On Wed, 2012-03-07 at 16:07 -0700, Eric Blake wrote:
> On 03/07/2012 03:26 PM, Eduardo Habkost wrote:
> > Thanks a lot for the explanations, Daniel.
> > 
> > Comments about specific items inline.
> > 
> >>>   - How can we make sure there is no confusion between libvirt and Qemu
> >>>     about the CPU models? For example, what if cpu_map.xml says model
> >>>     'Moo' has the flag 'foo' enabled, but Qemu disagrees? How do we
> >>>     guarantee that libvirt gets exactly what it expects from Qemu when
> >>>     it asks for a CPU model? We have "-cpu ?dump" today, but it's not
> >>>     the better interface we could have. Do you miss something in special
> >>>     in the Qemu<->libvirt interface, to help on that?
> > 
> > So, it looks like either I am missing something on my tests or libvirt
> > is _not_ probing the Qemu CPU model definitions to make sure libvirt
> > gets all the features it expects.
> > 
> > Also, I would like to ask if you have suggestions to implement
> > the equivalent of "-cpu ?dump" in a more friendly and extensible way.
> > Would a QMP command be a good alternative? Would a command-line option
> > with json output be good enough?
> I'm not sure where we are are using "-cpu ?dump", but it sounds like we
> should be.
> > 
> > (Do we have any case of capability-querying being made using QMP before
> > starting any actual VM, today?)
> Right now, we have two levels of queries - the 'qemu -help' and 'qemu
> -device ?' output is gathered up front (we really need to patch things
> to cache that, rather than repeating it for every VM start).


In addition to VM start, it appears that the libvirt qemu driver also
runs both the 32-bit and 64-bit qemu binaries 3 times each when fetching
capabilities that appears to occur when fetching VM state.  Noticed this
on an openstack/nova compute node that queries vm state periodically.
Seemed to be taking a long time.  stracing libvirtd during these queries
showed this sequence for each query:

6461  17:15:25.269464 execve("/usr/bin/qemu", ["/usr/bin/qemu", "-cpu", "?"], 
[/* 2 vars */]) = 0
6462  17:15:25.335300 execve("/usr/bin/qemu", ["/usr/bin/qemu", "-help"], [/* 2 
vars */]) = 0
6463  17:15:25.393786 execve("/usr/bin/qemu", ["/usr/bin/qemu", "-device", "?", 
"-device", "pci-assign,?", "-device", "virtio-blk-pci,?"], [/* 2 vars */]) = 0
6466  17:15:25.841086 execve("/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64", 
["/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64", "-cpu", "?"], [/* 2 vars */]) = 0
6468  17:15:25.906746 execve("/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64", 
["/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64", "-help"], [/* 2 vars */]) = 0
6469  17:15:25.980520 execve("/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64", 
["/usr/bin/qemu-system-x86_64", "-device", "?", "-device", "pci-assign,?", 
"-device", "virtio-blk-pci,?"], [/* 2 vars */]) = 0

Seems to add about a second per VM running on the host.  The periodic
scan thus takes a couple of minutes on a heavily loaded host -- several
10s of VMs.  Not a killer, but we'd like to eliminate it.

I see that libvirt does some level of caching of capabilities, checking
the st_mtime of the binaries to detect changes.  I haven't figured out
when that caching comes into effect, but it doesn't prevent the execs
above.  So, I created a patch series that caches the results of parsing
the output of these calls that I will post shortly for RFC.  It
eliminates most of such execs.  I think it might obviate the existing
capabilities caching, but I'm not sure.  Haven't had time to look into

Lee Schermerhorn

> Then we
> start qemu with -S, query QMP, all before starting the guest (qemu -S is
> in fact necessary for setting some options that cannot be set in the
> current CLI but can be set via the monitor) - but right now that is the
> only point where we query QMP capabilities.

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