Tag Archives: virt-what

virt-what – an open ended problem

Yesterday’s virt-what problem

If the qemu -cpu flag is used then “QEMU” no longer appears in /proc/cpuinfo, so virt-what fails to detect virtualization. Simple workaround of detecting KVMKVMKVM leaf in CPUID doesn’t work because Parallels Desktop also exports the same leaf (why?!?). A more complex fix is required.

Today’s virt-what problem

Xen full virt guests on IA64 are reportedly not detected by virt-what. I say “reportedly” because obviously no one uses IA64. So the first task is to locate an IA64 system, which I eventually manage (thanks Alexander Todorov). Secondly how to run the CPUID instruction on IA64 (thanks Paolo Bonzini). Thirdly to work out that there is nothing in CPUID which indicates virtualization on this peculiar platform. Number four to come up with a test (thanks again Paolo). Number five to write a patch and test everything several times over to make sure nothing has been broken or regressed …



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virt-what 1.7, now supports Linux VServer, IBM SystemZ, Citrix Xen, EC2

Thanks for everyone who responded to my call for testing virt-what. As a result we’ve been able to add support for Linux VServer, IBM SystemZ (LPAR and z/VM) for people with large wallets and strong floors, and more.

Thank especially to Barış Metin, Dan Horák, Bhavna Sarathy, Matthew Booth, Don Dutile, Justin Clift, Marek Goldmann.

Source tarballs, and manual page.

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virt-what 1.4, more hypervisors, needs testing

In virt-what 1.4 we’ve expanded the range of hypervisors detected to include some enterprise systems like IBM PowerVM Lx86 and Hitachi Virtage.

However we need your help! Throw virt-what on your guests and see if it can properly detect the hypervisor.

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Half-baked ideas: random root passwords for VMs

For more half-baked ideas, see my “ideas” tag.

This is an easy idea to simplify Fedora installations.

When anaconda detects it is running inside a VM, instead of asking the user for a root password, it just creates a completely random root password. This password gets written to a local file during the install.

Now you can’t log into a VM easily if you don’t know the root password. But, you can read files out of the VM using virt-cat. So on the host there is a “ssh as root” script which grabs the random root password out of the guest and lets you log in without knowing or needing to know the root password.


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