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Date:   Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:03:27 -0500
From:   Boris Ostrovsky <>
To:     Roger Pau Monné <>,
        Juergen Gross <>
Cc:     Maran Wilson <>,,,,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH] KVM: x86: Allow Qemu/KVM to use PVH entry point

On 11/29/2017 03:50 AM, Roger Pau Monné wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 09:21:59AM +0100, Juergen Gross wrote:
>> On 28/11/17 20:34, Maran Wilson wrote:
>>> For certain applications it is desirable to rapidly boot a KVM virtual
>>> machine. In cases where legacy hardware and software support within the
>>> guest is not needed, Qemu should be able to boot directly into the
>>> uncompressed Linux kernel binary without the need to run firmware.
>>> There already exists an ABI to allow this for Xen PVH guests and the ABI is
>>> supported by Linux and FreeBSD:
> I would also add a link to:
>>> This PoC patch enables Qemu to use that same entry point for booting KVM
>>> guests.
>>> Even though the code is still PoC quality, I'm sending this as an RFC now
>>> since there are a number of different ways the specific implementation
>>> details can be handled. I chose a shared code path for Xen and KVM guests
>>> but could just as easily create a separate code path that is advertised by
>>> a different ELF note for KVM. There also seems to be some flexibility in
>>> how the e820 table data is passed and how (or if) it should be identified
>>> as e820 data. As a starting point, I've chosen the options that seem to
>>> result in the smallest patch with minimal to no changes required of the
>>> x86/HVM direct boot ABI.
>> I like the idea.
>> I'd rather split up the different hypervisor types early and use a
>> common set of service functions instead of special casing xen_guest
>> everywhere. This would make it much easier to support the KVM PVH
>> boot without the need to configure the kernel with CONFIG_XEN.
>> Another option would be to use the same boot path as with grub: set
>> the boot params in zeropage and start at startup_32.
> I think I prefer this approach since AFAICT it should allow for
> greater code share with the common boot path.

zeropage is x86/Linux-specific so we'd need some sort of firmware (like
grub) between a hypervisor and Linux to convert hvm_start_info to


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