[Announcement] Karma VMM first public release

Norman Feske norman.feske at genode-labs.com
Wed May 16 11:15:45 CEST 2012


congratulations for getting Karma out of the door finally. :-)

The project looks very interesting. However, I think it would be
sensible of you to contrast your approach with existing projects, in
particular L4Linux, Afterburner, and Vancouver. This way, potential
users would gain a better understanding of the incentive behind Karma.

>From what I gathered from personal conversations with you:

 * Karma has a higher performance than L4Linux.
 * The VMM runs outside of the Linux kernel similar to Afterburner.
 * The patch against the vanilla Linux kernel is much simpler and
   trivial to maintain compared to the L4Linux kernel. (similar to
 * Karma has no ambition to become a VMM with support for faithful
   virtualization. Hence, running Windows on Karma won't be possible.
 * Because Karma depends on x86 H/W-virtualization support, the
   approch cannot be used on ARM for now.

Are these assumptions valid?

Again, thanks for sharing your work with the community. I'm looking
forward to look into it.


On 05/14/2012 11:44 AM, Matthias Lange wrote:
> We are happy to announce the first public release of the Karma Virtual
> Machine Monitor [0].
> Karma is a virtual machine monitor (VMM) that runs Linux in a virtual
> machine on top of the Fiasco.OC [1] microkernel. Its main design
> directives are speed and simplicity. Unlike KVM, VirtualBox or VMWare,
> Karma does no emulation, but resorts to aggressive paravirtualization
> and therefore has low complexity and shows superior performance for a
> number of benchmarks.
> Karma requires hardware assisted CPU virtualization. A feature that is
> available on all recent x86 CPUs (SVM or VT). Optionally, it can make
> use of hardware assisted memory virtualization (Nested Paging or ePT),
> if available.
> The Karma VMM is currently being used as a research vehicle at
> Technische Universität Berlin and Technische Universität Dresden.
> It main features are:
> - Trustworthy isolation of virtual machines by means of the microkernel.
>   VMM compromise does no harm to other virtual machines as one instance
>   of Karma runs exactly one virtual machine.
> - Clean, tiny code base, less than 9000 source lines of code.
> - Near native (guest)-Linux performance.
> - Supports:
>   * SMP
>   * Networking
>   * Direct harddisk access via AHCI
>   * RTC and Hpet support
> Karma is released under the terms of the Gnu General Public License
> Version 2.
> [0] http://karma-vmm.org
> [1] http://os.int.tu-dresden.de/fiasco
> [2] http://www.isti.tu-berlin.de/security_in_telecommunications
> [3] http://os.inf.tu-dresden.de

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