PowerKVM. x86 emulator? No. KVM guest hosting on Power? Yes.
Bill_Buros 270000QDEP Comment (1) Visits (4670)
Got a great question today - which we get surprisingly often. I think it has something to do with how we talk about being common across x86 and Power bases, for Linux across the distros, and now for KVM across x86 and Power.
The typical question / statement: "So this is cool. PowerKVM. Same KVM as x86! I assume this means I can run my x86 compiled binaries right on Power in a KVM guest on the Power system?!"
Hmmm. No, not what I intended.
When you're running on Power, in a PowerKVM guest, the operating system and the compile-time applications running in that operating system image, do indeed need to be re-built specifically for the ppc64 base.
x86 binary (compiled) applications cannot be emulated in a PowerKVM guest running a Power-based Linux operating system.
(While I'm here.. related answer: Windows will not run in a PowerKVM guest on a Power system).
Now, normal standard Java programs, normal supported scripting language scripts and what not, will (and should!) run as-is, just fine.
Here's a couple of interesting links for more information:
Two key features lifted from the Highlights page from the link above
In the RedBook, Chapter 5.1.1 explains the types of virtualization: full virtualization, paravirtualization, and hardware assisted virtualization possible. KVM on Power leverages paravirtualization and Power based hardware assists. But no x86 emulation.
For more questions, add a comment below or post something on the Forums!