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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 29/35] Add the Xen virtual console driver.
Keir Fraser wrote:
>
> On 22 Mar 2006, at 16:00, Anthony Liguori wrote:
>
>> This has always seemed a bit wrong to me and makes a number of things
>> kind of awkward (like a virtual video driver).
>>
>> It would seem better me to treat this driver as what it really is, a
>> virtual serial device. It adds a little bit of additional work to
>> the userspace tools (they just have to make sure to pass
>> console=ttyS0) but it seems worth it.
>
> That already works pretty much (userspace tools have to pass
> xencons=ttyS as well as console=ttyS0).
>> We could also solve the tty[0-9] problem by implementing a proper
>> console driver that could use multiple virtual serial devices if we
>> wanted to go that route.
>
> Yes, that could live alongside this driver.

This is going to come up in the next release if we try to merge the
framebuffer stuff.

>> Another option would be to just emulate a serial driver. The console
>> driver isn't really performance critical. It seems to me that it's a
>> bit unnecessary to even bother paravirtualizing the console device
>> when it's so easy to emulate.
>
> Easy except that Xen can't implement the 'console backend', or at
> least not easily. The console bits need to end up in management
> virtual machine's user space. We'd have to do something skanky like
> the current HVM qemu model.

We could make an exception for console devices and just have a small
buffer in the hypervisor for console input/output (similar to the
emergency console). The biggest advantage to doing this IMHO is that it
makes guest OS's a bit easier to port. The console already is treated
as an exception since it is setup in start_info (instead of through
XenBus) so this is not that awful I think.

Regards,

Anthony Liguori

> -- Keir
>

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