I understand that qemu uses binary translation to emulate machines, so irrespective of the underlying architecture, it can provide emulation.
And, KVM uses Hardware Virtualization technique to make this process faster. Thus, KVM requires VT support from underlying architectures (which x86 processor provides).

I have emulated powerpc architecture with qemu over x86 architecture. My question is whether it is possible to run KVM over this powerpc architecture.


KVM uses hardware acceleration. Usually it provides support for emulating only itself (i.e. Intel VT-x emulates Intel processors etc.) and I would be highly surprised it PowerPC provided any emulation of Intel processors (as it would require duplicating Intel functionality in PPC processor largly increasing cost and size of such unit).

However there are planned ports of KVM to PowerPC architecture which would allow to emulate PowerPC systems on PowerPC CPU efficiently.

  • Powerpc processors doesn't provide virtualization hardware support. So, KVM porting on powerpc doesn't depend on that support. From linux-kvm.org/page/PowerPC: "Current development is aimed at running 440 Linux kernels as guests on 440 Linux host. Since the 440 processor does not implement virtualization hardware support, this is done via "trap and emulate" of privileged instructions executed inside the guest. " So, even if qemu doesn't expose virtualization hardware support to the guest virtual machine, I think it is possible to run KVM (only for powerpc) on top of it.
    – db42
    Dec 23 '10 at 9:56
  • My bad (I'm not specialist on PPC). However technically my answer is not wrong [KVM uses hardware acceleration now and it will allow emulate PPC on PPC efficiently I imagine (just not using hardware acceleration)]. Dec 24 '10 at 22:38

The ppc970mp supports virtualization, and kvm on a ppc97mp uses it as such.


Powerpc has kvm implement. You can see the latest source code of qemu-kvm. There is kvm.c file in powerpc folder.

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