October 12th, 2006

  • k001

Progress report on the mainstream Linux kernel

Good news for all of us on the virtualization front!

The latest prepatch for the stable Linux kernel tree, 2.6.19-rc1, now includes some pieces of OS-level virtualization from OpenVZ, IBM, and Eric Biederman. Those patches have been sitting in -mm (Andrew Morton’s) tree for some time already, and now, during the “2.6.19 merge window,” Andrew has submitted them to Linus Torvalds. So it’s now a part of “vanilla” Linux, and will be finally released as a part of the 2.6.19 kernel when it is released.

So, what exactly went into the Linux kernel? Essentially, three sets of patches that implementing three features needed for any OS-level virtualization solution. Collapse )

I am really happy it is a community work and a community process (like I said before). We see different parties bringing in code and expertize, reviewing each other's code, making suggestions, exchanging ideas and improving things — to everybody's benefit!

These are just the first steps. Much more is needed to have full OS-level virtualization in the mainstream Linux kernel. Don’t worry — we are already working on that. A few days ago Kirill sent another iteration (v5) of beancounter patchset for further review and possible inclusion. Beancounters can be used to implement per-VE limits and guarantees for certain resources such as memory.