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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Running a 64 bit host in KVM or VMWare Linux - Intel E6500 chip

Imagine my annoyance when I bought a new Intel E6500 chip specifically for VT support and was told by VMWare that my CPU does not support VMX. As usual self doubt creeps in and I began to trail the internet to see if my CPU did have the VMX flag. I have never been so confused. On the one hand Intel said it did and on the other hand the internet said it did not. What to do?








Intel® Pentium® Processor E6500K
(2M Cache, 2.93 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB)


Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT-x)      Yes

Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT)

Increasing manageability, security, and flexibility in IT environments, virtualization technologies like hardware-assisted Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) combined with software-based virtualization solutions provide maximum system utilization by consolidating multiple environments into a single server or PC. By abstracting the software away from the underlying hardware, a world of new usage models opens up that reduce costs, increase management efficiency, strengthen security, while making your computing infrastructure more resilient in the event of a disaster.


A quick check using "egrep --color=auto '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo" should nothing and that meant no vmx support. Depression crept in.

I upgraded to the latest Kernel by selecting Maverick Proposed and Maverick Backports and then recompiled VMWare using the following commands:

Install the latest Linux Headers, C compiler, and Build Essential files:
sudo apt-get install gcc build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Re-compile VMware Workstation modules:
sudo /usr/bin/vmware-modconfig --console --install-all
Needles to say, no success.

I have a GIGABYTE GA-N650SLI-DS4L motherboard and some searches revealed an updated F3 bios. However, it said nothing about CPU flags or DMI and the release date was 03 June 2008 so I had no confidence in the bios upgrade.


 BIOS
Download Version Date Description File size
Download... F3 03/06/2008
  1. Disable PCI prefetch
662.9 Kb
Download... F1 27/09/2007
  1. First Release
650.4 Kb
Some people on the net suggested pulling the battery so that was in my mind.

I booted into Windoze 7 and run SecurAble and the results were not good. I had a NO on hardware virtualisation.

I was about to give up and as a last resort updated the bios. I copied F3 to the usb key and reboot and pressed end. I saved the F2 bios and upgraded the bios and then saw the MAGIC words! Discard DMI!

Whoo hoo! After rebooting I went back into the Gigabyte Bios and press CTL F1 (Once). The magic Virtualisation flag appeared and once rebooted this is what I got from /proc/cpuinfo:


rayd@raydUE1010:~$ egrep --color=auto '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm xsave lahf_lm dts tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm xsave lahf_lm dts tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority
rayd@raydUE1010:~$ 


Done and dusted!

I am now running several 64 bit Windows 7 machines in VMWare and KVM.

Next step is to load Snow Leopard! Yes you can! Linux does actually rock.

1 comment :

  1. Very nice blog... It is very important information that Intel E6500 chip specifically for VT support and was told by VMWare that my CPU does not support VMX. The solution is very impressive VMware vs KVM. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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