Microsoft Hyper-V gets Linux Integration Components

Microsoft is giving Linux virtual machines running on Hyper-V the chance to perform much better with the release of Linux Integration Components

When Microsoft finally released its long-awaited hypervisor technology, Hyper-V, it also announced a partnership agreement with Novell to offer support for Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux in the new server virtualization platform. However, for the Linux guest operating system to perform at its best, it needs additional components that Microsoft calls Linux Integration Components.

Linux users will be happy to know that it appears as though those long-awaited Linux components are now being made available on Microsoft Connect.

[ Learn more about Microsoft's next-generation server virtualization solution with the InfoWorld Test Center review of Hyper-V. ]

Mike Sterling, a program manager in the Windows Server and Solutions division at Microsoft, reports that the components found in this first release include:

  • Driver support for synthetic devices: The Linux integration components include support for both the synthetic network controller and synthetic storage controller that have been developed specifically for Hyper-V. These components take advantage of the new high-speed bus, VMBus, which was developed for Hyper-V.
  • Hypercall adapter: The Hypercall adapter is a thin layer of software that translates the Xen-specific virtualization function calls from a Xen-enabled Linux kernel to Microsoft Hyper-V hypercalls. This results in improved performance for the Linux virtual machine.
  • Fastpath Boot Support: Boot devices now take advantage of the storage VSC to provide enhanced performance.

Microsoft expects that Mouse Support (support for the synthetic mouse device to seamlessly move in and out of windows without having to break out) will be coming soon.

The final version of Hyper-V's Linux Integration Components comes in 12 different languages with localized Read Me's and is available for download from Microsoft's Connect site.

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