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[Xen-users] Interacting with graphical domU's on workstation

  • To: "xen ml" <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Derek <xen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 08:32:34 -0600
  • Delivery-date: Tue, 17 Apr 2007 07:31:17 -0700
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

My current workstation setup:
VT capable dual core CPU (core 2 duo).
HP pavilion d4600y.
Dom0 = linux, running X server
DomU = WinXP home edition, displaying via SDL (whatever that is, I don't really understand) over the Dom0 X server.
(plus other domUs, all currently HVM but will add Para later.)
The system is used as a workstation, i.e. plenty of display/mouse/keyboard interaction, so would like to make the interactive user inerface as smooth and seamless as possible.  The main windows applications are Quicken, Web browsing, MS Office.  I don't do video games or anything that demainding on display performance.  The display hardware is pretty basic -- whatever chip comes built in on low-end HP pavilion PCs.  Some sort of Nvidia if I recall right?
I've noticed that the winXP domU can have somewhat jerky mouse response.  Don't know to what extent it's Windows itsself responding badly, or an artifact of the virtual environment I'm running it in.  My question:  Is there a better setup I should use?  For example, should I run some sort of framebuffer library instead of X on the Dom0 ?  Is there a version of SDL that runs under such a library?  Would that help?  It seems to me that would reduce the number of layers that user interaction passes through en route to the DomU.  Any other suggestions for making the windowsXP domain respond as much as possible like it was running on native hardware?
In case it complicates matters:  I do also run interactive graphical stuff on the linux domain.  Currently, it runs on dom0, but I'd like to move it to a (probably paravirualized) Linux domU eventually.  I don't know what the display/mouse/keyboard strategy for that should be either.  Just run X on domU and export the displays?  Use SDL?  Use VNC?
Anyway, I'd like to hear people's opinions on the best way to configure a workstation for smooth mouse/keyboard/display interaction with windows and Linux DomUs.
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