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Old 18th November 2008
DNAeon DNAeon is offline
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Default qemu + guest os winxp - very slow..

Hi, folks!

Today I've installed qemu, cause I'm really tired from dual booting FreeBSD/WinXP. First I've installed qemu-devel from ports with kqemu-kmod-devel, then installed WinXP successfully but the performance is very poor. I have aio, if_bridge, if_tap and kqemu loaded.

I've tried running qemu with -vnc :1 option, but the performance is even slower.

After that I decided to give qemu (no devel) a chance. I think it works a little better than qemu-devel, but still it uses almost 99-100% of my CPU (AMD Athlon ~ 2.2 Ghz)

My question is how to reduce that CPU usage so I can get a better performance? Now I realize that I can't switch to FreeBSD completely cause I still need some win apps like AutoCAD.

Thanks everyone!

Cheers,
DNAeon
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Old 18th November 2008
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QEMU is slow unfortunelly, you may check Win4BSD which is free for personal use and seems to be faster then QEMU.

Other thing is to use Windows 2000 cause it uses less resources and CPU then XP.

But generally virtualization on FreeBSD sucks greatly, You should also try VirtualBox @ OpenSolaris with Guest Additions for the Guest OS, runs very fast.
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Old 18th November 2008
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I wanted to use Qemu on OpenBSD box. I am running AMD64 4.4 release on Intel Core 2 Duo and 3 GB of RAM. Qemu is not just slow I get core dump every time I try to install new package inside virtual disk. This happened when I had FreeBSD 7.0 in my virtual disk. It happened when I run OpenBSD latest snapshot in virtual disk. It was very surprising for me to see that OpenBSD actually runs much faster in Qemu than FreeBSD.
I was expecting to see FreeBSD faster by a mile.

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Old 18th November 2008
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NetBSD should run even faster.
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Old 18th November 2008
DNAeon DNAeon is offline
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I've tested FreeBSD under qemu too - FreeBSD host system and FreeBSD guest system - 100% cpu usage during boot (is this supposed to be normal?)

My system is not that slow though - I've got 2Gb of RAM and 2.2 Ghz cpu, but qemu just fails to perform well.

I'm currently downloading the latest releases of NetBSD and OpenBSD just to test them under qemu and I'll report back which one works better under qemu.

In my opinion VirtualBox for Linux is far better than qemu, but unfortunately there is no VirtualBox for FreeBSD.
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Last edited by DNAeon; 18th November 2008 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 18th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
NetBSD should run even faster.
I am sure it would run the fastest. That is expected behavior but I am in shock how bloated FreeBSD is becoming. Heavily crypted OpenBSD to run faster than vanilla FreeBSD That is just plain ridiculus.
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Old 18th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
I am sure it would run the fastest. That is expected behavior but I am in shock how bloated FreeBSD is becoming. Heavily crypted OpenBSD to run faster than vanilla FreeBSD That is just plain ridiculus.
Comparing perfomances on virtual machine is dumb.

changing sysctl kern.hz from 1000 to 100 can help a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeBSD 8.0 CURRENT
Date: Mon Oct 27 06:25:02 2008
New Revision: 184323
URL: http://svn.freebsd.org/changeset/base/184323

Log:
Default HZ value (1,000) on i386/amd64 is not very virtual machine friendly.
Due to the nature of the beast it causes lot of unproductive overhead. This
is especially bad when running SMP kernel on VMWare with several virtual
processors - idle FreeBSD guest with SMP kernel takes 150% host CPU time on my
dual-core MacBook Pro when I am enabling two virtual CPUs, making even host
not very usable. Detect when we are running in the sandbox and reduce HZ
to 10 (can be adjusted via VM_HZ in the kernel config) in such cases. This
brings host CPU usage of idle FreeBSD/SMP on two virtual processors down
to 10%.

Detect most popular VM platforms out there - VMWare, Parallels, VirtualBox
and VirtualPC.

MFC after: 2 weeks

Modified:
head/sys/kern/subr_param.c
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Old 18th November 2008
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This sadly is a real weakness of the BSD family -- the lack of a good software VM. The old VMware still is the most responsive, but it works only on a single CPU or core. So if you want to use it, you have to disable the rest of your cores and reboot. Even in that mode, it is faster than using all the cores in qemu or Win4BSD on my (very old) dual Athlon box.

It also seems that in spite of repeated requests by the VBox developers, that no FreeBSD developer wishes to contribute to coding the kernel module that stands in the way of getting it to work.

I just keep a Windows box around. There are times when I spend a few days straight on it, and others where I don't use it for a few days. It all depends on what I'm doing. But the VMs just have proven to be too irritating.
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Old 19th November 2008
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On his job Phoenix is quite happy with the KVM virtualizer/emulator. But this needs hardware virtualization support, which only can be found in the newer generation of CPU's
See http://daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=1410 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel-...irtual_Machine

But, what is so bad about multibooting ?
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Old 19th November 2008
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Right, but FreeBSD (which I use) does not support KVM (or Xen).

