ubuntu virtualization options when no HW virt support?

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Sun Jun 27 00:18:48 UTC 2010

On 26 June 2010 10:58, Robert P. J. Day <rpjday at crashcourse.ca> wrote:
>  i wanted to put together a short document on simple virt options on
> ubuntu and wanted to start with what you could do with a simple
> 32-bit system with no HW virtualization support.
>  if memory serves, stock qemu doesn't require HW virt support, so i'm
> certainly free to use qemu as the "simplest" possible solution.  but
> these days, ubuntu has taken to bundling qemu with kvm (for acceptable
> reasons, i might add).  the actual package these days is qemu-kvm, but
> checking the page info shows:
> "KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization
> solution for Linux hosts on x86 (32 and 64-bit) hardware.
> "KVM is intended for systems where the processor has hardware support
> for virtualization, see below for details.  All combinations of 32-bit
> and 64-bit host and guest systems are supported, except 64-bit guests
> on 32-bit hosts.
> "KVM requires your system to support hardware virtualization, provided
> by AMD's SVM capability or Intel's VT."
>  so, if i follow this, i can run qemu with no HW virt support, but if
> i want to improve qemu's performance with kvm (as most people will
> want to do), then *that* requies HW virt support, is that about right?

Not quite.

QEMU is a standalone multi-architecture emulator. It can, amongst
other things, do x86.

KVM is a Linux kernel module which uses Intel VT or AMD-V to offer
x86-on-x86 virtualisation, but it needs the hardware support. It will
not work without.

KVM uses part of QEMU for the UI for creating and managing its VMs.

QEMU is far from the simplest option for VM on Ubuntu, which is
probably VirtualBox. The Free but limited Open Source Edition is in
the repositories but for most users it is probably preferable to
download the full product from www.virtualbox.org

Other freeware options are VMware Player and VMware Server.

For server virtualisation, not consumer desktop virtualisation, there
is Xen and KVM, but both require hardware virtualisation support.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamproven
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