Amit, Nadav and Tsafrir, Dan and Schuster, Assaf and Ayoub, Ahmad and Shlomo, Eran

Proceedings of the 25th Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, 2015

Testing the hypervisor is important for ensuring the correct operation and security of systems, but it is a hard and challenging task. We observe, however, that the challenge is similar in many respects to that of testing real CPUs. We thus propose to apply the testing environment of CPU vendors to hypervisors. We demonstrate the advantages of our proposal by adapting Intel’s testing facility to the Linux KVM hypervisor. We uncover and fix 117 bugs, six of which are security vulnerabilities. We further find four flaws in Intel virtualization technology, causing a disparity between the observable behavior of code running on virtual and bare-metal servers.

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