Personally, I hate multi-booting. The program you want to use is always on the other side, and booting for me takes a looonnngggg time. That's because I use ECC-Scrub mode on the memory, and it takes a few minutes (5?) to scan 3GB memory on this slow computer. Then there's the rest of the boot procedure.

It is just easier for me to connect from the Windows box to the BSD box (including remote x sessions when needed) instead when I need to be on the Windows side primarily. I have the computers and the room.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Accoriding to QEMU Mailing Lists they want to add KVM bits to QEMU itself, along with some gfx addons from both Xen and KVM, the upcoming QEMU 9.2 should be a lot faster then current one, but it will take some time to release also:
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/qe.../msg00253.html

More threads:
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/qemu-devel/

I also do not get the point why FreeBSD developers are so little interested in virtualization, like VirtualBox.

Someone even ported KVM to FreeBSD as a Summer of Code project, but its as usual, abandoned right now.

This is what I like about OpenSolaris, focusing on 64bit and virtualization.
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Old 19th November 2008
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So what will be your advice, guys - should I stay with qemu or try some other VM software?

I need virtualization for testing. Multi-booting is not an option.

EDIT:
btw while trying to setup these sysctl's gives me an error like sysctl: unknown oid
Code:
# sysctl net.link.ether.bridge_cfg=fxp0,tap0
# sysctl net.link.ether.bridge.enable=1 
# sysctl kern.hz=100
What is wrong?
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Last edited by DNAeon; 19th November 2008 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 19th November 2008
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> kern.hz=100

this needs to go into /boot/loader.conf or set manually in the bootloader.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemera View Post
> kern.hz=100

this needs to go into /boot/loader.conf or set manually in the bootloader.
Thanks for that!

But how can I get the value which is set by default to kern.hz?
Also, I need to set kern.hz on the host machine, right?

EDIT:
My fault, kern.hz should be set on the guest machine.
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Last edited by DNAeon; 19th November 2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNAeon View Post
Also, I need to set kern.hz on the host machine, right?
No, what for?

... but setting it to 100 helps to get more battery time on laptops.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ View Post
Right, but FreeBSD (which I use) does not support KVM (or Xen).
As host OS, no.

As guest OS, FreeBSD runs fine in hardware-assisted VMs (HVM) on both Xen and KVM, and there are a couple different ways to get FreeBSD to run in a paravirtualised VM (PV) on Xen. Official support for PV domU (Xen) has even been added to FreeBSD-CURRENT.

If one needs to run multiple OSes at once, on the same machine, they are better off going with a slimmed-down Linux install running KVM, Xen, VMware Server (or even VMWare ESXi), or VirtualBox, and run the different OSes in VMs, including the one they will be using the most.

Virtualisation work in FreeBSD is happening at the "run multiple worlds on single kernel" level (jails / vimage), and from the guest side of things.

Until someone comes out of the woodwork and starts working on VM host support for FreeBSD, this is the best we're going to get.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
I also do not get the point why FreeBSD developers are so little interested in virtualization, like VirtualBox.
No idea. Maybe they don't see the point to running Windows/Linux on top of FreeBSD? [shrug] I agree that having FreeBSD as the host OS would be nice, though.

Quote:
Someone even ported KVM to FreeBSD as a Summer of Code project, but its as usual, abandoned right now.
This saddens me greatly. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to rectify this.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
As host OS, no.

As guest OS, FreeBSD runs fine in hardware-assisted VMs ...

If one needs to run multiple OSes at once, on the same machine, they are better off going with a slimmed-down Linux ...

Until someone comes out of the woodwork and starts working on VM host support for FreeBSD, this is the best we're going to get.
That's all right, of course. My challenge is that I really need to limit the number of operating systems I support. Right now I am fine with Free and Windows; adding Linux into the mix is just a pain. Maybe ESX is easy enough so that it wouldn't upset things too much. But then I need new hardware.

For the moment I'm just sticking to multiple machines. It saves a lot of time and irritation, and I already have the hardware. It works well enough for now.
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Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Other thing is to use Windows 2000 cause it uses less resources and CPU then XP.
There is little difference when you turn off the graphic effects and disable some services, Windows XP is just Windows 2000 + some junk.
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Old 21st November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermaden View Post
No, what for?

... but setting it to 100 helps to get more battery time on laptops.
I've set the kern.hz to 50 on my testing FreeBSD guest system and it seems to run perfect. Without this setting, I encounter about 10-15% CPU usage when the guest FreeBSD system is idle.

Also the FreeBSD Handbook recommends to set kern.hz
http://www.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/...ion-guest.html
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