Microsoft Submits Linux Kernel Patches to Make Linux Run as Root Partition on Hyper-V

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“Microsoft has submitted a series of patches to Linux kernel developers,” reports ZDNet, “requesting that Linux run as the root partition on the Hyper-V, its hypervisor software for running Windows and non-Windows instances on hardware.”

Microsoft “wants to create a complete virtualization stack with Linux and Microsoft Hypervisor”, according to Microsoft principle software engineer Wei Liu. Liu has proposed an RFC or request for comment that for now merely implements what are only the “absolutely necessary components to get things running… There will be a subsequent patch series to provide a device node (/dev/mshv) such that userspace programs can create and run virtual machines. We’ve also ported Cloud Hypervisor over and have been able to boot a Linux guest with Virtio devices since late July.” Cloud Hypervisor is an experimental open-source hypervisor implementation from Intel written in the Rust programming language. It’s a virtual-machine monitor that runs on top of KVM, the Kernel-based Virtual Machine hypervisor in the Linux kernel that’s designed for cloud workloads…

Liu points out three more changes beyond amendments to the Hyper-V Top-Level Functional Specification. For example, Microsoft wants Linux to set up existing Hyper-V facilities differently. It also wants Linux kernel developers to change the kernel’s behavior when accessing hardware memory in a way that affects driver access to the GPU and CPU that’s being managed by an operating system memory manager. It’s this issue that Microsoft engineers are least confident about and are asking for Linux developer support, according to Liu…

As Microsoft’s executive VP of the cloud and enterprise group, Scott Guthrie, told ZDNet last year, Microsoft’s shift to Linux and open source started over a decade ago when it open-sourced ASP.NET. “We recognized open source is something that every developer can benefit from. It’s not nice, it’s essential. It’s not just code, it’s community,” explained Guthrie.

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