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April 25, 2024

Unveiling QEMU 9.0: New Release Features Raspberry Pi 4 Support and LoongArch KVM Acceleration

The major update of the open-source QEMU 9.0 machine emulator and virtualization software has been released. This update brings new features and improvements for emulation in ARM, RISC-V, LoongArch, s390x, and HPPA.

Highlights of QEMU 9.0 comprise multi-queue support for the virtio-blk block driver. This feature allows different queues of a single disk to be processed by different I/O threads. Moreover, it can now concurrently handle preallocation of memory backends using multiple threads in certain scenarios. It also supports the “mapped-ram” capability for efficient virtual machine snapshots. Also, it has the capability to detect zero-page improved support and has VFIO’s checkpoint-restart support.

For RISC-V, QEMU 9.0 includes ISA/extension support for various profiles, including Zacas, amocas, RVA22, Zaamo, Zalrsc, Ztso, and others. In addition to this, it also supports SMBIOS for RISC-V virt machine. Along with this, it supports ACPI for SRAT, SLIT, AIA, PLIC. and has updated its support for the RHCT table.

For ARM, this update includes board support for B-L475E-IOT01A IoT node, mp3-an536 (MPS3 dev board + AN536 firmware), and raspi4b. There is a side note by the developers that QEMU does not model PCI or Ethernet for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B currently. This inclusion is expected to be made in a future release of the software. However, it is clarified that Raspberry Pi boards now have support for the SPI and BSC i2c controllers.

ARM support also gained additional IO/disk/USB/SPI/ethernet controller and timer support for Freescale i.MX6, Allwinner R40, Banana Pi, npcm7xxx, and virt boards, as well as architectural feature support for ECV (Enhanced Counter Virtualization), NV (Nested Virtualization), and NV2 (Enhanced Nested Virtualization).

On top of that, QEMU 9.0 introduces KVM acceleration support for the LoongArch architecture, including LSX/LASX vector extensions, updates the SeaBIOS-hppa firmware to version 16 for HPPA architecture, and adds emulation support for CVDG, CVB, CVBY and CVBG instructions, and improves LAE (Load Address Extended) emulation for the s390x architecture.

There are also various gdbstub improvements like catching of syscalls in user-mode, support for fork-follow modes, and support for siginfo:read. For more details, check out the full list of changes on the official website, from where you can also download QEMU 9.0 if you fancy compiling it from sources.

Last updated 21 hours ago

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