May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
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Xen on Suse


Hypervisors as Special class of Operating Systems

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 OS Internals

Pure-FTPd installation and configuration on Suse Suse NFS service      
Virtualization Novell SUSE SUSE Security Yast Etc

As of August 2006, Novell officially supports running para-virtualized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 as a modified guest operating system on top of Xen-enabled "regular" SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10. openSUSE includes Xen 3.0 support. GUI VM management is offered by YaST.  See Data Center Management Virtualization

Xen is actually a very small operating system that has the sole goal of managing the resources of virtual machines. On top of the Xen OS runs the host OS—the main operating system for the machine. Unlike VMware, the host OS (known as dom0 in Xen terminology) is a virtual machine, but has special privileges assigned to it so that it is more responsive.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1  and SLEC 11 with Xen hypervisor fully supports:

See also:

Novell uses per CPU pricing for SUSE Linux Enterprise:  subscription to SUSE Enterprise Server covers all virtual images on the same physical server independent of the virtualization technology used.  While each physical server requires the purchase of a subscription to be activated and receive ongoing updates and patches, an unlimited number of virtual server images can be created in Xen or other virtualization technologies on each activated physical server. No additional subscriptions are required for virtual images.

Some advantages of Xen-based virtualization:

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10:

IBM supports Suse 10 with Xen hypervisor on all of its hardware. Dell and HP also announced that they support it on both Intel VT or AMD-V chipsets

For more information Learn more about Xen virtualization here

In November 2006  Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. today announced a set of broad business and technical collaboration agreements to build, market and support a series of new solutions to make Novell and Microsoft® products work better together. One of the most important part of the agreement is related to virtualization:

Under the agreement, Novell is establishing clear leadership among Linux platform and open source software providers on interoperability for mixed-source environments. As a result, Microsoft will officially recommend SUSE Linux Enterprise for customers who want Windows and Linux solutions. Additionally, Microsoft will distribute coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support, so that customers can benefit from the use of an interoperable version of Linux with patent coverage as well as the collaborative work between the two companies.

The two companies will create a joint research facility at which Microsoft and Novell technical experts will architect and test new software solutions and work with customers and the community to build and support these technologies. The agreement between Microsoft and Novell focuses on three technical areas that provide important value and choice to the market:

“As a result of this collaboration, customers will now be able to run virtualized Linux on Windows or virtualized Windows on Linux,” said Jeff Jaffe, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Novell. “Customers continually ask us how they can consolidate servers with multiple operating systems through virtualization. By working together, Novell and Microsoft enable customers to choose the operating system that best fits their application and business needs.”

The patent cooperation agreement enables Microsoft and Novell to give customers assurance of protection against patent infringement claims. It gives customers confidence that the technologies they use and deploy in their environments are compliant with the two companies’ patents.

As part of this agreement, Microsoft will provide a covenant not to assert its patent rights against customers who have purchased SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or other covered products from Novell, and Novell will provide an identical covenant to customers who have a licensed version of Windows or other covered products from Microsoft.

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[Oct 08, 2014] CentOS 6.1, local VMs and Opscode Chef by

Dec 29, 2011 | | 3 comments

Automating Internal Infrastructure Orchestration with Chef

...In the video recorded below we start with a CentOS 6.1 Linux system. The VM was created from a pre-existing barebones XenServer template and really just contains a minimal operating system and network stack with almost no installed software.

Normally in "Xen" land, I'd fire up the new VM from a template and then do manual sysadmin "stuff" to the server to make it do what it needed to do.

For this particular server ("") we really just needed a few things to start with:

And wouldn't you know … BioTeam ALREADY has Chef recipes to do all those things because we need them on just about every cloud server we create.

The screencast below simply shows how I can do all the tasks listed above via my personal Mac OS X laptop with a single call to the Opscode Chef CLI tool named 'knife'. The exact command used was:

 $ knife bootstrap -d centos6-gems --ssh-user root \
 --run-list "recipe[users::sysadmins], recipe[sudo], recipe[denyhosts]" \

It's literally that easy.

The video below is not edited for time in any way. It really does take less than 4 minutes to take a 'barebones' CentOS system, install all the software dependencies, build and configure chef, download the cookbooks and runlist and then "process them". The end result is 100% automated provisioning of a new server while I check Facebook in another browser window.

And for people new to Opscode Chef this is a great example of how powerful and flexible these "infrastructure orchestration" systems have become. The Chef client running on the new server is doing far more than just simple installs of software from remote repositories. Of course it's doing that but it's also installing personal individual SSH keys, editing the contents of the /etc/sudoers file and installing, configuring and starting a new network security service (denyhosts). Try doing that amount of "custom" server config work using a "golden image" or Kickstart type method!

Note: The text-heavy screencast may best be viewed directly on, particularly in the "big" 720p HD version …

About the Author

Chris is an infrastructure geek specializing in the applied use of IT to enable and enhance scientific research in life science informatics environments.

[Jan 15, 2010] Migrate to a virtual Linux environment with Clonezilla

Learn how to use the open source Clonezilla Live cloning software to convert your physical server to a virtual one. Specifically, see how to perform a physical-to-virtual system migration using an image-based method.

[Aug 24, 2009] Installation And Setup Guide For DRBD, OpenAIS, Pacemaker + Xen On OpenSUSE 11.1 HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials by Adam Gandelman

The following will install and configure DRBD, OpenAIS, Pacemaker and Xen on OpenSUSE 11.1 to provide highly-available virtual machines. This setup does not utilize Xen's live migration capabilities. Instead, VMs will be started on the secondary node as soon as failure of the primary is detected. Xen virtual disk images are replicated between nodes using DRBD and all services on the cluster will be managed by OpenAIS and Pacemaker. The following setup utilizes DRBD 8.3.2 and Pacemaker 1.0.4. It is important to note that DRBD 8.3.2 has come a long way since previous versions in terms of compatibility with Pacemaker. In particular, a new DRBD OCF resource agent script and new DRBD-level resource fencing features. This configuration will not work with older releases of DRBD.

