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[Discuss] choice of hypervisor (was gracefully shutdown guests)

On 06/05/2013 11:18 AM, Matthew Gillen wrote:
> On 06/03/2013 12:52 PM, Edward Ned Harvey (blu) wrote:
>> Before there was kvm, there was xen.  And to this day, they both
>> still exist and going strong.  But I think redhat and debian (Or
>> Linus?  Somebody) didn't like the direction xen was going (or
>> something like that) so a couple years ago, they switched over to kvm
>> by default instead of xen.
> The history is a little more convoluted.  Redhat got on board with Xen 
> because at the time it was the more advanced solution.  With RH's 
> backing (it was the default virtualization solution in RHEL for some 
> time) Xen got a lot of early traction.  The problem was the patchset 
> to enable Xen was pretty invasive, and Linus hated it.
> Linus much preferred the QEMU/KVM approach, and basically said he'd 
> never bring Xen into the mainline.  Since RH has a policy (a wise one 
> IMHO) to push their own improvements to the upstream projects, they 
> were left in a bind: if they continued with Xen, the maintenance of 
> Xen would be entirely up to them.  That was a losing proposition.
> So basically at this point everyone has thrown their lot in with 
> QEMU/KVM and Xen is pretty much abandoned except for some researchers.
>> I have never been very impressed with either xen or kvm,
> I've been pretty happy lately with Win7 as a kvm guest on my laptop, 
> but it was only usable once I had a laptop with a boatload of memory.  
> YMMV, obviously; I'm not using win7 for any media playback, it's 
> pretty much strictly to run M$ Office.
I've used VMware, VirtualBox and KVM/QEMU. On my Acer Aspire One, I had 
VBox installed with both Ubuntu and Windows XP as guests and both can 
run simultaneously. It is not a situation I recommend, but I bought the 
netbook to make presentations with. Unfortunately, I put on another OS 
(Fedora 18) as a demo for the Installfest, and I have not reinstalled 
VBox, so I can't comment on the OPs post.

Also, WRT: Xen is a different architecture than the traditional 
virtualized system. With the traditional virtualized system, you simply 
load up standard system. With Xen, you need a paravirtualized guest. For 
performance, I've heard all sorts of things from people at VMWare and 
Ian Pratt. My personal preference is VirtualBox. I've been able to load 
VMWare VMDK filesas well as other systems. The bottom line for 
virtualization is memory. If you are going to run an OS as a guest, give 
it more than its minimum. And hopefully, IVBox won't contain a video by 
Larry Ellison requesting payment. so he can support his private island.

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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