For the last several years, the Xen developer community has been increasing its ability to collaborate well with other projects. We succeeded in finally getting the necessary infrastructure for dom0 support into Linux in 2011. We have upstreamed the most important changes to QEMU, and will be using an upstream QEMU based tree in the Xen 4.3 release. Additionally, during the the last several months we have improved Xen support in libvirt. We are not just looking to upstream projects but we are also improving our relationship with downstream users, like Linux distros. We worked closely with Debian, Ubuntu and CentOS, for example announcing the availability of Xen packages for CentOS 6 at FOSDEM few months ago.
Today is the perfect day to announce that in addition to these efforts, we have been working behind the scenes on some other exciting new initiatives designed to increase our collaboration and influence with other projects.
Linux is a key component of the Xen architecture, so it’s only natural that we are looking to improve our relationship with the Linux community first. To begin with, we will be pursuing the merger of the Linux and Xen trees. The Linux kernel will move in its entirety into the Xen tree, and doing further development work through it. Keir Fraser, the lead developer for the Xen project, would pull from Linus himself and would have to approve all changes. With the switch-over of Xen to git, this should pose little barrier to the current Linux developers. (Why else did you think we switched to git?). Combining these two trees will bring the two communities closer together, making it easier for Linux developers to contribute to Xen and vice versa. Eventually it is going to foster innovation in virtualization and kernel development. When approached about doing further development through the Xen.org tree, Linus replied with his characteristic candor, “What the f*** do you think?” We took this as a positive sign, and are moving forward with plans for the merger. Look for more announcements in the near future.
After Linux, we will be pursuing a merger of the glibc project into Xen. We believe that glibc has always belonged within the Xen tree and finally we’ll have a chance to make this happen. I know that Ulrich Drepper would approve. Of course we cannot forget to include a key piece of the Linux ecosystem like Xorg into this initiative.
Coordinating the builds across so many different individual programs and projects is a daunting task. Luckily, it’s already one that has been solved by many distributions. For this reason, we contacted Karanbir Singh, leader of the CentOS project, to ask him whether he could provide his technical expertise to create a solid, fast, efficient and easy to use build system for the new reunited Xen tree. The CentOS community, enthusiastic about the idea, proposed to merge the entire CentOS package system into Xen. This will give us the benefit of being able to rebuild an entire Linux distribution out of the Xen tree, using standard powerful tools like rpmbuild.
We are glad to be the very first ones to let you know about these important changes in the Open Source development landscape. It is the dawn of a new era, an era of collaboration without barriers, an era of development without artificial boundaries that fracture the energy of the Open Source communities.
United we stand today, in front of you, for this announcement and tomorrow to make the world a better place.
I’ll conclude with a quote from Keir Fraser, our magnificent leader: “We are Xen.org. Lower your firewalls and surrender your project. We will add your code-base and distinguished developers to our own. Your build scripts will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile”.
– the Xen Democratic Open-Source Revolutionary Collective
This article is an April Fool’s joke, I hope that you enjoyed the jest!
If you thought from the start that it was obviously a joke because ideas like merging Linux and Xen are so out of this world that nobody could have actually proposed them, you might be up for a surprise 😉