2009-07-28

Intel Virtualization: Ur Doing It Wrong :)

Ever have one of those days... you know like you research a chipset, find a deal and buy a computer.. and then spend a week trying to find out why virtualization is soooo slow. That would be me right now. I was trying to find a box to do installs at home and saw a deal at Dell for an Optiplex 360. Checked all the parts, saw that they were Linux compatible.. and chose a CPU that I was sure said was VMX compatible (Intel E5300). The chip originally didn't have it but was going to have it added soon...

Installed Fedora 11 x86_64 and tried various VM's and boy were they slow... qemu never seemed to go quick or anything. Finally I did a

cat /etc/cpuinfo

and found that the chip didn't have VMX set. Ok lets go and see if its a BIOS option... no doesn't seem to be. So what did I do wrong? I went back to the review and saw that I misread the year on the review. Instead of April 2008... it was April 2009 and the E5300 VT items were not added til this month. Sigh...

2 comments:

Peter Lemenkov said...

There are lots of messages about disabled (my marketing reasons) hardware features via proprietary BIOS.

See:

Gigabyte disables virtualization via BIOS

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.bios/24211/focus=24227

even HP disables virtualization on some mainboards:

http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?admit=109447626+1248842319008+28353475&threadId=1051601

Lenovo prohibits installation of "unauthorized" PCIe cards in Thinkpad:

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_unauthorized_MiniPCI_network_card

HP also bans "unauthorized" WiFi adapters on some of their notebooks:

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.drivers.bcm54xx.devel/8791


Welcome to the real world of proprietary firmware.

Smooge said...

In this case its not the BIOS doing it.. the chip itself is either disabled or the parts were not burnt onto the die for VT to work. I had hoped that just an updated microcode would make it work... but well no its physically impossible unless I buy a new CPU.

And then I have to deal with the BIOS issues you listed.