This document does not cover the configuration of Xen virtual machines. Instead, it is assumed you have a working virtual machine configured locally with a file-based disk image. As an example, our domU resource will manage a Debian virtual machine configured in debian.cfg.

Visit these links for more information on any of these components as well as additional documentation:

Pacemaker -
OpenaAIS -


1. Install Xen
2. Install and Configure DRBD
3. Install and Configure OpenAIS + Pacemaker
4. Configure DRBD Master/Slave Resource
5. Configure File System Resource
6. Configure domU Resource
7. Additional Information

[Jul 29, 2009] Data Center Management Virtualization

New link from Novell

Solve your workload problems once and for all with future-proof Virtualization and Workload Management solutions.

We can help you respond to growing business demands, improve server workload performance, reduce risk and lower costs. How? With enterprise-class solutions that simplify ongoing management of server workloads across your mixed IT environment.

Our Virtualization Capabilities

Maximize ROI: Dynamic Virtualization Management

Control and manage the ongoing growth of your heterogeneous virtual environment with confidence. Virtualization can increase efficiency and decrease costs, but it's not as simple as it used to be. In today's data center, you face complex management challenges that come with an ever-evolving virtual environment. This increased complexity raises your costs, and means you may not be fully realizing the many benefits of virtualization.

Is your data center fully optimized and balanced? Are you maximizing your ROI? Although most modern servers can handle 20 or more virtual machines, average server consolidation ratios are often less than 10-to-1.

PlateSpin® workload management solutions from Novell help you take advantage of the efficiency and cost benefits of today's virtualization technology. We simplify the ongoing management of your heterogeneous virtual environment so you see a better return on your IT investment.

Our solutions provide unparalleled capabilities in:

Virtual capacity management capabilities leverage your IT resources by closely and continuously monitoring your virtual environment. Our technologies identify any configuration issues that affect performance or efficient server allocation, as well as how and when your virtual resources are being used, and by which virtual machines and applications. Just as importantly, you'll know which resources and virtual machines aren't being used, so you can re-allocate your valuable resources. You can maximize data center utility by migrating resource-constrained workloads to another virtual host or even back to a dedicated physical server. Most importantly, proper workload balance delivers both optimum efficiency and maximum ROI. Virtual capacity management helps defer the costs of new server investments by letting you get the most out of your current virtual infrastructure.

Achieve simplified, centralized lifecycle management with virtual machine management capabilities. Novell technologies give you tight control over your heterogeneous virtual environment through policy-driven automation. Now you can provision, copy, move or retire virtual guests on any major hypervisor from a single point of control. And it's all based on your policies and regulations. As a result, it's much easier to meet service level agreements, control virtualization sprawl and reduce the cost of ongoing server management.

Simplified Business Continuity

There's a better way to keep business-critical servers running: Leverage the power of virtualization to protect more of your data center for less of your budget. You make some hard choices when it comes to protecting your servers and applications. Some of them-the ones the business simply can't afford to go down-get expensive, high-availability clustering solutions. Others get simple tape backup, which takes a long time to back up, just as long to restore, and keeps you awake at night hoping that you'll be able to read all those tapes if you ever really need to.

Protect more of your resources for less with simplified business continuity from Novell. Our PlateSpin Workload Management solutions offer innovative ways to safeguard your data center through:

The consolidated recovery capability leverages virtual technology to cost-effectively recover and restore servers in the event of downtime. Because our technologies consolidate operating systems, applications, and data by backing up and restoring whole workloads, you can restore essential operations in minutes. If the worst happens, you can keep users productive by quickly directing them to replicated workloads in the virtual environment or restoring workloads to the available hardware.

Capture whole server workloads-data, applications and operating systems-in any of several available image formats with our flexible image restore capability. In an emergency, you can migrate images over the network from a local or remote image library to any available physical server or virtual host, and restore business operations in just a few hours. You don't even need to rebuild the original server; PlateSpin Workload Management solutions have the flexibility to deploy replicated workloads onto entirely different servers-even from different vendors. Flexible image restore also supports incremental replication with multiple restore points, allowing you to specify a particular point in time for your restore operation, not just the most recent one.

Regular testing is a critical component of any disaster recovery plan. Our workload protection capabilities allow you to easily test the integrity of protected workloads, so you can quickly validate your recovery plan without disrupting your production environment.

Now, with PlateSpin workload management, you can protect all your business-critical servers.

Scalable Enterprise Server Consolidation

Consolidate your data center with technology that makes it secure and cost-effective to extend your virtual environment to all your servers. Virtualization is a proven solution. It enhances efficiency, simplifies IT environments and improves productivity. But if you're concerned about the risks of migrating a large number of servers to a virtual environment, you're not alone. Over half the servers in your data center are probably supporting business-critical applications that you need to keep up and running.

Business-critical server consolidation capabilities provide a robust migration process. Novell delivers the fastest way to get from initial planning concepts to a functional virtual infrastructure, while maximizing uptime and minimizing the risk of migration failure.
  1. Develop plans and scenarios based on workload data collected from your enterprise
  2. Quickly migrate your workload to a virtual host
  3. Test your workload on the virtual host to confirm it operates as expected
  4. Happy with the virtual machine? Synchronize only the changes to the workload that happened during testing (no need to migrate the whole workload again), and go live

In addition, our automated solution migrates and reconfigures multiple workloads in parallel, getting you to end-of-job faster. Get back to your real job and let the migrations run unattended; we'll even let you know when they're done.

Confidently virtualize more of the servers in your data center and realize even greater cost savings and efficiency with data center consolidation.

Choosing a High-performance Hypervisor

SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server delivers the leading implementation of Xen, the proven open source virtualization hypervisor. You can increase resource utilization, provision business services faster, and increase business continuity by using this capability integrated in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. SUSE Linux Enterprise allows you to run fully virtualized Windows Server 2008, 2003, XP and 2000, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 workloads on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with near-native performance.

