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Re: [Xen-users] filesystem image of Fedora Core for Xen?


Thank you for your "two cents worth" and there is merit it what you say but there are some aspects you appear to miss.

First, support and kernel consistency -- something that hackers of your caliber never require and therefore forget about.  For the average distribution from SuSE, Red Hat, Debian, and many others there is no real installation support.  You cannot even pay for support on special non standard initial installation (desktop only).  You have to buy their Enterprise version or server or they won't even consider talking to you. So, for the average linux user (not a business)  there would be no support from these distributors for Xen as an installation that owns the distribution by being effectively in charge and management of kernel calls, call backs, and emulation stuff.  A standard basic desktop (up and running) supported installation would be void of Xen.  Standard supported installs have nothing to do with network servers, samba servers, mixed mode networks and that sort of thing.  Therefore, the idea of this project would be NOT TO DISTURB the specific distributor supportable installation and by means of a dual boot the user could chose whether to run the Linux distribution or the Xen-based (any linux OS base) as Dom 0 and the primary distributor installation could be treated as a DomU if the single user wanted to do that but with the project being considered here it is conceivable that someone having a Red Hat distribution installed could on their own initiative without jeopardizing that distribution boot up the Xen system.  The point here is that when they do choose Xen they have a choice from this project proposal to pick the Dom 0 OS free from both a compiling problem and free from using  a particular favored position of the distribution vendor -- e.g. SuSE as the primary installation and SuSE as the Dom 0 base.  Not a real choice is it???  Personally I detest that kind of choice.

Second, besides the Xen support issue and the distributor preference to have Xen use their distribution of the Dom 0 base there is  the need to provide consistent updates for Dom 0 which will be handled differently by each distribution provider.  So we are proposing or debating or considering not only Dom 0 distributions but also Dom U distributions but consistent with one another and growing together and coming from our server -- if we ever decide to do this.  In other words the project would  have an Xen focus not a distributor focus.  Xen could conceivable evolve and would do so by eventually defining it's own Dom 0 in order to better handle a myriad of DomU Operating Systems.  In any event, no distributor is going to give Xen the primary focus (bank on it)  and I wish not to have to see this preferential distribution vendor position on Dom 0.  Yes, there has to be a Dom 0 but our position is non vendor in that the Xen-based system is the primary operating system when the computer is put into operation. This is not the position of the Linux and other OS vendors (bank on it). When this focus becomes common ("we run an Xen-based system") it is not Xen that become less significant it is the difference between vendors that becomes less significant and the consistency introduced by Xen becomes more important.  What logically has to happen in the industry is that sooner or later either Xen development or some independent developer will come up with a Dom 0 core that best allows Xen to interface with just about every OS and voila we have now a universal preferred Xen base system.  This means vendors of Operating Systems will survive as DomU providers not Dom 0 providers and will provide the kind of uniqueness in their OS not available in other Operating Systems.  The industry wants a universal OS and Xen is the way that "want" or need will be served.  Even if you think this second position is futuristic and not the way things will go, some of my arguements are valid.

The third point everyone seems to miss.  Having a project as we are considering which provides both Dom 0 and DomU has to be of considerable value to both Xen development and users. Perhaps such a distribution may demand more accountability on behalf of development but in the final analysis that is not a bad thing. And there is absolutely NO HARM DONE because everyone benefits.  Imagine, as a developer, you can pick test many so called stable Dom 0 and Dom U packages and your notion of stability is based on a much more comprehensive understanding of these variables.You would have access to binaries and source all neatly collected in one spot under your control giving you assessibility relative to systems declared to be stable.  

Last point. Watch out, word has it that Bill Gates is after Xen because he wants Windooze as the favored Dom 0 -- just yoking or am I -- get the point?  Oh, Oh!!! The wife just turned out the lights -- black as coal -- hope that's the bedroom door and not the back door -- got to go - last email on this for a while.

Thanks -- Ted

Mark Williamson wrote:
Kristinn, Ted, Aq,

Let me add a few thoughts.

First off, an OSZoo style selection of filesystem images to be used in Xen 
guests would be very welcome.  Thanks for taking the initiative with this.

