KVM (简体中文)

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KVM(Kernel-based Virtual Machine的英文缩写)是内核内建的虚拟机。有点类似于 Xen ,但更追求更简便的运作,比如运行此虚拟机,仅需要加载相应的 kvm 模块即可后台待命。和 Xen 的完整模拟不同的是,KVM 需要芯片支持虚拟化技术(英特尔的 VT 扩展或者 AMD 的 AMD-V 扩展)。

在KVM中,可以运行各种未更改的GNU/Linux, Windows 或任何其他系统镜像。(请看客户机支持状态),每个虚拟机都可提供独享的虚拟硬件:网卡,硬盘,显卡等。请看 KVM Howto

KVM, Xen, VMware, 和 QEMU 的不同,请看这里KVM FAQ.




$ lscpu



$ grep -E "(vmx|svm)" --color=always /proc/cpuinfo


注意: 您可能需要在BIOS中启用虚拟化支持


Arch Linux的内核提供了相应的内核模块来支持KVM和VIRTIO


如果你的内核是用 CONFIG_IKCONFIG_PROC 这个选项编译的话,你可以通过以下命令来检查你的内核是否已经包含了支持虚拟化所必须的模块(kvmkvm_amdkvm_intel这两者中的任意一个):

$ zgrep KVM /proc/config.gz

如果模块设置不等于 ym,则该模块可用

Para-virtualized devices

Para-virtualization provides a fast and efficient means of communication for guests to use devices on the host machine. KVM provides para-virtualized devices to virtual machines using the Virtio API as a layer between the hypervisor and guest.

All virtio devices have two parts: the host device and the guest driver.

VIRTIO modules

Use the following command to check if needed modules are available:

$ zgrep VIRTIO /proc/config.gz

Loading kernel modules

First, check if the kernel modules are automatically loaded. This should be the case with recent versions of udev.

$ lsmod | grep kvm
$ lsmod | grep virtio

In case the above commands return nothing, you need to load kernel modules.

Tip: If modprobing kvm_intel or kvm_amd fails but modprobing kvm succeeds, (and lscpu claims that hardware acceleration is supported), check your BIOS settings. Some vendors (especially laptop vendors) disable these processor extensions by default. To determine whether there's no hardware support or there is but the extensions are disabled in BIOS, the output from dmesg after having failed to modprobe will tell.

List of para-virtualized devices

  • network device (virtio-net)
  • block device (virtio-blk)
  • controller device (virtio-scsi)
  • serial device (virtio-serial)
  • balloon device (virtio-balloon)




注意: 请参考QEMU#Tips and tricksQEMU#Troubleshooting词条。


Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: 这是否可以被用在kvm_amd模块上? (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)


# modprobe -r kvm_intel
# modprobe kvm_intel nested=1

使嵌套虚拟化永久生效(请参考Kernel modules#Setting module options):

options kvm_intel nested=1


$ systool -m kvm_intel -v | grep nested
    nested              = "Y"


$ qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -cpu host


$ grep vmx /proc/cpuinfo

Live snapshots

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with libvirt.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: virsh is part of libvirt (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)

A feature called external snapshotting allows one to take a live snapshot of a virtual machine without turning it off. Currently it only works with qcow2 and raw file based images.

Once a snapshot is created, KVM attaches that new snapshotted image to virtual machine that is used as its new block device, storing any new data directly to it while the original disk image is taken offline which you can easily copy or backup. After that you can merge the snapshotted image to the original image, again without shutting down your virtual machine.

Here's how it works.

Current running vm

# virsh list --all
Id    Name                           State
3     archey                            running

List all its current images

# virsh domblklist archey 
Target     Source
vda        /vms/archey.img

Notice the image file properties

# qemu-img info /vms/archey.img
image: /vms/archey.img
file format: qcow2
virtual size: 50G (53687091200 bytes)
disk size: 2.1G
cluster_size: 65536

Create a disk-only snapshot. The switch --atomic makes sure that the VM is not modified if snapshot creation fails.

# virsh snapshot-create-as archey snapshot1 --disk-only --atomic

List if you want to see the snapshots

# virsh snapshot-list archey
Name                 Creation Time             State
snapshot1           2012-10-21 17:12:57 -0700 disk-snapshot

Notice the new snapshot image created by virsh and its image properties. It weighs just a few MiBs and is linked to its original "backing image/chain".

# qemu-img info /vms/archey.snapshot1
image: /vms/archey.snapshot1
file format: qcow2
virtual size: 50G (53687091200 bytes)
disk size: 18M
cluster_size: 65536
backing file: /vms/archey.img

At this point, you can go ahead and copy the original image with cp -sparse=true or rsync -S. Then you can merge the original image back into the snapshot.