Kiwi Imaging System - Forge your own operating system images in a matter of hours

Kiwi is one of the tools used by the openSUSE Build Service, a complete distribution development platform that allows you to create and release software for openSUSE and other Linux distributions.

Kiwi focuses on openSUSE itself, allowing you to do the following:

We've already seen most of these cool tricks done:

Still, some of these phenomenal solutions did not provide us with everything we need. For instance, Remastersys does not create virtual machines, only images that you can use to install as guest operating systems. But this requires extra work and user interaction. Amazon conversion was neat, but this was mainly a command-line work, with quite a few preparatory steps and lots of user interaction. VMware Converter provided us with an almost the entire solution that we need here.

Kiwi can do all of the above - and then some.

[Apr 2, 2009] Will SLES Make Virtualization Ubiquitous

With SLES it is offering "a baseline image so software vendors can easily build appliances. The concept is something know as a JeOS (Just enough Operating System) and has been trumpeted by Novell as the future of operating systems," reports

Even more revealing is Vice President of Solution and Product Marketing Justin Steinman's comment to, "We designed SLES 11 to be ubiquitous, to run in physical, virtual and cloud models."

This approach is very different from the one that its chief competitor, Red Hat, is taking. Last month, Red Hat released a stand-alone virtualization hypervisor based on KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) as well as a new hypervisor for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It also unveiled Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers, an open source virtualization management suite to facilitate fully integrated management across virtual servers and desktops.

Red Hat is in many ways hedging its bets, updating its operating system as well as releasing its own hypervisor. Let's face it, though, there are three hypervisors out the that merit consideration. One is currently well-entrenched. The second will soon to be breathing down the first one's neck. A third is grabbing for the open source crowd while simultaneously aligning itself with the up and coming hypervisor. And this is all occurring in a commoditized market, no less.

Red Hat Knowledgebase How do I improve mouse tracking in a virtual machine

Article ID: 15506 - Created on: Jan 19, 2009 1:55 PM - Last Modified: Feb 17, 2009 10:28 AM

Release Found: virtual machines running under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

The mouse cursor in virtual machines under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 does not track well with the actual mouse movements. This is because mouse drivers expect relative motion deltas. For example, the mouse moved up and right one centimeter, but the virtual machine console sends absolute coordinates. The conversion from absolute coordinates to relative deltas is an approximation. As errors in the approximations accumulate, the virtual cursor drifts farther and farther from the host cursor.

One solution to this problem is to switch from a virtual mouse to a virtual tablet. A tablet sends absolute coordinates instead of relative motion deltas, so no conversion is necessary. See the instructions below to enable a virtual tablet.

Another solution is to switch from a VNC console to an SDL console, however, the SDL console has its own set of problems: it does not work with the Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager), and if you close the SDL console, it immediately kills the virtual machine, possibly resulting in data loss.

Enabling a Virtual Tablet

  1. Launch the Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager).
  2. If the virtual machine is running, turn it off.
  3. Select the virtual machine, then click Details. In the Hardware tab, click Add. For Hardware type, choose Input Device and click Forward. For Type, select the "EvTouch USB Graphics Tablet", click Forward, and click Finish. Alternately, on the host (dom0) system, open the /etc/xen/virtual-machine-name file with your favorite text editor and add the following line at the bottom of the file:
    usbdevice = 'tablet'

  4. Turn on the virtual machine.
  5. If necessary, switch to a text console: using the Virtual Machine Manager console, go to the Send Key menu and click CTRL-ALT-F1.
  6. Log in to the virtual machine as root.
  7. Switch to run level 3 (to disable X Windows) by running init 3:
    [root@hostname ~]# init 3

  8. Run the following command to find the name of the event for the tablet:
    [root@hostname ~]# egrep 'Name|Handlers' /proc/bus/input/devices | grep -i -A 1 tablet
    N: Name="QEMU 0.8.2 QEMU USB Tablet"
    H: Handlers=mouse1 event2 js0

  9. Open /etc/X11/xorg.conf with your favorite text editor. If necessary, add the following InputDevice line to the ServerLayout section:
    Section "ServerLayout"
            InputDevice   "Mouse0" "CorePointer"

    Then, create a new InputDevice section:

    Section "InputDevice"
            Identifier  "Mouse0"
            Driver      "evdev"
            Option      "Device" "/dev/input/event2"
            Option      "Name" "QEMU 0.8.2 QEMU USB Tablet"
            Option      "Mode" "Absolute"

    For the Device and Name values, use the eventX value ("event2" in this case) and name found in the previous step.

  10. Restart X Windows and exit the root shell by running
    [root@hostname ~]# init 5; exit

The mouse tracking should be much more accurate now.

[Jan 17, 2009] Using Xen With LVM-Based VMs Instead Of Image-Based VMs (Debian Etch) HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Mon, 2009-01-12 18:08. :: Debian | Virtualization

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
Last edited 12/13/2008

This guide explains how you can set up LVM-based virtual machines on a Xen host running on Debian Etch instead of virtual machines that use disk images. Virtual machines that use disk images are very slow and heavy on disk IO.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

1 Preliminary Note

In this example I'm using a Debian Etch host with the LVM volume group /dev/vg0 that has about 50GB of space. /dev/vg0 contains two logical volumes, /dev/vg0/root and /dev/vg0/swap_1 that consume about 7GB of space - the rest is not allocated and can be used to create logical volumes for our virtual machines:


server1:~# vgdisplay
--- Volume group ---
VG Name vg0
System ID
Format lvm2
Metadata Areas 1
Metadata Sequence No 3
VG Access read/write
VG Status resizable
Cur LV 2
Open LV 2
Max PV 0
Cur PV 1
Act PV 1
VG Size 49.76 GB
PE Size 4.00 MB
Total PE 12738
Alloc PE / Size 1792 / 7.00 GB
Free PE / Size 10946 / 42.76 GB
VG UUID JbjZw7-aOGY-3iA4-iW0M-KAhu-86fz-Ap3wLw



server1:~# lvdisplay
--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/vg0/root
VG Name vg0
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 5.00 GB
Current LE 1280
Segments 1
Allocation inherit /dev/vg0/swap_1
VG Name vg0
LV UUID GV0SC0-oZLA-rQZS-pe3k-fi2N-YU9q-A73rm3
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 2
LV Size 2.00 GB
Current LE 512
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 254:1


