Xen Hackathon Munich

It is day 3 of the Munich Hackathon and I wanted to thank Fujitsu and Jürgen Groß for hosting and organizing the event, as well as the social activities in the evening. Besides the coding, networking and getting to know each other which is always a key part of such Events, a few noteworthy initiatives were discussed and started.

Yesterday we had a long group discussion on what we need to do to make Xen and Xen.org more attractive to our users. One of ther key outcomes of the session was that we must improve documentation! To me that has been clear for a while, but of course it is hard to do this without developers buying into the idea and driving the creation and maintenance of documentation. One of the key ideas discussed and agreed, was to embed documentation into the source tree and build a docset from source. To maintain the docs, patches would be required to modify documentation sources, if they have an impact on the UI. We will still need to investigate what technologies to use and how to do this in practice. Besides the how, we discussed the what and agreed that command line guides, HOWTO documentation and provide better config examples for xl are needed.

We also need a new Wiki, which is something I have been investigating. Some of our developers volunteered to help me identify which documentation on xen.org is out-of-date and what is important, so hopefully we will be able to make significant progress in this area soon.

Jürgen from Fujitsu also had a great idea for a new initiative based on some work that Fujitsu has done recently. How about creating a Xen Live-DVD which can boot on an existing windows installation and possibly on other operating systems. This should be possible with minimal mods to the installed system and it would be great if we could install the system on a free partition of the disk enabling Windows either on bare metal or as DomU under Xen (selectable via grub). Fujitsu has built something similar for internal purposes that installs a SLES based Xen system via USB or disk onto a free hard disk. Windows can be used bare metal or as DomU and is accessed via rdesktop; albeit there is no graphics pass-through support for now. To make this possible a few mods to Windows are needed, such as configuration of network (bridge), registry entries to enable boot from (emulated) IDE-disk and to enable rdesktop.

Anyway, if this sounds interesting to you, I want to hear from you and we can see whether we can get a Xen initiative off the ground.

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About Lars Kurth

Lars Kurth is a highly effective, passionate community manager with strong experience of working with open source communities (Symbian, Symbian DevCo, Eclipse, GNU) and currently is community manager for xen.org. Lars has 9 years of experience building and leading engineering teams and a track record of executing several change programs impacting 1000 users. Lars has 16 years of industry experience in the tools and mobile sector working at ARM, Symbian Ltd, Symbian Foundation and Nokia. Lars has strong analytical, communication, influencing and presentation skills, good knowledge of marketing and product management and extensive background in C/C , Java and software development practices which he learned working as community manager, product manager, chief architect, engineering manager and software developer. If you want to know more, check out uk.linkedin.com/in/larskurth. Personally, Lars has a wide range of interests such as literature, theatre, cinema, cooking and gardening. He is particularly fascinated by orchids and carnivorous plants and has built a rather large collection of plants from all over the world. His love for plants extends into a passion for travel, in particular to see plants grow in their native habitats.