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.
At time of writing, Fedora includes full support for the following virtualization technologies
- KVM hosts support for fully virtualized guests. 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.
- 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).
- Xen paravirtualized guests supported from install media. NB Xen Dom0 host support was dropped after Fedora 8, its re-introduction blocked on the inclusion of Xen Dom0 support in upstream Linux.
- xenner is a utility which allows paravirtualized Xen guests to be run using KVM.
A number of 3rd parties provide add-on packages for other virtualization technologies. OpenVZ and Linux-VServer, both provide container based virutalization which can partition a single OS into several isolated zones -- a chroot with much stronger resource isolation. VirtualBox provides a full virtualization technology which does not require hardware virtualization extensions.
Anticipating this diversification of technology, since the days of Fedora Core 5, all core management applications have been built on top of the libvirt toolkit, which offers a technology independent API for managing virtual systems.
Fedora Core 5 was the first release to include Xen as a core integrated technology. The new Linux native virtualiation, KVM, was introduced to Fedora 7. For a more detailed account of virtualization progress in Fedora, consult the Virtualization History page.
There is semi-regular coverage of Virtualization news in Fedora Weekly News, and more detailed status updates posted to the fedora-virt Mailing List. For ease of reference, there is an archive of virtualization news
See getting started with virtualization for an excellent overview to using the virtualization capabilities in Fedora.
If you wish to help triaging and fixing virtualization bugs, virtualization bugs is a good starting point.
Mailing List & IRC
Here's a catalogue of all the virtualization related packages in Fedora:
provides e.g. the kvm hypervisor core (kvm.ko), support for running as KVM and Xen guests etc.
is a CPU and device emulator; it also acts as the userspace component of KVM
is a toolkit for interacting with the various virtualization technologies
provides the xen hypervisor and userspace components
allows Xen guests to be run on KVM
PC BIOS for QEMU
PXE boot ROMs for QEMU
video BIOS for QEMU
sparc/ppc BIOS for QEMU
is a desktop user interface for managing virtual machines
is used by virt-manager to connect to a virtual machine's graphical console
provides a python API for installing virtual machines, and a bunch of useful utilitis like virt-install and virt-clone
provides an API and tools for accessing and modifying virtual machine disk images
is a GNOME applet for monitoring and controlling virtual machines
is a top-like utilitiy for virtual machines
provides tools for monitor virtual machines - e.g. virt-uname, virt-dmesg and virt-ps
virt-df is df for virtual machines
gathers statistics from within virtual machines
enables the building of virtual appliance images
is a network boot server that can be used to provision virtual machines
used to provide the userspace component of the kvm hypervisor. It has since been replaced by qemu