On Fri, 4 Aug 2006, Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-08-03 at 22:53 -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
>> On Fri, 04 Aug 2006 15:04:35 +1000
>> Rusty Russell <rusty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On Thu, 2006-08-03 at 21:18 -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
>>> Everywhere in the kernel where we have multiple implementations we want
>>> to select at runtime, we use an ops struct. Why should the choice of
>>> Xen/VMI/native/other be any different?
>> VMI is being proposed as an appropriate way to connect Linux to Xen. If
>> that is true then no other glue is needed.
> Sorry, this is wrong. VMI was proposed as the appropriate way to
> connect Linux to Xen, *and* native, *and* VMWare's hypervisors (and
> others). This way one Linux binary can boot on all three, using
> different VMI blobs.
>>> Yes, we could force native and Xen to work via VMI, but the result would
>>> be less clear, less maintainable, and gratuitously different from
>>> elsewhere in the kernel.
>> I suspect others would disagree with that. We're at the stage of needing
>> to see code to settle this.
> Wrong again. We've *seen* the code for VMI, and fairly hairy. Seeing
> the native-implementation and Xen-implementation VMI blobs will not make
> it less hairy!
>>> And, of course, unlike paravirt_ops where we
>>> can change and add ops at any time, we can't similarly change the VMI
>>> interface because it's an ABI (that's the point: the hypervisor can
>>> provide the implementation).
>> hm. Dunno. ABIs can be uprevved. Perhaps.
> Certainly VMI can be. But I'd prefer to leave the excellent hackers at
> VMWare with the task of maintaining their ABI, and let Linux hackers
> (most of whom will run native) manipulate paravirt_ops freely.
> We're not good at maintaining ABIs. We're going to be especially bad at
> maintaining an ABI when the 99% of us running native will never notice
> the breakage.
some questions from a user. pleas point out where I am misunderstanding things.
one of the big uses of virtualization will be to run things in sandboxes, when
people do this they typicaly migrate the sandbox from system to system over time
(working with chroot sandboxes I've seen some HUGE skews between what's running
in the sandbox and what's running in the host). If the interface between the
guest kernel and the hypervisor isn't fixed how could somone run a 2.6.19 guest
and a 2.6.30 guest at the same time?
if it's only a source-level API this implies that when you move your host kernel
from 2.6.19 to 2.6.25 you would need to recompile your 2.6.19 guest kernel to
support the modifications. where are the patches going to come from to do this?
It seems to me from reading this thread that the PowerPC and S390 have a ABI
defined, specificly defined by the hardware in the case of PowerPC and by the
externaly maintained, Linux-independant hypervisor (which is effectivly the
hardware) in the case of the s390.
If there's going to be long-term compatability between different hosts and
guests there need some limits to what can change.
needing to uprev the host when you uprev a guest is acceptable
needing to uprev a guest when you uprev a host is not.
this basicly boils down to 'once you expose an interface to a user it can't
change', with the interface that's being exposed being the calls that the guest
makes to the host.