FreeBSD Now Supported on Windows Server Hyper-V Via Beta Release

Microsoft and collaborators today announced a beta release of drivers that enable the open source FreeBSD 8.2 server operating system to run in a virtual machine (VM) using Microsoft's Hyper-V Server.

The beta, which isn't intended for use in production environments, can be downloaded from the GitHub portal here. Installation instructions can be accessed on this page. The code was released under a FreeBSD license.

In the near future, GitHub will supply ISO images of FreeBSD that will include the new drivers. The collaboration, which involved Microsoft, Insight Global, Citrix and NetApp, was highlighted at the BSDCan 2012 event in May.

This current preview release works with FreeBSD 8.2 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft is looking at the possibility of extending the solution to support FreeBSD 9.0 on Windows Server 2012, based on "customer demand and partner capacity," according to Anandeep Pannu, senior program manager at Microsoft's Open Source Technical Center, in a blog post.

On top of the driver support, the preview release provides support for VM clock synchronization with the virtualized server, the ability to shut down FreeBSD VMs from Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager or Hyper-V Manager, and the ability to determine from the virtualized server that the VM is running.

Microsoft has been collaborating to enable Hyper-V interoperability with a number of open source server operating systems, from Linux-based ones to the Unix-based FreeBSD. Those collaborations include "SUSE, CentOS, Red Hat, Cs2C, OpenStack, and OpenNebula," according to Doug Mahugh, senior technical evangelist for Microsoft Open Technologies Inc., in a blog post.

Microsoft Open Technologies was announced in April. It's a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft that's aimed at handling the company's open source interoperability efforts.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


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