[libvirt] [PATCH] docs: added description of the vendor_id attribute

Hendrik Schwartke hendrik at os-t.de
Wed Jul 11 07:00:05 UTC 2012

On 10.07.2012 21:57, Jiri Denemark wrote:
> I know I'm late in this vendor_id stuff but it hasn't been released yet so I'm
> not too late. I assume the reason for introducing it is to be able to lie to a
> guest. Please, correct me, if this is not the case.
Well, the reason is to specify a vendor_id which is different to the 
actual host vendor id
>> diff --git a/docs/formatdomain.html.in b/docs/formatdomain.html.in
>> index 94c555f..b6e0d5d 100644
>> --- a/docs/formatdomain.html.in
>> +++ b/docs/formatdomain.html.in
>> @@ -779,7 +779,11 @@
>>           in which case an attempt to start a domain requesting an unsupported
>>           CPU model will fail. Supported values for<code>fallback</code>
>>           attribute are:<code>allow</code>  (this is the default), and
>> -<code>forbid</code>.</dd>
>> +<code>forbid</code>. The optional<code>vendor_id</code>  attribute
>> +        (<span class="since">Since 0.9.14</span>)  can be used to set the
>> +        vendor id seen by the guest. It must be exactly 12 characters long.
>> +        If not set the vendor id of the host is used. Typical possible
>> +        values are "AuthenticAMD" and "GenuineIntel".</dd>
>>         <dt><code>vendor</code></dt>
>>         <dd><span class="since">Since 0.8.3</span>  the content of the
> This is wrong (unless your previous patch explicitly modified the code to
> behave like this). If vendor_id is not set, a guest should see model's default
> vendor. If a guest is configured with, e.g., SandyBridge model, its vendor
> will be "GenuineIntel". If a guest uses Opteron_G3, it will see "AuthenticAMD"
> vendor. All this regardless on the vendor of the host CPU as longs as the host
> CPU is capable enough to support all features of a given guest CPU.
I have tested this (with the qemu driver) and that's not correct. I'm 
sure you have to set the vendor attribute in the qemu command line to 
set the vendor id. So "kvm -cpu core2duo -cdrom 
debian-6.0.5-i386-netinst.iso" on an amd machine results in vendor id = 
AuthenticAMD (just as with -cpu 486)
> Anyway, to be honest, I'm not a big fan of the new vendor_id attribute.
> Currently we have
>      <cpu ...>
>        <model vendor_id="bleblablebla">Model</model>
>        ...
>      </cpu>
> to force "bleblablebla" vendor ID on the guest CPU and
>      <cpu ...>
>        <model>Model</model>
>        <vendor>Intel</vendor>
>        ...
>      </cpu>
> to make sure the guest will be run only on a host with Intel CPU.
> I think it would be much better to reuse the already existing<vendor>
> element. We could perhaps add new force attribute for vendor element. Thus,
These are two different things. One is the vendor_id the guest should 
see and the other the vendor id the host should have to start the 
domain. So if the CPUID instruction in the guest should return 
"NOT-INTEL" and the host cpu should be an intel cpu a force bit is not 
enough. Furthermore it would be confusing to use only one attribute to 
specify the vendor of the host and the guest cpu.
>      <cpu>
>        <model>Model</model>
>        <vendor force='bleblablebla'/>
>      </cpu>
> would force "bleblablebla" vendor ID,
>      <cpu>
>        <model>Model</model>
>        <vendor>Intel</vendor>
>      </cpu>
> would just check that host CPU is made by Intel, and
>      <cpu>
>        <model>Model</model>
>        <vendor force='bleblablebla'>Intel</vendor>
>      </cpu>
> would check that host CPU is made by Intel but the guest CPU will have
> "bleblablebla" vendor ID.
> I was also thinking about making use of our vendor aliases (Intel for
> GenuineIntel and AMD for AuthenticAMD, and we are free to add others) but
> since vendor ID forcing seems to be only useful for testing, I think it's fine
> if we require full vendor ID to be used. At least I don't see another reason
> why anyone would want to confuse a guest OS by giving it Opteron_G4 CPU made
> by VIA.
Well, there are some special cases where migrating guest from one host 
to another with different cpu vendors is a problem. Using a windows 7 or 
8 image on different cpus could for example require a (re-)activation. 
So this feature could be quite important not only for testing.
> What other think about this?
One idea is to rename vendor_id to guest_vendor_id or to fake_vendor_id.
> Jirka

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