NetBSD maintainer in the QEMU project

May 17, 2017 posted by Kamil Rytarowski

QEMU - the FAST! processor emulator - is a generic, Open Source, machine emulator and virtualizer. It defines state of the art in modern virtualization.

This software has been developed for multiplatform environments with support for NetBSD since virtually forever. It's the primary tool used by the NetBSD developers and release engineering team. It is run with continuous integration tests for daily commits and execute regression tests through the Automatic Test Framework (ATF).

Since the projects keep researching and developing support for various modern trends in computing, the gap between the QEMU featureset in NetBSD and Linux diverged due to lack of active NetBSD maintenance resulted in breaking the default build.

The QEMU developers warned the Open Source community - with version 2.9 of the emulator - that they will eventually drop support for suboptimally supported hosts if nobody will step in and take the maintainership to refresh the support. This warning was directed to major BSDs, Solaris, AIX and Haiku.

Thankfully the NetBSD position has been filled - making NetBSD to restore official maintenance.

The current roadmap in QEMU/NetBSD is as follows:

  • address all build failures [all patches sent to review, part of them already merged upstream],
  • address all build warnings,
  • restore the QEMU setup to run regression tests on NetBSD.
With the goal to move on to the maintenance mode, catching up with regressions, adding NetBSD node in the regression tests cluster and reducing the featureset gap. There are various missing functions on NetBSD, including: resurrecting user-mode emulation, suboptimal kernel aio(3) support, hugepagefs support, hardware assisted virtualization, passthrough PCI and SRIOV.

This effort is spare time activity - as of now without commercial support - and possible thanks to unloading the developer (myself) from more urgently pending tasks in NetBSD thanks to the contract for enhancing debuggers in business hours. [2 comments]



Great news -looking forward to it! I tried a few months back the bsd user-mode but I had to realise that it just does not work:(

Posted by r0ller on May 23, 2017 at 10:44 AM UTC #

Great. Can we fixup the Realtek interaface (re) watchdog issue now?

Posted by Anonymous on July 11, 2017 at 04:07 PM UTC #

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