[kata-dev] Fast booting KVM guests w/o firmware and Qemu pc-lite

Boeuf, Sebastien sebastien.boeuf at intel.com
Mon Apr 2 20:45:33 UTC 2018

Thanks Maran,

This would indeed push Kata in the right direction regarding the optimizations needed for boot time.

From: Maran Wilson [maran.wilson at oracle.com]
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2018 1:40 PM
To: kata-dev at lists.katacontainers.io
Cc: jesse.butler at oracle.com
Subject: [kata-dev] Fast booting KVM guests w/o firmware and Qemu pc-lite

There was some discussion about Qemu pc-lite vs upstream Qemu in the
Architecture Committee meeting today. As Jesse Butler briefly mentioned
on Slack, a few of us have been working on upstreaming a different
approach to starting KVM guests without firmware that should be more
acceptable for upstream maintainers. We are treating it as a more
general purpose interface, but hopefully this framework will go a long
way towards closing the gap between pc-lite and upstream Qemu in terms
of guest startup time for solutions like Kata containers.

We have already posted a set of Linux kernel patches upstream that seem
to be well received so far by the community. See
https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/3/20/717 for the latest version. We are
currently working on cleaning up the corresponding Qemu patches and
getting them ready for upstream review as well. Based on the RFC
discussions we have had with upstream maintainers regarding high level
design, I'm cautiously optimistic that we won't run into any deal
breakers when we do post the qemu patches.

The high level idea is that we could use this approach to achieve the
same goal of booting directly to the uncompressed Linux kernel (without
running firmware), but in a way that is acceptable to the upstream
community since we aren't introducing any new Linux OS specific
(zero-page) initialization in Qemu.

So for anyone interested in the Qemu/KVM side of Kata containers and how
we might be able to start VMs more quickly, please take a look at the
patches we have posted so far and feel free to join the discussion on
the upstream mailing lists.


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