SecurityXploded Blog

Hypervisor @ FOSS.IN

One of the big event in the IT arena, FOSS.IN is taking place at Bangalore, the IT capital of India. It is fully packed with various presentations from big-wigs of open source community presenting some of the new stuffs and giving insight into the latest FOSS activities taking place across the world.

 

I went there with the intention to catch up with some of the kernel presentation, mainly to attend hypervisor talk by Rusty Russel. This Hypervisor is the buzz word now a days with every one cross the globe talking about the virtualization.

Morning session started with the presentation on kernel hacking by James Morris. We went there with the great expectation with lot of excitement. Well, throughout the presentation, James just talked about the process of preparing new bee to get ready for kernel coding. There was no talk about kernel code, no hacking, not even single technical stuff. For a moment, I felt that I could have put up better presentation than him about some of my recent discoveries which are yet to be published. James knows his stuff, but looks like the presentation was targeted to different audience.

Next event was the lunch, that was in fact the main part. Sitting on the grass and eating with colleagues from Novell, rehearsing the old memories was a good experience.

After noon, we went to the Hypervisor presentation with less hopes as we did not want to disappoint ourselves again 🙂 . Contradictory to our expectations, Rusty Russel just rocked the show with highly technical insight into the hypervisor, lGuest with the nice mix of humour that kept every one awake till the end of presentation.

Since not many people have heard of this little kid in the virtualization arena, let me give brief introduction about it here. LGuest is the simple x86 hypervisor, allows you to run multiple copies of the same 32-bit Linux kernel. It is very good for the people who are new to this virtualization world and may want to expand lGuest or develop their own hypervisor…!

In the presentation, Rusty talked about some of the internal working of lGuest such as how the switching occurs from the host system to ghost ( sorry..guest 🙂 ) and guest to host system. He also talked about some of the challenges and how he solved them. Overall the talk was full of memory management, interrupt tables, page fault handling etc etc….I am sure some of the half geeks who were present at the talk must have got petrified…!

You can download the hypervisor presentation from here.

Then we moved to the next talk on “Turning Linux into real time kernel Part 1”, which was more of general talk on getting with kernel development, almost similar to the James Morris’s morning presentation. We wanted to protect our bright brains so just escaped from the scene without making much noise…!

With the sun still shining brightly, we decided to take a stroll around the campus of IISC (India’s premier education institution) where the FOSS.IN is talking place. It is a very big campus spread across acres of land, fully submerged with big trees and covered in green bed, giving entirely different feeling…!

After that we headed back to home, immensely satisfied with hypervisor presentation with a thinking that next year we will put up a better show than some of those kernel presentations.

 

– Nagareshwar

 

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