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[Xen-devel] Custom build the Xen0 kernel && miscellany

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the list. I'm a systems admin at a multimedia company in New 
Zealand. I'm currently constructing a small cluster of dual Xeon machines 
which will host web sites in Xen VMs.

I would like to stick with the 'best practices' of the Xen project in terms of 
managing the kernel source trees and builds, but I find that the default 
build contains a bit more than I would like, and not everything I would need. 
For example, I our cluster machines have RageXL graphics adapters, and 
therefore I would like to compile in framebuffer support so I can run X. Not 
critical, no, but I prefer it especially during my investigations.

I am using the Xen 2.0 bk builds, and the host OS is Debian Sarge. Both seem 
to be close to stable releases and so hopefully my timing is going to be 
fairly good!

Can I tell the default build system to use a modified .config file for the 
kernel build? From the looks of the makefile it appears that much more than 
patching and compiling is going on with the kernel, so if I do a make 
menuconfig and make my changes, am I able to install the kernel in the normal 

The support I'm adding is for SMP, hypterthreading, big memory, and ATI 
framebuffer support. I'd also like to pull out various bits and pieces -- 
mostly drivers for hardware I don't have, as this would speed up the build 

Thank you for your time. I've been watching Xen with some interest for a while 
now and I'm thrilled that my employer has given me the go ahead to put 
together this cluster. I would like to feed the results back to the Xen 
project somewhere, especially where it pertains to performance of virtual web 
and database servers. It seems that the wiki has gone west (been dead for a 
while now), so perhaps it would be appropriate for me to submit stuff back to 
this list for archival purposes.

(Speaking of the email archive, could it be modified for searching? I'm sure 
my questions have been asked before)

One final question (and this is bound to be unpopular). I would like to have 
some idea as to how many virtual web servers I might be able to run on dual 
Xeon 2.8GHz machines with 4-12GB RAM. Our sites are typically LAMP, with 
medium sized databases. On average, our current web servers are 900MHz PIII 
machines that don't often get pushed very hard. Perhaps just some anecdotal 
accounts would satisfy my curiosity. I realize I'm not being too practical 
here -- my apologies! ;o).

Thanks all for your time. 

Paul Dorman
Systems Administrator
CWA New Media Ltd.

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