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pass through pcie device to ppc64 guest

From: Schmidt, Alexander
Subject: pass through pcie device to ppc64 guest
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2020 21:14:12 +0000

Over the last many months my team has been making increased use of QEMU. We develop hardware and test the devices on a large variety of operating systems and architectures. To help in the testing process we have made extensive use of QEMU and pci pass through using vfio. We have had  success doing this with many architectures including x86_64, i386, ppc, and aarch64. We have used guest systems as esoteric as Debian 3.1 ppc, until we finally deprecated support for it recently hooray!


We are trying to extend our testing to ppc64 architecture. In our initial attempts we have run into some strange behavior. We have three test applications that communicate with the physical hardware using register reads and register writes, interrupts, and DMA. One of the test applications works perfectly well but the other ones have severe issues. In some cases running the test application causes the host PC to crash. I’m perfectly willing to accept these issues may be within our software.


To help diagnose the problem I’m looking for a bit of information. While we have begun to debug our own code, we are curious about the level of support for ppc64 architecture in QEMU. We are wondering could some of the issues we are experiencing possible be due to QEMU? Is there anything special in using vfio-pci with a x86_64 guest vs a ppc64 guest?  I know a specific answer can’t be given with the detail provided. We are hoping for some high level answers and thoughts about our questions and situation.




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