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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <body>
    <h1 >libvirt architecture</h1>

    <p>
      Currently libvirt supports 2 kind of virtualization, and its
      internal structure is based on a driver model which simplifies
      adding new
      engines:
    </p>

    <ul id="toc"></ul>

    <h2><a id="Xen">Xen support</a></h2>

    <p>When running in a Xen environment, programs using libvirt have to execute
in "Domain 0", which is the primary Linux OS loaded on the machine. That OS
kernel provides most if not all of the actual drivers used by the set of
domains. It also runs the Xen Store, a database of information shared by the
hypervisor, the backend drivers, any running domains, and libxl (aka libxenlight).
libxl provides a set of APIs for creating and managing domains, which can be used
by applications such as the xl tool provided by Xen or libvirt. The hypervisor,
drivers, kernels and daemons communicate though a shared system bus
implemented in the hypervisor. The figure below tries to provide a view of
this environment:</p>
    <img src="architecture.gif" alt="The Xen architecture" />
    <p>The library will interact with libxl for all management operations
on a Xen system.</p>
    <p>Note that the libvirt libxl driver only supports root access.</p>

    <h2><a id="QEMU">QEMU and KVM support</a></h2>

    <p>The model for QEMU and KVM is completely similar, basically KVM is based
on QEMU for the process controlling a new domain, only small details differs
between the two. In both case the libvirt API is provided by a controlling
process forked by libvirt in the background and which launch and control the
QEMU or KVM process. That program called libvirt_qemud talks though a specific
protocol to the library, and connects to the console of the QEMU process in
order to control and report on its status. Libvirt tries to expose all the
emulations models of QEMU, the selection is done when creating the new
domain, by specifying the architecture and machine type targeted.</p>
    <p>The code controlling the QEMU process is available in the
<code>qemud/</code> directory.</p>

    <h2><a id="drivers">Driver based architecture</a></h2>

    <p>As the previous section explains, libvirt can communicate using different
channels with the current hypervisor, and should also be able to use
different kind of hypervisor. To simplify the internal design, code, ease
maintenance and simplify the support of other virtualization engine the
internals have been structured as one core component, the libvirt.c module
acting as a front-end for the library API and a set of hypervisor drivers
defining a common set of routines. That way the Xen Daemon access, the Xen
Store one, the Hypervisor hypercall are all isolated in separate C modules
implementing at least a subset of the common operations defined by the
drivers present in driver.h:</p>
    <ul>
      <li>xend_internal: implements the driver functions though the Xen
  Daemon</li>
      <li>xs_internal: implements the subset of the driver available though the
    Xen Store</li>
      <li>xen_internal: provide the implementation of the functions possible via
    direct hypervisor access</li>
      <li>proxy_internal: provide read-only Xen access via a proxy, the proxy code
    is in the <code>proxy/</code> directory.</li>
      <li>xm_internal: provide support for Xen defined but not running
    domains.</li>
      <li>qemu_internal: implement the driver functions for QEMU and
    KVM virtualization engines. It also uses a qemud/ specific daemon
    which interacts with the QEMU process to implement libvirt API.</li>
      <li>test: this is a test driver useful for regression tests of the
    front-end part of libvirt.</li>
    </ul>
    <p>Note that a given driver may only implement a subset of those functions,
(for example saving a Xen domain state to disk and restoring it is only
possible though the Xen Daemon), in that case the driver entry points for
unsupported functions are initialized to NULL.</p>
    <p></p>
  </body>
</html>