# virsh blockpull --domain archey --path /vms/archey.snapshot1

Now that you have pulled the blocks out of original image, the file /vms/archey.snapshot1 becomes the new disk image. Check its disk size to see what it means. After that is done, the original image /vms/archey.img and the snapshot metadata can be deleted safely. The virsh blockcommit would work opposite to blockpull but it seems to be currently under development in qemu-kvm 1.3 (including snapshot-revert feature), scheduled to be released sometime next year.

This new feature of KVM will certainly come handy to the people who like to take frequent live backups without risking corruption of the file system.

Poor Man's Networking

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with QEMU.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: This section is not KVM-specific, it's generally applicable to all QEMU VMs. (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)

Setting up bridged networking can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. If the sole purpose of the VM is experimentation, one strategy to connect the host and the guests is to use SSH tunneling.

The basic steps are as follows:

  • Setup an SSH server in the host OS
  • (optional) Create a designated user used for the tunneling (e.g. tunneluser)
  • Install SSH in the VM
  • Setup authentication

See: SSH for the setup of SSH, especially SSH#Forwarding other ports.

When using the default user network stack, the host is reachable at address

Tango-edit-clear.pngThis article or section needs language, wiki syntax or style improvements.Tango-edit-clear.png

Reason: Usage of /etc/rc.local is discouraged. This should be a proper systemd service file. (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)

If everything works and you can SSH into the host, simply add something like the following to your /etc/rc.local

# Local SSH Server
echo "Starting SSH tunnel"
sudo -u vmuser ssh tunneluser@ -N -R 2213: -f
# Random remote port (e.g. from another VM)
echo "Starting random tunnel"
sudo -u vmuser ssh tunneluser@ -N -L 2345: -f

In this example a tunnel is created to the SSH server of the VM and an arbitrary port of the host is pulled into the VM.

This is a quite basic strategy to do networking with VMs. However, it is very robust and should be quite sufficient most of the time.

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: Isn't this option enough? I think it should have the same effect: -redir tcp:2222: (it redirects port 2222 from host to, where is guest's IP address. (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)

Enabling huge pages

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: With systemd, hugetlbfs is mounted on /dev/hugepages by default, but with mode 0755 and root's uid and gid. (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with QEMU.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: qemu-kvm[broken link: replaced by qemu] no longer exists as all of its features have been merged into qemu. After the above issue is cleared, I suggest merging this section into QEMU. (Discuss in Talk:KVM (简体中文)#)

You may also want to enable hugepages to improve the performance of your virtual machine. With an up to date Arch Linux and a running KVM you probably already have everything you need. Check if you have the directory /dev/hugepages. If not create it. Now we need the right permissions to use this directory. Check if the group kvm exist and if you are member of this group. This should be the case if you already have a running virtual machine.

$ getent group kvm

Add to your /etc/fstab:

hugetlbfs       /dev/hugepages  hugetlbfs       mode=1770,gid=78        0 0

Of course the gid must match that of the kvm group. The mode of 1770 allows anyone in the group to create files but not unlink or rename each other's files. Make sure /dev/hugepages is mounted properly:

# umount /dev/hugepages
# mount /dev/hugepages
$ mount | grep huge
hugetlbfs on /dev/hugepages type hugetlbfs (rw,relatime,mode=1770,gid=78)

Now you can calculate how many hugepages you need. Check how large your hugepages are:

$ cat /proc/meminfo | grep Hugepagesize

Normally that should be 2048 kB ≙ 2 MB. Let's say you want to run your virtual machine with 1024 MB. 1024 / 2 = 512. Add a few extra so we can round this up to 550. Now tell your machine how many hugepages you want:

# echo 550 > /proc/sys/vm/nr_hugepages

If you had enough free memory you should see:

$ cat /proc/meminfo | grep HugePages_Total
HugesPages_Total:  550

If the number is smaller, close some applications or start your virtual machine with less memory (number_of_pages x 2):

$ qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -m 1024 -mem-path /dev/hugepages -hda <disk_image> [...]

Note the -mem-path parameter. This will make use of the hugepages.

Now you can check, while your virtual machine is running, how many pages are used:

$ cat /proc/meminfo | grep HugePages
HugePages_Total:     550
HugePages_Free:       48
HugePages_Rsvd:        6
HugePages_Surp:        0

Now that everything seems to work you can enable hugepages by default if you like. Add to your /etc/sysctl.d/80-hugepages.conf:

vm.nr_hugepages = 550

See also:

See also