Regarding dom0 support: you're more than welcome to work on a distribution 
with enhanced dom0 support.  However, you should be aware that existing 
distros are taking onboard the task of supporting Xen, making the creation of 
a special Xen-based distribution less important.  I would suggest you at 
least consider looking at the Xen support for you favourite distro and maybe 
helping out with that.

Just my $0.02,

On Sunday 03 April 2005 03:07, Kristinn Soffanias Runarsson wrote:
Ted, I agree... I think that people are too afraid to go on their own
with this, afraid to piss someone off.  Everybody is afraid of forks
and forking this and forking that.  Haven't seen that happen on
anything big yet.

Let's take our ideas and make something of them, put them on-line and
get people to comment and flame.  I think that will help the promotion
of Xen if we were just to make available something so small and easy
as creating dom0 dists and domU guests..  Just think about how many
geeks have tried out Xen when fedoraproject.org put up a small HOWTO
on their wiki.

for the record, I still don't consider putting together images as
'development'.   I couldn't write bytecode to say 'Hello World' even
if my life was at stake.


On Apr 3, 2005 2:02 AM, Ted Hilts <thilts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

 My nose is plugged - I have to breath through my mouth.

 I'm glad you think such a project is "cool" -- so do I, maybe others,
maybe not.

 Because Xen is in development (with a so called stable version) is all
the more reason to promote Xen not a reason to shy away from it.  In
addition, Xen is part of several related projects like Xenoboot for
example and a larger and impressive perspective of networking.  Therefore
supporting Xen in a way is also supporting the other Cambridge projects
aimed at the betterment of networking of which Xen is a part.  Anyway, I
have complete confidence in the Xen development team.  Also, I see no
harm to anyone and only help to others in providing this service if it is
an acceptable one as far as the development team is concerned.  I have
not heard from them yet on this issue -- they are probably busy making
the greatest product ever.

 Thanks - Ted

 Kristinn Soffanias Runarsson wrote:

 Please Ted, save the marketing speak (FREE, NO CHARGE etc.)

Your idea is great, and I honour you... putting together a Dom0 dist
would be cool.

I´m gonna be focusing on getting domU (guests if you will) working.
I'm quite happy with my dom0 setup (imho you don't set up/trash dom0's
everyday.. that's what the domU's are for).

If you wanna try out a Dom0, install Fedora Core4-test1 or FC3 and
pull Xen in from development. I've also preordered SuSE 9.3 because
they say they will be packaging Xen functionality there.

Also.. keep in mind Ted, that Xen is in development, breathe through your

peace and love,

On Apr 3, 2005 1:37 AM, Ted Hilts <thilts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


 This is getting confused.

 Okay, you were talking about DomU but I sort of thought you would be
interested in doing Dom 0. I looked at the site you provided and (forgive
me if I got it wrong as I often do) that is nothing to do with Xen. I
want to find people -- if there are any -- interested in building an
Xen-based (linux [Fedora, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake and the rest]) Dom 0
system installations in a way that they can be downloaded or put on DVD
as an installation disk -- a kind of distribution if you will. In my
opinion this would be a real service I could supply to the Xen community
as I know of many people struggling to get Xen working or even afraid to
try because of the time involved if problems turn up as they do for many.
At least with working models they would be over the Dom 0 threshold and
maybe looking at DomU issues. Right? A fully working (all tools based on
most recent stable versions) and NO CHARGE service is what I am talking
about consistent with Open and Free software development. If there are
such people then I would provide the facilities -- FREE. So my previous
email still stands and it looks as if you are not interested in
participating in such an effort.

 Thanks -- Ted

 aq wrote:

 On Apr 3, 2005 9:30 AM, Ted Hilts <thilts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


 If I understand you, you seem to be saying that for various
distributions like Mandrake, Fedora Core, Gentoo, SuSE, etc., you are
willing to produce Xen-based (Dom 0) linux base systems and put them on

 no, that is domU, not dom0

 I was going to ask the developers of Xen to consider this as a facet of
their operation but I don't think their mandate allows them to do this or
they don't see doing this directly in line with what they are doing.

I think everything is fine. if you ever used QEMU, you must know the
site hosting the qemu images (www.freeoszoo.org) ? the situation is
same here.


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