kvm-ok: looking for a better home

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at canonical.com
Sat Mar 6 00:26:37 GMT 2010


I'm looking for a bit of advice from the ubuntu-devel audience...

As many of you are aware, KVM is the preferred, supported hypervisor
in Ubuntu, but that it takes a CPU with a particular feature (svm|vmx)
to use.

A few years ago, we used to point our users to documentation to
determine if their CPU was capable of running KVM.  In Ubuntu, we
strive to do better than that.  So we created /usr/bin/kvm-ok, a
simple posix shell script that will tell a user if their CPU is
capable of VT, and furthermore, if this has been either disabled in
BIOS or if the kernel module is not loaded.  This script has been very
helpful to both Ubuntu Desktop and Server users.

Here's the hitch...  That script is currently provided by the qemu-kvm
package.  So a user must install qemu-kvm to run kvm-ok to tell them
if they can use KVM or not.  Chicken/egg.

Thus, for Lucid, I'd really like to find a better home for kvm-ok.
Ideally a relatively base package that gets installed on most Ubuntu
Desktops and Servers.  The script is merely 1.5KB.

The most similar script that I know in our distribution is
/usr/lib/update-notifier/check-bios-nx which is provided by
update-notifier-common.  I certainly wouldn't mind adding kvm-ok to
update-notifier-common, but I'm seeking your feedback first, as I'm
not sure that's entirely the most appropriate place for it.

My other suggestion would be to create a new package, call it
cpu-utils (a la pciutils?).  kvm-ok as well as check-bios-nx could
live there, and we could seed it appropriately into the desktop and
the server.  I could whip this up in a matter of minutes, and file the
appropriate MIR for the new package if that's deemed the best way

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions?  Ideas?

For your reference, this issue is tracked in this bug:
 * https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/qemu-kvm/+bug/429443


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