Taking Xen for a

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2005-11-07 Print this article Print

spin"> Xen can run with linux or NetBSD as its host operating system and can accommodate Linux, NetBSD and FreeBSD guests. Red Hat and Novell are among the vendors rushing publicly to embrace Xen as the core of their future virtualization efforts. Novells SUSE Linux 10.0 ships with rudimentary support for Xen out of the box and a graphical tool for creating Xen instances.

We encountered quite a few problems in our tests when we installed and ran—or tried to run—Xen on the Debian, Fedora and SUSE Linux distributions.

Although SUSE Linux 10.0s built-in Xen configuration tools look promising, they leave out some key steps in the setup process. For example, its necessary to configure a host domain to reserve memory for the guests it will accommodate, but the SUSE Linux tools dont include this step. Several times in our testing of Xen and SUSE Linux 10.0, the virtual machine creation tool simply died, leaving our proto-instance in an indeterminate state.

The simplest way to get Xen up and running is to download the LiveCD demo from the project, available at www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/downloads.html. This disk includes Xen 2.0.6 running on a Debian host with Debian, FreeBSD and NetBSD guests preinstalled. Easy startup scripts launch the machines and open virtual network computing sessions.

Next Page: Looking ahead.

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

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