Re: Mentor of the Project "PCI frontend XEN PV driver"?

David Chisnall theraven at FreeBSD.org
Fri Apr 12 07:22:06 UTC 2013


On 12 Apr 2013, at 05:13, "Justin T. Gibbs" <gibbs at freebsd.org> wrote:

> This particular project was proposed for last year's GSoC when both attilio at FreeBSD.org and I were actively working on full Xen PV support for FreeBSD.  That project still continues, but at a slower pace due to changing needs at our respective employers.  Given the lack of maturity of our Xen PV port, I think this would be a difficult project to attempt at this time.
> 
> If you are interested in Xen and have access to x86 hardware with HVM capabilities, writing a SCSI or USB PV frontend for FreeBSD is a better project to select. FreeBSD's Xen HVM support is very robust and, unlike the PCI frontend driver, these drivers can be developed using an HVM guest.  The resulting drivers should work equally well in full PV mode (with perhaps a few minor tweaks) when it is better supported.
> 
> I will update the wiki sometime tomorrow with more information on Xen projects that are appropriate for this year's GSoC.

Do we support PHV mode in Xen yet?  If not, then this might be a good GSoC project.  Most of the effort - it uses the PV boot mechanism, but then the HVM pmap and PV drivers (including event channels, no APIC emulation).  Unlike the PV mode, it won't require us to maintain two i386 pmap implementations for the increasingly rare case of trying to run FreeBSD VMs on CPUs without virtualisation support, and it doesn't have the QEMU overhead in dom0 that HVM does (even when you're using fully PV devices, you still need it to boot), and which causes hosting providers to charge more for HVM.

David



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