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Please read this document carefully, as it tell you what this is all about, explain how to build and use the hypervisor, and what to do if something goes wrong.

What Is Xvisor?

The term Xvisor can stand for: eXtensible versatile hypervisor.

Xvisor is an open-source type-1 hypervisor, which aims at providing a monolithic, light-weight, portable, and flexible virtualization solution.

It provides a high performance and low memory foot print virtualization solution for ARMv7a-ve, ARMv8a, x86_64, RISC-V, and other CPU architectures.

Xvisor primarily supports Full virtualization hence, supports a wide range of unmodified Guest operating systems. Paravirtualization is optional for Xvisor and will be supported in an architecture independent manner (such as VirtIO PCI/MMIO devices) to ensure no-change in Guest OS for using paravirtualization.

It has most features expected from a modern hypervisor, such as:

  • Device tree based configuration,
  • Tickless and high resolution timekeeping,
  • Threading framework,
  • Host device driver framework,
  • IO device emulation framework,
  • Runtime loadable modules,
  • Pass-through hardware access,
  • Dynamic guest creation/destruction,
  • Managment terminal,
  • Network virtualization,
  • Input device virtualization,
  • Display device virtualization,
  • and many more.

It is distributed under the GNU General Public License. See the accompanying COPYING file for more details.

On What Hardware Does It Run?

The Xvisor source code is highly portable and can be easily ported to most general-purpose 32-bit or 64-bit architectures as long as they have a paged memory management unit (PMMU) and a port of the GNU C compiler (GCC).

Please refer to the HOSTS text file in top-level directory of source code for a detailed and formatted list of supported host hardware.


For Xvisor we prefer source level documentation more, so wherever possible we describe stuff directly in the source code. This helps us maintain source and its documentation at the same place.

For source level documentation we strictly follow Doxygen style.

Please refer Doxygen manual for details.

In addition, we also have various README files in the docs subdirectory. Please refer docs/00-INDEX for a list of what is contained in each file or sub-directory.

Output Directory

When compiling/configuring hypervisor all output files will by default be stored in a directory called build in hypervisor source directory.

Using the option make O=<output_dir> allow you to specify an alternate place for the output files (including .config).


If the O=<output_dir> option is to be used then it must be used for all invocations of make.


Do not skip this step even if you are only upgrading one minor version.

New configuration options are added in each release, and odd problems will turn up if the configuration files are not set up as expected.

If you want to carry your existing configuration to a new version with minimal work, use make oldconfig, which will only ask you for the answers to new questions.

To configure hypervisor use one the following command:

make <configuration_command>


make O=<output_dir> <configuration_command>

Various configuration commands (<configuration_command>) are:

  • config - Plain text interface.
  • menuconfig - Text based color menus, radiolists & dialogs.
  • oldconfig - Default all questions based on the contents of your existing ./.config file and asking about new config symbols.
  • <xyz>_defconfig - Create a ./.config file by using the default values from arch/$ARCH/configs/<xyz>_defconfig.

For configuration Xvisor uses Openconf, which is a modified version of Linux Kconfig. The motivation behing Openconf is to get Xvisor specific information from environment variables, and to later extend the syntax of Kconfig to check for dependent libraries & tools at configuration time.

For more information refer to Openconf Syntax.


Make sure you have at least gcc 4.x available.

To compile hypervisor use one the following command:



make O=<output_dir>

Verbose compile/build output

Normally the hypervisor build system runs in a fairly quiet mode (but not totally silent). However, sometimes you or other hypervisor developers need to see compile, link, or other commands exactly as they are executed. For this, use verbose build mode by inserting VERBOSE=y in the make command

make VERBOSE=y


The above steps of configuring and/or compiling are common steps for any architecture but, this is not sufficient for running hypervisor. We also need guidelines for configuring/compiling/running a guest OS in hypervisor environment. Some guest OS may even expect specific type of hypervisor configuration at compile time. Sometimes we may also need to patch a guest OS for proper functioning under hypervisor environment.

The guidelines required for running a guest OS on a particular type of guest (Guest CPU + Guest Board) can be found under directory:

tests/<Guest CPU>/<Guest Board>/README

Please refer to this README for getting detailed information on running a particular type of OS on particular type of guest in hypervisor.

And finally remember

It's all JUST FOR FUN....