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virt what
by Jeff Beneze
10/29/13
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“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” (Psalms 139:2-6 KJV)

One really useful tool that comes with the Red Hat version of Linux is virt-what. It does a short self check on the system it resides on to see if it is on a virtual machine or a real (physical) machine. If it determines it is on a virtual machine, it can even differentiate between a Microsoft Hyper-V, IBM System Z, KVM, QEMU, Oracle Virtualbox, Vmware, Xen, and many more hypervisor technologies. It is useful because for certain processes it is important to know if the world you are operating in is real or not. That may sound like an odd distinction to have to make, as when you think about it, so many of our daily processes do not seem relevant as to whether they are real or not. It is easy to become numb in working through the process such that, who really cares if it is real?

Another challenge that may come up is if you are operating inside a set of managed parameters, what are those parameters? Who controls them? How can they be changed if there is something wrong? You find yourself like a fish inside an electronic lake. It is easy to see why you would want to be a fish in a synthesized or manufactured lake rather than a real lake as the “e” version has no pollution, it has no turtles or natural predators (unless they are programmed in), and you seem to have so many more lives. Yet there is value in discovering that there are real attributes outside, above, and greater than the dimension of the process that you find yourself inside. Not so that you can use the real attributes to make your virtual world even better or more powerful (although it may be fun to try a physical to virtual conversion), but to know that the virtual world has a purpose for the moment, but has an end that so many inside cannot foresee.

When you address the creator, you address not only the creator of the presently perceived world, but the creator who makes the foundations (see Acts 4:11), the bars and doors (see Job 38:10), and the one who binds and loosens things far more real and solid than we can understand at present. Like the virt-what program, we can detect from the creation around us (see Romans 1:20) that we are inside a world that has limited realities. It is imperative to understand the authority in Jesus is very literally an authority that is greater than those in this world. Yet, we are to be clear that this authority is bathed in surrender as opposed to a tool for managing things better. Our faith is rarely clearer than when we truly understand this.

“The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” (Matthew 8:8 KJV)

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