[GSoC 2024] Sound VirtIO: Improving Haiku's virtualization as a guest OS

Blog post by diegoroux on Thu, 2024-05-16 22:11

short whoami

Hello! I’m Diego Roux, an undergraduate engineering student at Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico). Passionate about low-level stuff, OS/kernel dev, embed libs, and more!

I’m grateful to be working under Haiku for this GSoC! So, I’ll be working to add support for sound virtio, enhancing virtualization by working with the VM.

I’ll be under the guidance of @Korli. Thanks! :D

brief intro + my plans

Whenever we boot a VM with Haiku in it, it needs to ensure we have a proper environment, emulating all physical devices we require (e.g. ethernet, sound, video, graphics, etc); great, isn’t it? we have everything nearly as we would on actual hardware, but as with all great things in life, this comes with a downside, emulation is (for our purposes) computationally expensive (not really, but it does add some unnecessary overhead).

This is great if we don’t want our OS to notice any difference from actual hardware, in most cases we don’t care about it or already know that we’re operating within a VM. So if we are already aware, we could skip the whole device emulation and simply indicate to the VM that we need to play a sound, render something on the screen and so on; this is what virtio is.

Virtio is a virtualization standard where the OS “knows” it’s on a virtualized environment and cooperates with the hypervisor.

By implementing virtio, we eliminate the simulation overhead, forwarding Haiku to a state that is overall better, faster, and more optimized than ever before. And that’s what I’ll be trying to achieve for this GSoC period.


I’ll be posting a monthly blog here to share all the progress made. Additionally, I’ll frequently update my personal blog (of which I’ll post soon) with the latest developments.

To keep everything organized, I’ll maintain a mirror repository on my GitHub with only the driver code.

I’ll also be opening a thread soon for discussions. I appreciate any and all feedback you might have.

Also, if I finish the virtio driver before the GSoC ends, I’ll shift my focus to other optimizations to enhance the virtualized experience.

To end, I would like to thank Haiku for this opportunity, having me as a GSoC participant. I’m looking forward to working with and meeting this community!