Xen for Human Beings

Hein-Pieter van Braam hp at syntomax.com
Wed Apr 26 18:14:57 BST 2006

I have already done a merger of ubuntu patchset (of breezy) and the xen
patches some time ago, the fruits of this work are available at:

perhaps it is of some use to you :) consult the HOWTO in that directory
on what I did to it.

good plan btw! Have you looked at solaris zones? I think it would be a
good way to model the xen virtual machines after them. 

have fun! :)

On Tue, 2006-04-25 at 12:24 +1200, Tom Hibbert wrote:
> The case for Xen virtualisation
> -------------------------------
> Xen 3.0.2 has opened new opportunities. For the first time, the Xen
> kernel is fully modularisable and supports most
> hardware. The Xen subarchitecture still has warts - such as not
> supporting anything other than a 31 bit mode dma mask,
> leaving some hardware like the ice1712 soundcard behind, and not
> supporting the nvidia kernel mode driver, though this is likely an
> issue to take up with NVIDIA themselves. As one of the targets of Xen
> development is inclusion of the subarch in the main Linux kernel
> distribution, we can expect to see these problems cleared up in the near
> future.
> Xen has proved extremely useful in the server environment, as well as on
>  desktops for Linux development.
> Testing Ubuntu livecds can be tedious, because sometimes they take an
> annoyingly long time to start up because of all
> the autodetection and questions asked.
> Granted, this does make them work really well once they've booted.
> Autodetection of almost almost hardware is seamless.
> However this process must be performed many times and can get tedious.
> Hence the idea of distributing Xen images of the liveCDs that people can
> boot up on their Dapper workstations to play with.
> Steps in the right direction
> ----------------------------
> I've proven that Ubuntu is very usable under Xen 3.0.2 right now, and is
> genuinely useful as a dev environment - I can
> get my hands dirty in etch on a scratch VM in a matter of seconds.
> My packages are built from the Debian repository with really very little
> changes. They could be synced into the
> universe repository or maintained in a semi-official manner at an
> external site.
> (http://debian.thoughtcrime.org.nz/ubuntu/)
> Building the xenlinux kernel should perhaps be left up to the user. i
> have some notes that will be wikified probably
> later today.
> Xenlinux kernels built against ubuntu kernels do boot, albeit with less
> hardware support then the standard kernel.
> I havent begun to explore the Ubuntu specific patch sets.
> I would like to work closely with the kernel team to build a usable kernel
> that works on a wide range of systems including workstations, so it can
> be used to test bleeding edge Ubuntu development
> without having to sacrifice the stability of your workstation.
> Xen also has tremendous power at the server end. It offers huge
> flexibility to the administrator with regard to service
> deployment and scalability, as well as providing virtual staging grounds
> for administrators to easily test operational
> changes to production server blocs. It can be leveraged to greatly
> streamline the development and deployment
> of the Ubuntu datacenter.
> The Xenubuntu project
> ---------------------
> The Xenubuntu project would begin by remastering the lightweight xubuntu
> livecd into a liveDVD containing casper images of all the *buntus,
> as well as state files of them fully booted up (~256mb ram, if
> practical), that boots into a GUI that can connect via
> VNC/xDMCP/FreeNX/fooprotocol to the guest and displays it in full screen.
> >From there we can find more fun stuff to do with Xen and Ubuntu.
> I tried to edit the xen kernels and Xen and NX integration specs on
> launchpad, but apparently i dont have permission to do so. What do I
> need to do to be able to edit these?
> Thanks
> Tom

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list