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Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC] ARM VM System Sepcification

> Am 28.02.2014 um 03:56 schrieb Arnd Bergmann <arnd@xxxxxxxx>:
>> On Thursday 27 February 2014 22:24:13 Alexander Graf wrote:
>> If you want to assign a platform device, you need to generate a respective
>> hardware description (fdt/dsdt) chunk in the hypervisor. You can't take
>> the host's description - it's too tightly coupled to the overall host layout.
> But at that point, you need hardware specific drivers in both the hypervisor
> and in the guest OS.

In our case, you need hardware specific drivers in QEMU and the guest, correct.

> When you have that, why do you still care about a
> system specification? 

Because I don't want to go back to the system level definition. To me a 
peripheral is a peripheral - regardless of whether it is on a platform bus or a 
PCI bus. I want to leverage common ground and only add the few pieces that 
diverge from it.

> Going back to the previous argument, since the hypervisor has to make up the
> description for the platform device itself, it won't matter whether the host
> is booted using DT or ACPI: the description that the hypervisor makes up for
> the guest has to match what the hypervisor uses to describe the rest of the
> guest environment, which is independent of what the host uses.

I agree 100%. This spec should be completely independent of the host.

The reason I brought up the host is that if you want to migrate an OS from 
physical to virtual, you may need to pass through devices to make this work. If 
your host driver developers only ever worked with ACPI, there's a good chance 
the drivers won't work in a pure dt environment.

Brw, the same argument applies the other way around as well. I don't believe we 
will get around with generating and mandating a single machibe description 

>> Imagine you get an AArch64 notebook with Windows on it. You want to run
>> Linux there, so your host needs to understand ACPI. Now you want to run
>> a Windows guest inside a VM, so you need ACPI in there again.
> And you think that Windows is going to support a VM system specification
> we are writing here? Booting Windows RT in a virtual machine is certainly
> an interesting use case, but I think we will have to emulate a platform
> that WinRT supports then, rather than expect it to run on ours.

Point taken :). Though it is a real shame we are in that situation in tge first 
place. X86 makes life a lot easier here.

>> Replace Windows by "Linux with custom drivers" and you're in the same
>> situation even when you neglect Windows. Reality will be that we will
>> have fdt and acpi based systems.
> We will however want to boot all sorts of guests in a standardized
> virtual environment:
> * 32 bit Linux (since some distros don't support biarch or multiarch
>  on arm64) for running applications that are either binary-only
>  or not 64-bit safe.
> * 32-bit Android
> * big-endian Linux for running applications that are not endian-clean
>  (typically network stuff ported from powerpc or mipseb.
> * OS/v guests
> * NOMMU Linux
> * BSD based OSs
> * QNX
> * random other RTOSs
> Most of these will not work with ACPI, or at least not in 32-bit mode.
> 64-bit Linux will obviously support both DT (always)

Unfortunately not

> and ACPI (optionally),
> depending on the platform, but for a specification like this, I think
> it's much easier to support fewer options, to make it easier for other
> guest OSs to ensure they actually run on any compliant hypervisor.

You're forgetting a few pretty important cases here:

* Enterprise grade Linux distribution that only supports ACPI
* Maybe WinRT if we can convince MS to use it
* Non-Linux with x86/ia64 heritage and thus ACPI support

If we want to run those, we need to expose ACPI tables.

Again, I think the only reasonable thing to do is to implement and expose both. 
That situation sucks, but we got into it ourselves ;).


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