I'm assuming that you've already set up Xen - e.g. as described in the following two guides:

2 Creating LVM-Based Virtual Machines (domU)

We will use xen-tools to create virtual machines. xen-tools make it very easy to create virtual machines - please read this tutorial to learn more: xen-tools are available as a Debian Etch package, so we install that one right now:

apt-get install xen-tools

Next we edit /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf. This file contains the default values that are used by the xen-create-image script unless you specify other values on the command line. I changed the following values and left the rest untouched:

vi /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf

lvm = vg0
dist   = etch    # Default distribution to install.
gateway   =
netmask   =
passwd = 1
kernel = /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686
initrd = /boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686
mirror =

Make sure that you uncomment the lvm line and fill in the name of your volume group (vg0 in my case). At the same time make sure that the dir line is commented out!

The passwd = 1 line makes that you can specify a root password when you create a new guest domain.

In the kernel and initrd lines you must specify the domU kernel and initrd that you want to use for your guest domains. Normally this is /boot/vmlinuz- + the output of uname -r and /boot/initrd.img- + the output of uname -r, so if

uname -r

displays 2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686, then this translates to /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686 and /boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686. You can find out which kernels and initrds are available by running

ls -l /boot/

In the mirror line specify a Debian mirror close to you.

Make sure you specify a gateway and netmask. If you don't, and you don't specify a gateway and netmask on the command line when using xen-create-image, your guest domains won't have networking even if you specified an IP address!

Now let's create our first guest domain,, with the IP address

xen-create-image --size=10Gb --swap=512Mb --ip= --force --memory=256Mb --arch=i386 --debootstrap

Options that you specify on the command line override the settings in /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf. Options that are not specified on the command line are taken from /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf.

(To learn more about the available options, take a look at the xen-create-image man page:

man xen-create-image


The xen-create-image command will now create the virtual machine for us. This can take a few minutes. The output should be similar to this one:

server1:~# xen-create-image --size=10Gb --swap=512Mb --ip= --force --memory=256Mb --arch=i386 --debootstrap

General Infomation
Hostname :
Distribution : etch
Fileystem Type : ext3

Size Information
Image size : 10Gb
Swap size : 512Mb
Image type : full
Memory size : 256Mb
Kernel path : /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686
Initrd path : /boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686

Networking Information
IP Address 1 :
Netmask :
Gateway :

Creating ext3 filesystem on /dev/vg0/

Installing your system with debootstrap mirror

Running hooks

No role script specified. Skipping

Creating Xen configuration file
Setting up root password
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
All done

Logfile produced at:

As you see from the output, xen-create-image has created a new logical volume for our VM in the vg0 volume group, /dev/vg0/, for the VM's root filesystem. Take a look at


and you will see that it has also created a second logical volume, /dev/vg0/, for the VM's swap:

server1:~# lvdisplay
--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/vg0/root
VG Name vg0
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 5.00 GB
Current LE 1280
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 254:0

--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/vg0/swap_1
VG Name vg0
LV UUID GV0SC0-oZLA-rQZS-pe3k-fi2N-YU9q-A73rm3
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 1
LV Size 2.00 GB
Current LE 512
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 254:1

--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/vg0/
VG Name vg0
LV UUID yya7Uj-klRJ-hN9z-nKVk-YgIV-vI1j-KXT53a
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 0
LV Size 10.00 GB
Current LE 2560
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 254:2

--- Logical volume ---
LV Name /dev/vg0/
VG Name vg0
LV UUID pJcl71-YFPf-t0mr-hSIN-4s8J-xkWD-BEvtNv
LV Write Access read/write
LV Status available
# open 0
LV Size 512.00 MB
Current LE 128
Segments 1
Allocation inherit
Read ahead sectors 0
Block device 254:3


There should now be a configuration file - /etc/xen/ The disk line contains physical devices (the two logical volumes created by xen-create-image) instead of disk images:

cat /etc/xen/

#  Configuration file for the Xen instance, created on
# Sat Dec 13 02:01:35 2008.

#  Kernel + memory size
kernel  = '/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686'
ramdisk = '/boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-xen-vserver-686'

memory  = '256'

#  Disk device(s).
root    = '/dev/sda1 ro'

disk    = [ 'phy:vg0/,sda1,w', 'phy:vg0/,sda2,w' ]

#  Hostname
name    = ''

#  Networking
vif  = [ 'ip=' ]

#  Behaviour
on_poweroff = 'destroy'
on_reboot   = 'restart'
on_crash    = 'restart'

(If we had used disk images instead of logical volumes, the disk line would look similar to this one:

disk = [ 'file:/path/to/,hda1,w', 'file:/path/to/,hda2,w' ]


To start the virtual machine, run

xm create /etc/xen/


xm console

to log in on that virtual machine (type CTRL+] if you are at the console, or CTRL+5 if you're using PuTTY to go back to dom0), or use an SSH client to connect to it (

To get a list of running virtual machines, type

xm list

The output should look like this:

server1:~# xm list
Name ID Mem(MiB) VCPUs State Time(s)
Domain-0 0 747 1 r----- 1402.9 1 256 1 -b---- 55.8

To shut down, do this:

xm shutdown

If you want to start automatically at the next boot of the system, then do this:

ln -s /etc/xen/ /etc/xen/auto

Here are the most important Xen commands:

xm create -c /path/to/config - Start a virtual machine.
xm shutdown <name> - Stop a virtual machine.
xm destroy <name> - Stop a virtual machine immediately without shutting it down. It's as if you switch off the power button.
xm list - List all running systems.
xm console <name> - Log in on a virtual machine.
xm help - List of all commands.

