kvm-ok: looking for a better home

Duncan M. McGreggor duncan at canonical.com
Sat Mar 6 00:39:05 GMT 2010

On Mar 5, 2010, at 5:26 PM, Dustin Kirkland wrote:

> Howdy-
> 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.

Yeah, Kevin McDermott and I ran into that last year when working on  
some virtualization stuff together.

> 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
> forward.

+1 for this latter suggestion. This feel correct intuitively; that's  
the sort of package I'd expect it to be in :-)


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