[coreboot] GSoC AVATT project

Cristi Magherusan cristi.magherusan at net.utcluj.ro
Wed Jun 18 15:25:22 CEST 2008


On Wed, 2008-06-18 at 14:14 +0200, Stefan Reinauer wrote:
> ron minnich wrote:
> > are you ready to go? We are supposed to have started.
> any news?

These days I just finished my graduation stuff, so that now I can start
working full time on my GSoC project.

This is what I have in mind, for anyone who may be interested about this
topic and cannot read my GSoC application's discussions:

My project (AVATT) involves creating a small KVM-aware Linux payload,
integrating in the initrd the tools needed to create and run virtual
machines, straight on top of the BIOS.

The first part is about making everything as small as possible, aiming
it to fit in under 1 MB, but as smaller it gets, as better. 

The Linux kernel minimization part is quite trivial, there are those
tiny patches which can easily make it a few hundreds of kilobites, and
some careful drivers selection.

Still some work needs to be done on the minimization of the KVM tools.
Their dependencies on high-level userspace stuff like SDL must be
eliminated, and they must be statically linked with some small libc. I'm
thinking about uclibc, but any other ideas are welcome.

Then, I was thinking about making some small GNU screen-like tool that
would allow the user to quiclky create (wizard?), attach and switch
between virtual mahines. This would be great for console-only OS-es, but
i guess that more serious ones should be able to use real tty's, if
needed, just like X is doing for its display. 
Xen's tools, dtach and GNU screen may be considered as reference for
this kind of tool.
Ideally, the system should allow multiplexing any other devices, like
sound, USB, etc, but this must be further investigated.

I already have a testbed installation that uses qemu to emulate a amd64
box. Latest qemu supports virtualization itself, and I already succeeded
to run double emulation with it, as a proof of concept. 
The performance is awful, but it works. Anyway, the final part will need
a powerful amd64 machine that should be used for testing the real stuff.

If you have any suggestions and questions to ask, feel free to do it.

Best regards,

Cristi Magherusan,
Universitatea Tehnica din Cluj - Napoca
Centrul de Comunicatii "Pusztai Kalman"
Tel. 0264/401247  http://cc.utcluj.ro
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