Native hypervisor coming to OpenBSD

Foundation flings cash at effort to craft old-school virtual machine manager


OpenBSD kernel developer Mike Larkin has let it be known he's working on a native hypervisor for the operating system, with the OpenBSD Foundation's support.

Larkin's posted news of the effort, writing that it's needed because “choosing to port an existing vmm just didn't make a whole lot of sense.”

“For example, I've been baking in support for things that the other implementations don't care about (namely i386 support, shadow paging, nested virtualization, support for legacy peripherals, etc) and trying to backfit support for those things into another hypervisor would probably have been just as hard as building it from the ground up.”

The project's not particularly advanced: Larkin says “the vmm code I've built is capable of launching a kernel and asking for the root filesystem; it doesn't do much more than that for now.” He does, however, think that's enough functionality for other developers to take up the cudgels and advance the as-yet-unnamed project.

The hypervisor appears aimed at those who need to virtualise legacy operating systems, complete with old-school peripherals. “There is no legacy-free mandate in this vmm,” Larkin writes.

The OpenBSD Foundation has partly funded Larkin's work and he suggests donations as a vote with your feet if you'd like this project to come to fruition. ®


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