Nesting the virtualized world

Scheduled: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 from 11:30am – 12:15pm in Mt. Hood


Running KVM in KVM, Xen in KVM, Hyper-V in KVM, ...


Virtualization is usually only one level deep. So in a normal virtual environment you can not run a hypervisor again.

While that is reasonable for most use cases, it can come in handy to have virtualization support within your virtual machine. Especially when you develop a virtualization product.

So I implemented nested SVM. Basically, that exposes virtualization capabilities within the virtual machine and allows you to run any hypervisor within your VM that would work on a real machine, as long as you’re running on AMD hardware.

This talk will give you an overview on how this is achieved (technically), what limitations there are and how fast we can get.


kvm, svm, amd, virtualization, xen, hyperv


  • Alexander Graf

    Novell Inc.


    Alex is a virtualization enthusiast. He worked on virtualizing Mac OS X, implemented SVM emulation in qemu and made KVM nesting capable.

    While not working on fancy new KVM features, he tends to improve SUSE’s mkinitrd or works on SUSE Studio.

  • Biography

    Joerg started kernel development in mid 2006 and worked in a lot of different kernel areas since then. First he wrote an network tunneling driver for the etherip protocol. After joining AMD he worked mostly on KVM issues and features. A highlight from this work is the support for nested paging in KVM. Further he wrote the driver for the AMD IOMMU and a generic debugging facility for the Linux dma-api.

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