A list of all virtual machines that were created with the xen-create-image command is available under


server1:~# xen-list-images
Memory: 256

To learn more about what you can do with xen-tools, take a look at this tutorial:

3 Links

[Aug 2, 2008] How to install & configure Xen Virtualization in openSUSE 11.0 SUSE & openSUSE

Virtualization cannot be that simpler than in openSUSE 11.0. In openSUSE 11.0, Xen Virtualization ins pre-built and all it takes is a few clicks away from up and running with Virtualization in no time. Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation. This package contains the Xen Hypervisor.

[Nov 2, 2007] Xen and the Art of System Administration

[Oct 12, 2007] Moving Dell's pre-installed Windows inside Xen

For VMWare you can use this tool:

Sorry but the only thing that I could find for Xen is using the Phsical
harddrive as a VBD, page 21 in the Xen user manual.

[Oct 12, 2007] Howto Install Windows XP - Vista on Xen

This short guide describes how to install Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server on Xen. It provides an overview of the Debian Linux Etch installation, and detailed steps for installing and configuring Xen and starting the Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server

[Oct 12, 2007] Windows to Run Unmodified on SLES 10 under Xen

Device drivers from Novell and Intel allow unmodified Windows Server 2000/2003/XP to run in Xen virtual environments on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and Intel® Virtualization Technology

SAN FRANCISCO (InfoWorld Virtualization Executive Forum)- 12 Feb 2007- Novell and Intel Corporation today announced the availability of paravirtualized network and block device drivers that will allow Microsoft* Windows* Server 2000/2003/XP to run unmodified in Xen* virtual environments on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell®, operating on Intel-based server platforms featuring Intel® Virtualization Technology. Combined with the existing ability to host unmodified Linux* on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, these new drivers will let customers confidently migrate to newer and fewer energy-efficient servers, consolidating legacy Windows or Linux solutions onto virtual servers.

"With our SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform launch in July 2006, Novell became the first major Linux distributor to integrate Xen virtualization into a Linux distribution," said Jeff Jaffe, Novell executive vice president and chief technology officer. "In September, we became the first distribution to support virtualized Linux workloads on Xen, and today we are the first distributor to support virtualized Windows workloads on Linux. Our commitment to innovation to solve customer problems has never been greater."

"Intel has been working with the open source community to enable Linux virtualization solutions to take advantage of Intel Virtualization Technology, so that guest OS and applications can run unmodified," said Doug Fisher, Intel vice president of Software and Solutions Group. "In addition, our Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor-based platform with its outstanding performance, energy efficiency and reliability provides unparalleled headroom for multiple Virtual Machines running varied data center workloads. Getting Windows to run with Linux unmodified and vice versa will bring an immense confidence boost to IT managers in making decisions on corporate platform standardization and refresh."

In addition to providing cost savings when virtualizing Windows on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, these drivers can improve the availability of Windows- and Linux-based workloads via clustered virtual systems and help IT staff respond faster to business needs by easily creating and provisioning services on virtual systems.

Novell is sponsoring a virtualization pilot program for customers, providing enterprise-level support for running fully virtualized Windows 2000/2003/XP workloads on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The paravirtualized device drivers are now available to members of the pilot program. General availability is scheduled for later this year. For more information on the pilot program and Novell virtualization solutions, visit For more about SUSE Linux Enterprise offerings from Novell, visit For more information about Intel Virtualization Technology, visit

[Oct 8, 2007] MindMeld " Virtualization techniques - Xen on openSUSE 10.2

In order to make more efficient use of our resources, we have chosen to research the various virtualization products available in the marketplace today. Again, since Mindbridge develops software in an open source environment, we prefer to support the open source community.

Xen is an open source GPL project managed by XenSource. This the primary virtualization technology that openSuse and Novell are supporting. Unfortunately, Xen does not seem to be completely ironed out for Ubuntu, as of the Feisty Faun release.

We currently have several openSuse servers hosting more than six Xen instances simultaneously. We have not attempted to create more than nine on one machine as yet, but may do so in the future. That said, Xen does an excellent job of resource management. Our virtual servers usually have 1GB of RAM and at least 12GB of hard disk allocated to them.

We've had much success running our CRM system, IntraSmart and MindGuard for testing purposes and even MindMeld on fully virtual Xen instances. Click "more" for the generic steps we use for creating a Xen instance:

Create the hard drive partition:

Yast - Partitioner

Yast - Virtual Machine Management (Xen):

Finishing Touches


[Sep 27, 2007] openSUSE News " Blog Archive " Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 10.3 Virtualisation by Francis Giannaros

Some changes in openSUSE 10.3 have ensured that if you are interested in just about any type of popular virtualisation, then openSUSE is the operating system to be on. From Xen to VirtualBox, QEMU and KVM - it's all available in the new version. Today we'll be going through a few of these new additions and we'll be talking to Frank Kohler, the project manager for Virtualisation at SUSE, to help us learn a bit more.

Virtualisation: What's Available

Virtualisation refers to any sort of abstraction of physical hardware, or computer resources. openSUSE 10.3 will contain several emulators, a few more convenient kernel modules, and of course Xen; so let us take a look at these. For some guides and HOWTOs on Virtualisation, take a look at HOWTOs#Virtualisation on the openSUSE wiki.


VirtualBox is a wonderful new open source virtualisation product, with a huge range of capabilities, and excellent documentation. As well as having nice enterprise features, for the regular openSUSE user it can be a great tool for trying out new installations or live CDs of openSUSE, and even other operating systems and distributions altogether.

