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Re: [Xen-users] Getting linux to boot under XEN

On Friday 30 March 2007 08:40:16 Ian wrote:
> Hi,
> I've just started playing around with XEN on my SUSE-10.2/Intel Core-duo
> system . I'm getting rather confused about what to do, mainly because so
> much of the documentation I've read doesn't say wither it's talking about
> full- or para- virtualisation and XEN 2 or XEN 3.

XEN in openSUSE 10.2 will be XEN 3.0.x, and suppports both para-virtualisation 
and hardware assisted virtualisation (full).

> I have successfully installed and run Windows XP using this how-to:
> http://en.opensuse.org/Xen_Full_Virtualization_Example
> I don't know wether it's really full virtualisation or para (I believe I am
> right in thinking para-virtualisation is the newer, less resource hungry
> method available in XEN 3 (which is what SUSE-10.2 runs).

The Windows XP installation will be using hardware assisted virtualisation, 
because Microsoft do not provide a XEN-enabled modified Windows kernel to 
allow it to run para-virtualised. (I think Mats explains this pretty in 
another reply) There are paravirtualised drivers in development that can be 
installed to a hardware assisted instance of Windows to allow improved 
networking and disk access for hardware assisted Windows installations.

> I've also tried to run SUSE 10.2, Ubuntu Dapper (GUI install) and Ubuntu
> 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Beta (alternate install) and FreeBSD 6.2 using the same
> method. FreeBSD booted from the install CD but the bootloader just kept
> throwing bootloader errors in loop.
> All 3 Linux installers just showed a blank screen and hung.

It's been a while since I've played around with XEN on openSUSE 10.2, but 
installing a paravirtualised instance of SUSE should be pretty 
straightforward - last time I tried it is easiest via a network install 
location rather than off disk based media. It was always more complicated 
setting up other distributions, although a colleague did manage one of the 

If you can install using paravirtualisation you should, you're (always?) 
guaranteed better performance than hardware assisted.


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