About Xen

Xen allows you to run multiple operating systems, currently Linux (2.4 and 2.6 kernels) and NetBSD, concurrently on one PC. Xen is particularly useful for systems administrators, ISPs, and ambitious/technical home users wishing to add security to their systems. Xen is notable for its very small drop in performance of the virtual machines compared to other solutions such as LinuxHints/UserModeLinux.

For more information take a look at the following web pages:

For a more detailed introduction take a look at (thanks to Andy for the URL):


The following instructions assume you are running a basic install of Debian sarge.

aptitude install bridge-utils iproute libcurl-dev python2.3-dev python2.3-twisted build-essential libncurses-dev bzip2

ln -s /usr/bin/python2.3 /usr/bin/python

cd /usr/src/
wget http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/downloads/xen-2.0.6-src.tgz

Configuring Xen

tar -zxvf xen-2.0.6-src.tgz

cd zen-2.0
make world

cd /usr/src/zen-2.0
make install
make install twisted  # This may not be necessary - needs to checked

title=Xen0 (Debian Sarge)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /xen.gz dom0_mem=131072
module /vmlinuz-2.6.11-xen0 root=/dev/sda2 ro console=tty0

Running Xen

You'll need to reboot and run the Xen0 kernel to use Xen's features. Xen domains are constrolled using the xm command. Run xm help on how to use xm. Here are few useful reminders:

xm list

xm create my_config

xm console my_config

Building a custom Xen kernel

Should your Domain0 kernel require some hardware drivers such as a RAID/SCSI card then you will need to customise the xen0 kernel. If one of your domains needs customisation such as traffic shaping or anything else not in the standard configuration then you need to cutomise the xenU kernel.

cd /usr/src/xen2.0/linux-2.6.11-xen0
export ARCH=xen
make menuconfig

make all
cd ..
make all
make install

Then return to the instructions above.

LinuxHints/Xen (last edited 2005-11-18 12:47:59 by 82)