NetBSD, the highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system known for its platform diversity, has gained hardware-accelerated virtualization support via an improved NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor (NVMM).
A virtualization API is provided in libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM.
It’s always nice to see the major BSD distributions gain expanded hardware and software support. It will come as no surprise to anyone that we believe that competition is always a good thing when it comes to operating systems.
Ooh. I can’t wait to give it a shot. Unfortunately the nightly snapshot I’ve been trying to build today seems to be giving me some troubles. Not sure if it’s because of the nightly or what (It’s been a while since I’ve built NetBSD), but I’m going to try to build the whole system instead of just kernel + librayr. If that isn’t successful, I’ll download another snapshot in a couple of days and give it a whirl.
This also means that all the major BSDs have built-in virtualization support. Not sure about FreeBSD or OpenBSD, but NetBSD’s support is an accelerated back-end, and requires a front-end to be used. In this case, Qemu is the front end, in the same manner as Qemu-kvm on Linux, or Qemu-haxm For Windows/Linux/macOS on Intel processors.
I”m assuming OpenBSD and FreeBSD’s VM modules are setup in a similar way, while also providing their own front-ends. OpenBSD’s seems rather incomplete, as it lacks VGA support, multiple virtual CPUs, Currently it only supports OpenBSD and Linux (per the OpenBSD FAQ)
At first glance, FreeBSD’s is largely complete, but I haven’t taken a look in a while, so I’m not sure its status w/r to snapshots, live migration, or other features you’d expect from commercial virtualization solutions. It definitely supports many virtual cpus, video output (Both VGA and UEFI graphics), and AHCI. And, of course, networking. There isn’t any sound support, and I’m not sure about USB support, so it isn’t super useful for desktop virtualization, but there was a Google SoC project a couple of years ago to bring HD Audio support to byve. I’ll have to check that out, too.
And, as a side note, FreeBSD supports Qemu Usermode binary emulation, letting you run, say, FreeBSD ARM binaries on x86.
Sweet, now when is macOS???