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Date:   Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:11:12 +0100
From:   Juergen Gross <>
To:     Boris Ostrovsky <>,
        Roger Pau Monné <>
Cc:     Maran Wilson <>,,,,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH] KVM: x86: Allow Qemu/KVM to use PVH entry point

On 29/11/17 15:03, Boris Ostrovsky wrote:
> 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
> bootparams.



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