[kata-dev] Supported OSes, packaging plans for the future & some ideas

Samuel Ortiz sameo at linux.intel.com
Wed Aug 12 07:05:36 UTC 2020

Hi Fabio,

Sorry for missing yesterday's call as well, and thanks for starting that
discussion. See my answers below:

On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 11:09:16PM +0200, Fabiano FidĂȘncio wrote:
> Stop building & distributing our own VMMs
> =================================
> While I understand the reason why it's done, it'd be better to rely on
> the VMMs shipped by the distros.
> In order to do this, we'd have to either approach the distros, or to
> do the tests ourselves, to ensure that their latest release has a VMM
> that's capable of running kata. If the distro has that, we document we
> support the distro. If the distro does not have that, we can provide
> instructions on how to build the VMM, but we take out of our back the
> work of building it statically and shipping to the consumers.

Given the specific configurations that we require/advise for from our
VMMs, and given that out of all the VMMs that we support the only one
that's actually distro shipped is QEMU (obviously very generically
configured builds of QEMU...), I'd disagree with that.

> With this, we can do better testing on specific distros and ensure to
> possible consumers of kata where they can run the project and, with
> that, also forward the non kata specific issues to the distros
> themselves.
> Keep building the kernel
> ===================
> Differently than the suggestion about the VMM, the kernel bits, IMHO,
> should still be built. The kernels we build can be used upstream, but
> we must ensure those are under no circumstances ready for
> production.

I agree although I am not sure how we can verify that our kernel is not
production ready. We can only document the fact that this is mostly a
testing kernel that comes with a kernel config that can be used as a

> Why? Because we have no power to track and fix CVEs as the
> distros do.


> So, we can keep shipping our own kernel and testing using it, but we
> should also incentive distros to use (and test) their own kernels with
> kata. The reason I say this is because it'd help the project to *not*
> require a distro to ship a non-tested kernel,

I agree here as well. I am not sure if we actually _require_ distros to
ship a non tested kernel. I think it should be the other way around: If
a distro kernel can boot as a Kata guest, we should work with the distro
to fix that.

> Stop building & distributing our own distro packages
> ========================================
> While I also understand that building the packages for several distros
> may help the users, I don't think this is something that should be on
> the kata developer's back.
> For this, I'd suggest we take advantage of the kata-operator, being
> worked by Harshal and Jens Freimann, and consolidate on that as the
> way to install kata in your distro.
> I foresee that we have to write some kind of "kata-osinfo" package (as
> in, a module, not as in an rpm or deb), where we can store information
> about the distro, which are the VMMs supported by the distro, which
> are the virt filesystems supported by that distro, etc;  By doing this
> we can rely on a good documentation, or even on the operator to
> install the packages based on the info of each distro, but the only
> bit we'll distribute will be the kata binaries themselves.

I like that approach. Could you ellaborate on what kata-osinfo would
looks like?


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