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[Xen-devel] Non-standard use of Xen I/O Architecture

  • To: <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: "Barry Silverman" <barry@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 16:14:28 -0500
  • Delivery-date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 22:13:29 +0100
  • Importance: Normal
  • List-id: List for Xen developers <xen-devel.lists.sourceforge.net>

I have an off-the-wall question here:
I have been looking to develop a stand-alone non-linux guest OS to run
embedded applications (e.g. game console emultator), but have always been
deterred by having to build a network stack, and support hardware device

Would it be theoretically possible for Xen/Domain 0 to supply higher level
services (E.G, sshd connection mapping, or VNC servers) running in custom
built servers - to service simple guest (non-linux) drivers that use the
evtchn/share memory interface?

The idea would be to run Xen, and a set of guest-OS servers in Domain 0, and
then use the simple Guest/Domain 0 protocols to support relatively high
level services.

For example (and this is somewhat contrived...):
I have a PDP-11 emulator that runs the ancient Unix (Thompson & Ritchie's
original 1976 Unix 5th Edition). I would like to run the emulator, and the
Unix as a guest (in fact more than one...).

I would like someone SSH'ing in on specific ports to boot their own Ancient
Unix, and to run it from the "console", as well as expose incoming ssh
connections as Hardware terminal multiplexer ports.

I would construct a custom SSH server to run on Domain 0. Incoming SSH
connections would:
1) Spawn a new guest - and boot an emulator, and assign a cow file system to
the virtual guest disk drive.
2) Connect the pty part of the ssh to the guest OS serial port using the
evtchn protocol, and run the PDP-11 emulator in the guest. It would contain
my own versions of the Guest Disk, Serial and TTY pseudo drivers.

In this way, Xen/Domain 0 can provide a set of scaffolding to otherwise
embedded applications.

Barry Silverman

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