Ubuntu and KVM Virtualization: Understanding the Long-Term Direction

The next major production release of Ubuntu — version 8.04 LTS, codenamed Hardy Heron — will ship with KVM as its virtualization package. This choice is surprising to those of us who have been watching the Xen virtualization package become the darling of Virtual Machine world. So let’s try to make sense out of the KVM virtual machine and this recent choice by Ubuntu.

Hardy Heron, slated to ship in April 2008, is a major Ubuntu release and somewhat more important then the last several versions going as far back as 6.06 Dapper Drake. Hardy Heron will be supported with updates for three years on the desktop and five years on the server, with paid technical support available from Canonical Ltd. So what happens in Hardy Heron will have a ripple effect across the Ubuntu community for years to come.

Understanding the Basics
For those of you new to virtualization, the landscape of virtual machine, or VM, technology is a bit of a jumble.