[Gllug] Hardware problems / good replacements

David L Neil GLLUG at GetAroundToIt.co.uk
Sat Feb 11 21:21:23 UTC 2012

Hi Rich,

> I'm surprised that a BIOS update made any difference.  I wasn't aware
> that virtualization extensions could be disabled on AMD; on Intel it
> is (or used to be) a problem that virtualization would be disabled by
> the BIOS and couldn't be reenabled, requiring a BIOS update or even a
> replacement motherboard to rectify.  Perhaps the BIOS update just
> fixed some clock speed or memory settings, making the machine
> generally faster.

In my !extensive! experience (three (Intel) machines) VT was always 
disabled. However I've not had to re-flash the BIOS to enable it.

> It's academic now, but before the BIOS update did you check the
> obvious stuff; all cores enabled? core speed? BogoMIPS? memory
> settings set for maximum performance ...?
> You need to upgrade the whole stack, from kernel up through userspace
> tools.  This needs coordination from all components.

> Also check that KVM is actually being used.  You should see the
> 'kvm_amd' module is loaded, and there should be no warnings or errors
> in 'dmesg' about virtualization being disabled.

These are all useful pointers. Thank you.

Most of the 'advice' out-there seems of the order of:
- grep /proc/cpuinfo,
- yum kvm,
- reboot,
- start manager,
- build shiny new VMs
(and they all lived happily ever-after).

Without wishing to hi-jack the thread too far away from the OP's needs, 
could you please suggest some 'homework reading' that offers the 
user-level virt-admin solid (and cohesive) advice about
- setting-up the hardware [per "whole stack", "coordination from all"];
- configuring a minimal host to run KVM, the virt tools, Manager, etc;
- checking/optimising that["dmesg"];
- before some good-practices for configuring VMs? (both to co-exist and 
for individual efficiency)

Is there any reliable (and up-to-date!?) material, falling somewhere 
between the 'clickety-click and there you are' fairy story (which 
plainly didn't work for the OP either) and the 'disappearing under the 
bonnet covered in greasy source code' of a virt-Rich?


PS [ref earlier posts] when my newly-recycled and specifically-purchased 
h/w didn't seem to be enough for them (nor did it even work properly - 
sigh, sob, snivel), I dropped-out of the RHEV beta. Perhaps some of 
those docs would serve? However most of us are likely using a less 
bleeding-edge distro lacking their (your?) neatly packaged management 
features. (OP=Debian Squeeze, me=Fedora 16, ...)
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