This page covers the efforts to integrate various virtualization technologies into Fedora.
Virtualization allows one to run many guest virtual machines on top of a host operating system such as Fedora. What this means is that using one computer, you can mimic several individual computers and even run different operating systems in each of these virtual machines. There are many different virtualization technologies, including both free and open source software and proprietary offerings.
Fedora has also long included QEMU, a fast CPU emulator capable of virtualizing OS on both native and non-native architectures (such as allowing a PowerPC OS to run on x86_64).
Fedora Core 5 was the first release to include Xen virtualization, which supports paravirtualization of a modified operating system (OS), or, with hardware support, full virtualization of any native OS. Since Fedora 8, Fedora has not included Xen Dom0 support, pending the inclusion of said support in upstream Linux.
Fedora 7 was the first release to include support for KVM, which is a hypervisor included in the Linux kernel which requires hardware virtualization support like Intel VT or AMD-V. KVM is currently the main focus of Fedora's virtualization efforts. xenner is a utility which allows Xen guests to be run using KVM.
Yet another type of virtualization is the containers approach used by OpenVZ, which can partition a single OS into several isolated zones -- a chroot with much stronger resource isolation.
Anticipating this diversification of technology, management applications for Fedora have been built on top of the libvirt toolkit, which offers a technology independent API for managing virtual systems.
The "quick start" page gives an excellent overview to using the virtualization capabilities in Fedora.
Here's a catalogue of all the virtualization related packages in Fedora:
- kernel provides e.g. the kvm hypervisor core (kvm.ko), support for running as KVM and Xen guests etc.
- kvm provides the userspace component of the kvm hypervisor
- xen provides the xen hypervisor and userspace components
- xenner allows Xen guests to be rnu on KVM
- qemu is a CPU and device emulator
- libvirt is a toolkit for interacting with the various virtualization technologies
- virt-manager is a desktop user interface for managing virtual machines
- virt-viewer is used by virt-manager to connect to a virtual machine's graphical console
- python-virtinst provides a python API for installing virtual machines, and a bunch of useful utilitis like virt-install and virt-clone
- gnome-applet-vm is a GNOME applet for monitoring and controlling virtual machines
- virt-top is a top-like utilitiy for virtual machines
- virt-mem provides tools for monitor virtual machines - e.g. virt-uname, virt-dmesg and virt-ps
- virt-df virt-df is df for virtual machines
- collectd-virt gathers statistics from within virtual machines
- appliance-tools enables the building of virtual appliance images
- cobbler is a network boot server that can be used to provision virtual machines