Below you can take a look at VirtualBox running with openSUSE 10.3 RC1:

VirtualBox running openSUSE 10.3 KDE

As you can see, the whole interface is very friendly and easy to work with. If you need help getting VirtualBox set up, take a look at

Xen 3.1

The openSUSE distribution is also the base for other Linux distributions; most famously of course is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and Desktop (SLED). That means that openSUSE gets all the enterprise Xen virtualisation features, such as:

However, it not only has that, but even more. The new Xen 3.1 includes other additions, particularly tackling HVM guest issues: i.e. improving support for save/restore/migrate operations for non-paravirtualized virtual machines (i.e. Windows). Below can take a look at openSUSE 10.3 running inside Xen:

NetWare - Xen openSUSE 10.3 in Xen

VM YaST Module

To help with setting up and configuring Xen, openSUSE even has a nice Install Hypervisor and Tools (in the yast2-vm package) module which can do a lot of the work for you:

YaST - Install Hypervisor and Tools

After the install has finished you'll have two extra YaST modules to create and manage virtual machines:

YaST - VM Modules

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)

Also in this release is the latest Linux kernel virtualisation infrastructure, KVM. KVM itself is to be considered experimental, but it is progressing very quickly. The latest versions come with reports of even better performance and Windows Vista support.

The kernel module currently works with a modified version of QEMU, also available in openSUSE. To get it running, see

More kernel modules: PARAVIRT-OPS & VMI

The release also includes the important paravirt-ops and vmi kernel modules to assist you with and increase performance in vmware.

Talk with Frank Kohler

I caught up with SUSE's project manager for Virtualisation to ask a few questions.

Could you tell us a little about Xen in SUSE? Why has it been so successful?

Francis, first thanks for offering me a chance to talk a bit about my area of work.

SUSE has broad experience with virtualisation, especially since supporting the IBM mainframe. Therefore interest in the Xen project has been established from the beginning. As an OS vendor SUSE has developers with essential knowledge and skills needed for the tight integration of hypervisor technology and OS. SUSE has therefore become one of the Top 5 contributors to the Xen project.

Today Xen has matured to a level where it is competitive to other hypervisor technologies in the market. Xen has established a large ecosystem, which is essential for adaption on various levels. SUSE contributes to virt-manager as well as to Novell's datacenter management solution ZENworks Orchestrator offering solutions to a broad audience.

Virtualisation applications, such as VirtualBox recently, appear to benefit greatly by being licenced as free software. How great are the incentives for other virtualisation software vendors to follow suit, and do you think they will?

On one hand we see virtualisation being commodity today with industry leaders embracing virtualisation hand in hand with virtualisation specialists.

On the other hand the biggest share of the market is yet not virtualised offering huge opportunities to everyone. There's still an enormous space for mainstream software and even more for niche products. So, yes, absolutely there are great incentives to publish virtualisation software and appliances be it fame, glory, money or all of that. If you have a great idea though, please talk to us (SUSE) and me first :-)

KVM appears to be progressing very well in the upstream Linux kernel. What do you think the future holds for it?

Indeed SUSE recognises the growing momentum of KVM and its advantages in certain areas. It's good to see developers trying to close gaps to Xen, e.g. in the areas of paravirtualisation, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) or hardware virtualised environments (VT and AMD-V respectively).

For broader market adoption and success KVM needs to grow its ecosystem though. KVM project's main sponsor confirms that direction by announcing a product for the desktop and laptop segment just yesterday.

Lguest is another upcoming hypervisor that looks promising. Do you think it will be used in the openSUSE distribution in the future?

Lguest is an impressive technology demonstration with just a few thousand lines of code. Of course Lguest's scope is limited today therefore it's hard to foresee it's future. Yet we all remember Linus' posting on August 25 in 1991 :-)

What kind of other plans does the virtualisation team at SUSE have for the future?

I'd love to talk more about the future of virtualisation since SUSE has lots of aces up its sleeve; unfortunately many things have not been announced yet. So I will at least talk a bit about a great demonstration SUSE did two weeks ago in San Francisco at one of the largest virtualisation conferences.

SUSE R&D managed on one hand to patch our SUSE Linux Enterprise kernel to VMI enablement and on the other hand to get hold of a VMI enabled enterprise hypervisor. In conjunction with partner middleware application we demonstrated great performance of SUSE Linux both on virtual and physical machines exploiting the very same kernel. Once again SUSE offers freedom of choice ;)


This entry is filed under Sneak Peeks, Software, Distribution. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


Comment by Justin Haygood

2007-09-28 00:35:22

VirtualBox is a nice product, and I'm glad it's made available and supported by default in the new openSUSE 10.3!

A moment of Xen: Virtualize Linux to test your apps

Bryan Clark ([email protected]), Interaction Designer, Red Hat

15 Mar 2005

Xen is a virtualization technology available for the Linux™ kernel that lets you enclose and test new upgrades as if running them in the existing environment but without the worries of disturbing the original system. The author shows you how to install Xen using Fedora Core, but once installed, everything works the same in Xen on any distribution. Take a look at virtualization on Linux and see the benefits of having a sandbox for testing new software, as well as a playground for running multiple virtual machines on the same Linux box.

With a steady flow of improvements and bug fixes to existing software, the open source world is in constant flux. Staying at the bleeding edge of software upgrades can be a full-time job. One of the trickiest parts about upgrading your software is that you never really know if your applications are going to work after the upgrade is complete. Most software packaging systems offer a rollback feature, but that's often not enough; ideally, you want to play with these new updates to test and try them in an environment where they can't hurt anything.

Like a kid on the playground, you want your own sandbox to play in, where you can make a mess and not worry about picking up.

Virtualization is often used to separate (or "sandbox") applications and systems from the others on the same hardware. Linux supports many different forms of virtualization ranging from hardware emulators to pure hardware virtualization. One recent standout in the growing list of virtualization technologies is Xen, developed at the University of Cambridge. Xen is noteworthy because of its unprecedented performance and security.

[Sep 25, 2007] Windows to Run Unmodified on SLES 10 under Xen " Linux In Novell's East Region

February 14, 2007

Posted by RossB under DataCenter , Defenstration , OSS News , Press , Virtualization

...You will need a VT enabled processor to get this to work. Intel Dual Cores and Intel Xeons all support this. AMD A2's are supposed to be compatible but I don't know whether they are supported yet. Google your processor to find out whether its supported.

