used to run other
+PowerPC guests like an emulated PowerMac.
+As KVM-PR can be run inside a pseries guest, it can also provide nested
+virtualization capabilities (i.e. running a guest from within a guest).
+KVM-HV uses the hypervisor mode of more recent Power processors, that allow
+access to the bare metal hardware directly. Although POWER7 had this 
+it was only starting with POWER8 that this was officially supported by IBM.
+Originally, KVM-HV was only available when running on a powernv platform 
+Power bare metal). Although it runs on a powernv platform, it can only be used
+to start pseries guests. As the pseries guest doesn't have access to the
+hypervisor mode of the Power CPU, it wasn't possible to run KVM-HV on a guest.
+This limitation has been lifted, and now it is possible to run KVM-HV inside
+pseries guests as well, making nested virtualization possible with KVM-HV.
+As KVM-HV has access to privileged instructions, guests that use a lot of these
+can run much faster than with KVM-PR. On the other hand, the guest CPU has to 
+of the same type as the host CPU this way, e.g. it is not possible to specify 
+embedded PPC CPU for the guest with KVM-HV. However, there is at least the
+possibility to run the guest in a backward-compatibility mode of the previous
+CPUs generations, e.g. you can run a POWER7 guest on a POWER8 host by using
+``-cpu POWER8,compat=power7`` as parameter to QEMU.
+Modules support
+As noticed in the sections above, each module can run in a different
+environment. The following table shows with which environment each module can
+run. As long as you are in a supported environment, you can run KVM-PR or 
+nested. Combinations not shown in the table are not available.
+| Platform     | Host type  | Bits | Page table format | KVM-HV   | KVM-PR |
+| powernv      | bare metal | 32   | hash              | no       | yes    |
+|              |            |      +-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            |      | radix             | N/A      | N/A    |
+|              |            +------+-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            | 64   | hash              | yes      | yes    |
+|              |            |      +-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            |      | radix             | yes      | no     |
+| pseries [*]_ | powernv    | 32   | hash              | no       | yes    |
+|              |            |      +-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            |      | radix             | N/A      | N/A    |
+|              |            +------+-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            | 64   | hash              | no       | yes    |
+|              |            |      +-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            |      | radix             | yes [*]_ | no     |
+|              +------------+------+-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              | PowerVM    | 32   | hash              | no       | yes    |
+|              |            |      +-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            |      | radix             | N/A      | N/A    |
+|              |            +------+-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            | 64   | hash              | no       | yes    |
+|              |            |      +-------------------+----------+--------+
+|              |            |      | radix [*]_        | no       | yes    |

+.. [*] On POWER9 DD2.1 processors, the page table format on the host and guest
+   must be the same.
+.. [*] KVM-HV cannot run nested on POWER8 machines.
+.. [*] Introduced on Power10 machines.

Shouldn't we use numbers for the above notes ?

you could add references to other pages here.



+Maintainer contact information
+Cédric Le Goater <clg@kaod.org>
+Daniel Henrique Barboza <danielhb413@gmail.com>
\ No newline at end of file

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