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21 May 2013, 10:36

QEMU 1.5: GPU pass-through and ARM support

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Qemu logo The recently released QEMU 1.5 supports virtualisation with KVM on the Cortex A15 series of ARM cores. Another new addition is an experimental feature for passing through graphics chips from the host to the guest via VFIO; however, the feature is currently only thought to work reliably with some of the graphics chips. Both features rely on Linux kernel support that became available with Linux 3.9.

Also new is the tcm_vhost support that has allowed Linux kernels since 3.6 to pass through a host's CSI devices to KVM guests without much overhead. The cpu-add QMP command now allows the number of CPU cores that are available to a guest to be increased at runtime. QEMU 1.5 can also read Microsoft's VHDX virtual hard-disk image format and make available the PVSCSI (paravirtual SCSI) and VMXNET3 (paravirtualised Ethernet) devices that are usually emulated by VMware products.

QEMU is a system emulator which is usually found providing the emulation of system devices and services within virtualisation platforms such as KVM and Xen but it can also be used independently as it has its own processor emulation too. One addition to the new release to support this independent operation is a new native GTK+ user interface.

Further details on QEMU are available in the new version's release announcement and in the change log.



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