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Canonical scoops up KVM for Ubuntu virtualisation

Hardy Heron flies against the tide

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Canonical has confirmed it will use Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) as its primary virtualisation software in its latest Ubuntu Linux server release.

The firm's virtualisation main man Soren Hansen, speaking in the weekly Ubuntu newsletter, said he tested the various options available including Xen, OpenVZ, QEmu+kqemu, and VirtualBox before concluding that KVM offered the "right fit for us now".

He said: "Virtualisation is making its way into data centres and onto developer workstations everywhere. Even 'regular' users are using it to run Ubuntu on Mac OS X all the time.

"We've chosen to settle on KVM as our main virtualisation focus. KVM is a special version of QEMU which utilises the new virtualisation extensions that both Intel and AMD have added to their newest CPU models."

Canonical has also added the libvirt package with software called virt-manager, Hansen said, which should provide a neutral interface to Xen, KVM, and other compatible virtualisation systems.

The latest hypervisor decision should come as little surprise, especially given that CEO Mark Shuttleworth said in an interview last year he had already placed near-term emphasis on open source options from either market leader VMWare or KVM.

Of course, slapping KVM on top of Ubuntu Linux will also see the operating system distinguish itself from its main rivals, Red Hat and Novell, which both come loaded with Xen-flavoured hypervisors.

KVM will be built into Ubuntu's next version, Hardy Heron, which is due for release in April this year. ®

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