qemu-kvm changes coming...

Dustin Kirkland kirkland at ubuntu.com
Fri Aug 21 20:11:07 UTC 2009

(I hope to evoke the diplomacy demonstrated by our revered Colin
Watson when he tells you that grub2 *might* eat your kittens.)

Ubuntu's virtualization packages (kvm, qemu -> qemu-kvm) are about to
undergo a change that might introduce some inconveniences over the
next few days.  Hopefully not.  But maybe.  As discussed at UDS,
 * https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/server-karmic-kvm-qemu-packaging

I'm writing here to warn you about this, and invite you to file bug
reports as necessary.  My apologies in advance for any issues.
 * https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/qemu-kvm/+filebug

Basically, a single qemu-kvm package (currently in Universe -- please,
by all means, start testing it now! -- but moving to Main soon, LP:
#417107) will replace the kvm package (which will become a stub
transitional package depending on qemu-kvm).  A second binary package,
qemu-kvm-extras, will provide all of the non-x86, non-accelerated
architectures traditionally provided by qemu (which should also become
a stub transitional package).

If you're a libvirt user (ie, virsh, virt-manager, eucalyptus, etc),
you shouldn't notice any change.  If you do, well that's a bug.
Please help shake those out before we unleash Karmic on our non-devel

Why the changes?  Having two different copies of the same code (kvm,
qemu) has been very painful from a maintenance perspective.  Security
fixes and CVEs have to be rolled against multiple source packages,
built, verified, etc.  Fortunately, the upstream projects are merging
(which will hopefully be complete around our next Ubuntu release), and
the qemu-kvm releases provided by upstream are the first step in that
direction.  Furthermore, the upstream projects are also committing to
provide support and fixes that apply to the qemu-kvm branch (but not
for the kvm and qemu releases, which are intended for developers
only).  The kernel pieces of kvm are now significantly more mature,
and are already in our Ubuntu kernels.

What if you still want to run qemu?  We have setup daily builds (qemu,
qemu-kvm, libvirt) in the ~ubuntu-virt Launchpad PPA.  If you're
interested in bleeding edge qemu, qemu-kvm, or libvirt, I invite you
to use those.
 * https://edge.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-virt/+archive/virt-daily-upstream


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