QEMU 8.1 Brings Improvements across All Architectures

A new PipeWire audio backend and enabled multi-touch events are among the highlights of the QMEU 8.1 virtualization stack.

QEMU is an open-source virtualization software that allows you to create and manage virtual machines. It provides a platform for running guest operating systems on a host system, regardless of the architecture of the host and guest systems.

Additionally, QEMU can work with other virtualization technologies, such as KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), to provide hardware-assisted virtualization and improve performance for certain workloads.

The just released QMEU 8.1 brings improvements among all architectures, so let’s see what’s new.

QEMU 8.1 Highlights

On ARM devices, KVM VMs on a host which supports MTE (Memory Tagging Extension) can now use MTE in the guest. Pointer-authentication information is now reported to the gdbstub, and AES instructions can now use AES acceleration on the host CPU.

Moreover, QEMU now supports one new ARM device – Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra (bpim2u).

On the PowerPC side, QEMU 8.1 improve SMT experience with TCG acceleration allowing pseries and powernv to run with up to 8 threads per core. On top of that, AES instructions can now use AES acceleration on the host processor.

For the RISC-V architecture, QEMU 8.1 supports BF16 and Zfa extensions. Furthermore, it now supports subsets of code size reduction extension and adds disassembly support for XVentanaCondOps and XThead instructions.

In addition to the above, one of the things that makes the strongest impression in QUEMU 8.1 is the added support for the PipeWire-based audio backend.

Furthermore, GUI-wise, the new release supports multi-touch events and provides multi-touch and win32 support for D-Bus. Finally, it is possible to specify the input independently from the output with the “-chardev file” option.

In addition to all changes listed, QEMU 8.1 brings numerous fixes throughout its release. A full list of them can be found in the release changelog.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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