First thing you will want to do is follow the guide at for installing Xen on Dapper Drake. I installed Xen 3.0.2 instead of 3.0.1 but the guide was mostly spot on and unfortunately you still need to do all the workarounds mentioned in the guide.

You then need to ensure that VT support is enabled for your system. With my vaio laptop I didn't need to do anything - you may need to go into the bios and enable this feature. Once booted into Xen check that VT support is enabled for Xen.

$ xm dmesg | grep VMX
(XEN) VMXON is done
(XEN) VMXON is done

If you do not see a VMXON message then Xen has not detected that VT support and you will not be able to install Windows. Check that your processor does indeed support VT and that it is enabled.

Make an image for your XP installation. You probably want to keep it fairly small and keep most of your files on the network or internet. This will take a few moments while it fills up the disk. 4096 is the number of megabytes so mine is 4 gigs, pick an appropriate size for your needs.

$ mkdir -p /var/xen/images/
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/xen/images/WinXP.img bs=1M count=4096

Edit the file /etc/xen/winxp and set up something similar to this config. You may want to increase the amount of memory. Also make sure that your cdrom line points to your cdrom device (and not the /dev/cdrom symlink that doesn't appear to work). Note boot='d' means boot off the cd-rom drive, once Windows is installed you change this to boot='c'.

kernel = "/usr/lib/xen/boot/hvmloader"
builder = 'hvm'
memory = 512
name = "winxp"
vcpus = 1
vif = [ 'type=ioemu, bridge=xenbr0' ]
disk = [ 'file:/var/xen/images/WinXP.img,ioemu:hda,w' ]
device_model = '/usr/lib/xen/bin/qemu-dm'

Start up the VM and cross your fingers.

xm create winxp

Here are some screenshots of it in action: If you run into any problems here check out /var/log/xend.log to see what the problem is. One problem that I ran into was the "Integer expected" problem. I uncommented lines one by one until I found the offending line and fixed it up.

[Feb 14, 2007] Windows to Run Unmodified on SLES 10 under Xen

In what can only be described as a ground-breaking announcement, Novell and Intel announced Monday that they have released the needed drivers to let Windows 2000/XP/2003 run unmodified under Xen virtualization. This is particularly good news for our customers who wanted to virtualize Windows 2000 servers but worried that they wouldn't get the performance they wanted or that the changes that had to be made to the OS would break the functionality.

Installing Xen3 - openSUSE

The instructions for installing Xen have changed considerably since this article was written. The latest procedures for installing and using Xen are still being documented, but you can view the following topics in their current state:

This is BIER Suse 10.1 and Xen 3

This works much better than with Suse 10.0, but Yast2 is reworked in suse 10.1 and i have the feeling that in many areas yast2 in suse 10.1 is far not ready for production :-(
Here is the only way i found how to install a xen vm with suse 10.1!

How do I set up XEN - SuSE Linux Forums

Take a look at the 6 page readme file - I presume it is in the documentation, but I googled it and found it at

Alternately, there is an article on the IBM Developerworks website (xen on Fedora)
that I followed and was able to get a second domain up and running (sort of).

[Mar 20, 2007] Running SAP Paravirtualized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Xen +

Extensive testing at SAP's LinuxLab validated both the stability and scalability of running SAP software in a para-virtualized data center environment using SUSE LInux Enterprise Server 10 and Xen. Both I/O load and computing performance of para-virtualized SAP workloads was observed to be between 85 and 133% percent of native.

Dell CTO scores A on virtualization test | Between the Lines ...

If you ask me (and maybe VMware president Diane Green), Dell CTO Kevin Kettler has got virtualization right. According to a report by Stephen Shankland, yesterday, Kettler told a LinuxWorld Boston crowd:

There are lot of players that have been entrenched in the virtualization market" that need to understand that standardization is "the only way to make these environments robust…"

Earlier this week, Green took Microsoft to task in her blog, citing the licensing requirements behind the file formats used for Microsoft's virtualization technologies The software industry needs to rethink licensing agreements for virtualized environments. versus the file formats for that of VMware's which she said are free for the taking (in other words, no license requirements). Unencumbered technologies often end up as de facto or de jure market standards. In other words, provided VMware'sVirtual Machine Disk Format (VMDK) and other associated interfaces (see VMware's Web page on this) are truly unencumbered, they stand a better shot at widespread adoption than do any proprietary offerings.

That said, VMDK openness doesn't appear to have merited the attention of XEN Source, the open source approach to virtualization. XEN Source has open sourced its own hypervisor - the layer of technology that's critical to keeping virtual machines (VMs) separate (known as partitioning) while meting out available system resources (processor slices, memory, etc.) to each of them (the VMs).

Even worse, in a reversal of fortunes that's atypical of the chasm between the open source community and Microsoft, XEN Source licensed Microsoft's proprietary Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format for usage with its commercial offering: XEN Enterprise (the implications being that it won't be available to XEN Source's open source version since the open source ability to sub-license is incompatible with commercial licensing schemes). The move at this week's LinuxWorld may have been what forced VMware's hand:

Kettler demonstrated a Dell PC running Windows Server 2003 in one virtual machine and Red Hat Enterprise Linux in another. Each operating system could access Web pages hosted by the other, communicating through the Xen "hypervisor" software that manages virtualization.

Meanwhile, Dell is listed on VMware's partner page and quotes Dell senior VP Jeff Clarke as saying:

"Standardization brings benefits to the entire industry"….. "Dell continually innovates around standards to deliver on our Scalable Enterprise vision with products and services that help customers better utilize computing resources and keep costs low. We applaud VMware for opening its APIs to standardization to promote interoperability and flexibility in customer computing environments."

Whether its hedging or simply playing both cards, Dell isn't alone in its apparent divided allegiance. Also appearing in support for both environments are Red Hat, Novell, Intel, and AMD with Red Hat actually including the XEN support in its distributions. Says Paul Cormier, Red Hat exec VP of Engineering, on VMware's Web site:

More than ever standards are critical to innovation in enterprise infrastructures. Red Hat applauds the efforts of technology partners like VMware who are working to establish open, standards-based solutions," said Paul Cormier, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Red Hat. "We are pleased to work with VMware, partners and the community to offer customers virtualization as a key component of their open source architectures.

