Professional also includes Xen 2.05 virtualization software. This enables x86 SLP users to run multiple operating systems simultaneously in a manner similar to VMware Inc.s VMware Workstation 5. While not of much use to most office workers, Xens virtualization can be very handy for both developers and support staffs. Developers are able to quickly explore different deployment scenarios for their software without leaving their machines. Help desk staffs, on the other hand, can use the same virtualization technology to troubleshoot an end users desktop.For now, you can only run other instances of Linux. Windows XP and 2003 support are coming, but its not here yet. After that, be prepared for a bumpy ride. Chris Schlaeger, Novells vice president of engineering for Linux, said, "It will work on Professional, but were not going to say its ready for enterprise use, because its not." Hes got that right. I wont even bother to list all the troubles Ive seen. Suffice it to say that I can run several Linux instances with Xen, but I need to keep a close eye on system resources and exactly what libraries are being called by what programs. Still, like Beagle, theres more than enough there to show Xens promise. Just dont try to run any production code yet on Xen. What it all adds up to in the end is that if you need an advanced Linux desktop, SLP is an excellent choice. Its also great for people who need to look right over the bleeding edge of Linux technology to see what tomorrow will bring. However, for beginners or general desktop users, there are better choices. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Unfortunately, like Beagle, Xen is rough around the edges. If youre going to use Xen, you need to make that decision before installing SLP 9.3. For it to work at all, youll need to install a special Xen-enabled kernel.