QEMU 8.0 hatches more support for Arm and RISC-V
Sapphire Rapids joins the fun, and there's even something for s390x users
Developers of the open source machine emulator QEMU have hatched the project's 8.0 release.
QEMU is a machine emulator that can run guest machines of a different architecture to its host. The software is also capable of serving as a hypervisor.
Version 8.0, released last week, doesn't alter any fundamentals but does add support for plenty of hardware and instructions.
Some of the additions are simple, such as the ability to handle Intel's Sapphire Rapids fourth-gen Xeon silicon, or emulate Arm's Cortex-A55 and Cortex-R52 processors.
Others are more subtle, such as support for FEAT_EVT and FEAT_FGT – in-silico features Arm offers to support virtualization.
As interest grows in the RISC-V architecture, the maturity of its software ecosystem becomes increasingly important. Developers may therefore be buoyed to learn that QEMU has added support for the OpenTitan silicon root of trust project, and the OpenSBI Supervisor Binary Interface effort that allows the OS on a RISC-V machine to interact with the architecture's supervisor execution environment and the higher-privileged resources available there.
QEMU 8.0 can also emulate PolarFire RISC-V FPGAs. The release also adds what the project's developers have described as "wide ranges of fixes covering PMP propagation for TLB, mret exceptions, uncompressed instructions, and other emulation/virtualization improvements."
The software also offers something for mainframe users, and in this release adds support for asynchronous teardown of memory of secure KVM guests during reboot on s390x, plus improved zPCI passthrough device handling.
- systemd 253: You're looking at the future of enterprise Linux boot processes
- Xen and the art of hypervisor upgrades
- KVM flaw on AMD servers gave malicious VMs a route to take over the host
- QEMU brings back its one-OS-a-day virtual advent calendar
All of the above, and the many other features added in QEMU 8.0, flowed from the keyboards of 238 contributors who together made over 2,800 commits.
QEMU is most often found on Linux alongside the KVM hypervisor, with the two working hand in glove to offer emulation and virtualization.
As The Register checked some facts for this article, we noticed a link on QEMU's site to its advent calendar – a bi-annual treat that offered a fresh virtual machine image to download in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Sadly, the calendar did not appear as scheduled last year. The Register understands the team behind the calendar was busy with other projects ahead of last Christmas. Hopefully it will return in 2024.
While you wait for the calendar to return, QEMU 8.0 can be had here. ®