Tag Archives: xen project developer and design summit

So, How’s Xen on Mageia?

As it is widely know, really tough Open Source users –the ones that wear sandals, colored hats of various kind, and are equipped with long enough UNIX beards– always install software via tarballs and some good old ./configure-make-make-install-fu! Then there are the developers, who couldn’t care less about installing: all that matters is from where you can checkout –well, actually, this days it’d better be git clone– the code. Once you got it, and you compile it with no errors, what else is remaining and what on Earth you want to install it for, right?

(Un?)Fortunately, there exist different kind of people too. They, whiskered or not, are usually very happy every time they can avoid dealing with either tar or git, and can start using some software by only sending a couple of directives to their favorite distribution’s package manager. That, usually, means a loot of cool things, like automatic dependency tracking, cleanup upon uninstall, smooth update to new versions, and all this kind of stuff. However, for this to work, it is required that someone has stepped up to act as the package maintainer of that particular software for the specific distribution. Package maintainers are in a very peculiar spot. In fact, wrt the software they package, they’re not regular users, nor they (not necessarily, at least) act as core developers for it, and yet they play an important role in determining the degree of success of a project.

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Using xen-tools on Fedora

Xen.org blog already hosted a very nice post by Ian Jackson, greatly explaining how useful xen-tools is for automatically installing Debian (and Debian-derived) VMs. Now, if this all happens on a Debian host, it is nice and easy, as getting xen-tools is just a matter of apt-get install-ing it. But what if your host machine runs something else, for instance, a copy of Fedora? As a matter of fact, starting from Fedora 16, Xen is quite easy to install and use on Fedora, making it interesting to cover this case too.

There is no xen-tools RPM package, thus we need to go the good old way: download the sources, compile and  install them. Luckily enough, this is not difficult at all, and this blog post will explain in details how to achieve it.

Installing Fedora and Xen

So, let’s assume that you just finished installing the new and shiny Spherical Cow. Official instructions and advice on that are available here. The first thing to do now is to install Xen there. This has become very simple these days; all that’s needed is the following (where an # prompt means the command must be run as root):

# yum install xen

Followed by a reboot. Note that Xen will not be the default boot option, so you’ll need to make sure to select it from the GRUB2 menu. You can also make Xen the default by setting GRUB_DEFAULT=saved in your /etc/defaults/grub.conf and running the following:

# grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
# XEN=$(grep ^menuentry /boot/grub2/grub.cfg | cut -f2 -d"'" | tail -n1)
# grub2-set-default $XEN

If the libvirt‘s services are needed too, some more packages must be installed, but this is out of the scope of this post. For more information on how to install Xen on Fedora, check the Fedora pages on Xen.org’s Wiki, in particular, this one: Fedora Host Installation.

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Xen Research Paper Site Launched

Thanks to a great suggestion from Pradeep Padala, I have created a new page on the Xen.org website listing papers written about Xen technology or from research using Xen technology. The page is currently live at http://www.xen.org/community/xenpapers.html but is not yet linked within the main Xen.org website header structure. Once I get a number of papers listed, I will announce this page and link it to the web header structure.

Please send me your papers or any papers you are aware of that would be a good fit for this new Xen.org page.

XCP Tutorial – Creation of a Windows 7 Guest

I am back with more tutorials on Xen Cloud Platform (XCP); this time with instructions on creating and starting a new Windows 7 guest from a CD.

NOTE – I am running the Windows 7 guest as HVM and have not tried to load the Windows PV Drivers that come with XCP; will do that for a future tutorial.

TOOLS – I am using the same XCP machine from previous tutorials as well as OpenXenCenter for the installation and interaction with the Windows 7 guest.

STEP 1 – Connect to XCP in a terminal window and load the Windows 7 CD into my XCP machine.

stephen> ssh -l root IP_Address

STEP 2 – I once again followed the steps listed at  http://www.xen.org/files/XenCloud/guest.pdf on page 24 ; section titled “To install a supported Linux VM from vendor media using the CLI”

See http://blog.xenproject.org/index.php/2010/03/04/xcp-tutorial-building-a-hvm-guest-using-command-lines/ for the instructions on creating the VM guest. In the Windows 7 example I changed the name of the guest and selected “Windows 7″ for my template.

STEP 3 – Run OpenXenCenter to complete the Windows 7 installation on the console screen.