Confused? I am. One thing is clear to me though. VMware waited way too long to open up its interfaces. Had it done this two or three years ago when other other heavily commercialized software companies like Sun realized that adoption and "free"go together, Green's comments on her blog don't ring of a methodically designed strategy but rather, a knee-jerk-uh-oh-our-hand-has-been-forced reaction.

Meanwhile, even more interesting to me were some of the Kettler comments that were picked up by InfoWorld's Shelley Solheim. Solheim quotes Kettler as saying that the software industry needs to rethink licensing agreements for virtualized environments. I couldn't agree more. While he didn't name names, let's say that the reform needs to begin with Microsoft. Microsoft needs to lead the industry by making it possible for end-users to create and run VMs with as many copies of Windows as they feel they need to as long as those copies are for their own personal use (and not for building the equivalent of a mainframe where each of the VMs is remotely accessible by different users). Those VMs also need the freedom to be portable. For example, if my notebook fails (which it has), I should be able to take my VMs and run them on another machine that can support them without fear of the BSA making a public example out of my software practices.

Solheim also picked up on a one of Kettler's better comments about the benefits of virtualization when it comes to security. Said Kettler:

As an example of secure browsing, he demonstrated on a Red Hat Xen virtualization-enabled Dell Optiplex desktop how a user could create a virtual machine and then if it were infected by a virus, destroy that virtual machine and re-create a new one.

Bingo. This is a big benefit of virtualization on the desktop (and notebooks). Me personally? I already have a stable of stable VMs locked and loaded. If ever one of my "production" VMs becomes unstable, corrupted, or infected, I can clone the last known stable version of that VM and I'm back in business within minutes (taking great care not to repeat whatever user mistake I made to destabilize the other VM in the first place). Think these are drastic steps? Think again. Earlier this week, Microsoft said that the only sure way to correct an infected system might be to wipe it completely clean and reinstall Windows. Wrote eWeek's Ryan Naraine of the disclosure:

In a rare discussion about the severity of the Windows malware scourge, a Microsoft security official said businesses should consider investing in an automated process to wipe hard drives and reinstall operating systems as a practical way to recover from malware infestation…."When you are dealing with rootkits and some advanced spyware programs, the only solution is to rebuild from scratch. In some cases, there really is no way to recover without nuking the systems from orbit," Mike Danseglio, program manager in the Security Solutions group at Microsoft, said in a presentation at the InfoSec World conference here."

While fellow ZDNet blogger George Ou agrees and has additional steps that can be taking to keep your systems insulated from malware, I couldn't disagree more with what Danseglio is recommending (and how Ou agrees with him). Time is money and rebuilding systems is painful. For individuals, it's downright impossible. For business IT staffs, they may be able to return a fresh build to their end-users, but gone will be all of the work that those users did to personalize those systems. Virtual machines are undeniably the way to think about this problem.

Start with the approach that your bare metal OS (the host OS) never gets used for anything more than hosting your VMs and you'll probably never have to wipe your hard drive out. Ever. To the extent that you don't use the host OS for anything user related (and to pick an OS that isn't exactly a big target for malware authors), try using Linux as the underlying OS. VMware has a very long list of supported distributions of Linux. I'm sure several of them can be installed and scaled back (to conserve resources) in a way that makes it the ideal host. This approach is what Kettler and even Microsoft (not with Linux) should be advocating. Microsoft, of course, can use its Virtual PC product to make child's play out of the process. Dell and other system OEMs (IBM, HP, etc.) can bundle VM technology with some of their own secret sauce so as to lead end-users of their systems to a safe, reliable, and idiot-proof set of VM-based best practices. This is especially so now that hardware support for virtualization is implicit in technologies coming from both Intel and AMD.

Kettler has it right. No matter how you look at it, VMs are the way to go. But there are few items (like licensing) that need to be worked out. And Dell, like others, may need to figure out what camp they're in. Now that XEN Source has licensed Microsoft's VHD, challenges lay ahead for VMware on the server front. On the desktop, even though Kettler's demo used an Dell Optiplex, bear in mind that he was using XEN Enterprise (which can run Windows) and will most often get used in server environments. VMware's sub-$200 solution along with its free player technology is still the one to beat on the desktop. Especially for businesses.


IBM will use the latest release of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 to bring the Xen open-source virtualization technology to its x86 servers.

The Armonk, N.Y., company announced July 17 that it initially will support Xen on its server and blade platforms that run on Intel and Advanced Micro Devices processors, and that its middleware also will support the virtualization technology.

Later, IBM will add SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and Xen support to its other server platforms.

"Customers are very, very rapidly adopting virtualization, particularly on the x86 platform, which hasn't had it until [relatively] recently," said Kevin Leahy, director of marketing for IBM's virtualization solutions. "VMware is out there, and now customers want choice."

Virtualization-the ability to run multiple workloads on a single physical server-was developed by IBM for its mainframe systems but didn't become popular for x86 systems until VMware rolled out its first hypervisor about five years ago. Since then, adoption has increase rapidly, and analyst firm IDC, of Framingham, Mass., sees a $15 billion virtualization market by 2009.

The success also has spawned a number of companies to jump into the virtualization space, from heavyweights such as Microsoft to smaller companies like SWsoft and Virtual Iron. Xen was created through an open-source project to offer a free hypervisor that mirrors what VMware's technology does. Xen 3.0 was released last year, and companies like XenSource have begun rolling out products based on the technology.

Both Novell and Red Hat said they will bake the technology into their Linux distributions, and Novell rolled that out July 17 with the latest SUSE Linux distribution. In addition, many OEMs said they expect to offer Xen support in their platforms. For example, Sun Microsystems officials say they plan to support Xen in Solaris 10 by mid-2007.

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