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   {{{root@host:/etc/apt# cat preferences Package: *}}}[[BR]]    {{{root@host:/etc/apt# cat preferences}}}[[BR]]
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   {{{root@host:# apt-get install xen-linux-system-2.6.18-1-xen-686 libc6-xen bridge-utils}}}    {{{root@host:# apt-get install xen-linux-system-2.6.18-2-xen-vserver-686 libc6-xen bridge-utils}}}


For installing Dom0 on etch you have to

do a regular install, while keeping the following in mind and doing the extra stuff at the end.

xen 3.0.3

Since the 2.6.18 kernel and the 3.0.3 hypervisor are still in unstable (Oct. 29th, 2006), you need to put sid in your apt configuration. You can do this by adding sid to /etc/apt/sources.list and setting apt's preferences for sid lower:

  • root@host:/etc/apt# cat sources.list?BR deb http://pandora/debian/ etch main non-free contrib?BR deb-src http://pandora/debian/ etch main non-free contrib?BR deb http://pandora/debian-security/ etch/updates main contrib non-free?BR deb-src http://pandora/debian-security/ etch/updates main contrib non-free?BR deb http://pandora/debian/ sid main non-free contrib?BR deb-src http://pandora/debian/ sid main non-free contrib?BR root@host:/etc/apt# cat preferences?BR Package: *?BR Pin: release a=unstable?BR Pin-Priority: 200?BR

You need to run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade after you changed to the above.

After that you need to install the xen-linux package that pulls most of the dependencies with it plus two extra packages:

  • root@host:# apt-get install xen-linux-system-2.6.18-2-xen-vserver-686 libc6-xen bridge-utils

Warning: if you are useing a separate filesystem for /boot like I do, your /boot/grub/menu.lst bootloader configuration file doesn't get modified correctly. In this case every path needs to read /<filename>, but for some bug the one for xen.gz doesn't but looks like '/boot/xen.gz', so change it to '/xen.gz'.


The following information is outdated (although it might still work) by the hypervisor 3.0.3 upload which came available on debian today (23-10). It works fine. I hope to update the following howto this week.


The following worked fine with the package xen-utils-common, version 3.0+hg11292-2. On september 27th xen-utils-common version 3.0+hg11624-1 came out, which _definitely_ does not work. If you are lucky you got the older one somewhere in cache, on the debian mirrors it's nowhere to be found. If you trust me you can get a copy of the older package here: http://members.home.nl/netman1/xen-utils-common_3.0+hg11292-2_all.deb You can install it at theend by downloading it and doing a

dpkg --install xen-utils-common_3.0+hg11292-2_all.deb


Since the problems with xen-unstable your best bet on using a stable xen with etch (testing, october '06) is, until 3.0.3 comes out, the following.

Considerations: diskspace and RAM

The only things influencing the installation through d-i of the xen environment are diskspace and RAM. To start with the last: usually 196 MB RAM is needed for domain0. You can do with less: 128MB and I've even seen reports from people running with 64MB or even 32MB, but keep to defaults if this is your first time with xen. Aditional functionality for domain0 like dhcpd, iptables and installation services (eg. apache with apt-proxy) claim more. For a default domain0 you need 512MB diskspace and then you've got to keep an eye on it, so do at least 1GB. I use 2GB to be safe. For simplicities sake I keep it all in 1 filesystem. Local requirements for logging, accounting and/or auditing may claim extra. Swap space is the usual rule of thumb: RAM * attention. General methods for storing your user-domains file data are, in the order of preference: external san/nfs, local lvm2, local partitions, local files.


Do a regular install and select for the kernel linux-image-2.6.16-2-xen-686, use grub for the bootloader (xen is not compatible with lilo) and choose mkinitramfs-tools for the ramdisk creator. Continue right up to the menu option "Finish the installation" but stop there (don't select it). Switch to the second console with 'Ctrl-Alt-F2' and hit enter. Chroot into your target install with

  •  chroot /target /bin/sh 

Install all needed packages:

  •  apt-get install xen-hypervisor-3.0.2-1-i386 iproute libatm1 mime-support python python-central python-minimal python2.4 python2.4-minimal xen-utils-3.0.2-1 xen-utils-common file bridge-utils libc6-xen libmagic1 libsysfs2 

Create the initrd manually, since it was not created with the kernel installation:

  •  mkinitramfs-kpkg -o /boot/initrd.img-2.6.16-2-xen-686 2.6.16-2-xen-686 

Since the installation of the above mentioned kernel package also does not adjust the bootloader config file /boot/grub/menu.lst, add the following to it, using your favorite editor:

  •  title           Xen 3.0.2-1-i386 / Debian GNU/Linux 2.6.16-2  ?BR  root            [ FILL IN YOUR ROOT DEVICE, EG. (hd0,0) ]  ?BR  kernel          /boot/xen-3.0.2-1-i386.gz dom0_mem=131072 noreboot  ?BR  module          /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.16-2-xen-686 root= [ FILL IN YOUR ROOT DEVICE, EG. /dev/hda1 ]  ?BR  module          /boot/initrd.img-2.6.16-2-xen-686  ?BR  savedefault  ?BR  boot  ?BR

Since we have the opportunity, adjust your xen config file /etc/xen/xend-config.sxp (save the original for later study). The following works on a system with a single nic:

  •  (xend-relocation-server no)  ?BR  (xend-relocation-hosts-allow '')  ?BR  (network-script 'network-bridge netdev=eth0')  ?BR  (vif-script vif-bridge)  ?BR  (dom0-min-mem 196)  ?BR  (dom0-cpus 0)  ?BR

Exit your chroot

  •  exit 

and change back to your installation screen with 'Ctrl-Alt-F1' and select "Finish the installation".

If the system does not boot, try adding a 'noacpi' option to the vmlinux line in menu.lst first.


http://lists.xensource.com/archives/html/xen-users/2006-09/msg00966.html (dd. 20070930) en-unstable.

  • /!\ Work in progress, your help is appreciated


You can start d-i in DomU by

creating a DomU config file with the xen DomU kernel and the initrd from the netboot images (http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/dists/testing/main/installer-i386/beta3/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz) and granting the DomU (or user-domain) read/write acces to some empty pre-created filesystems you want to use in it since you definitely do not want to give the DomU access to your mbr. You need to copy the DomU kernel's /lib/modules/<version> to the initrd.

It works, I did this some months ago with the 3.0.1 xen version from backports.org, but am unable to reproduce due to the current state of the xen software on etch and backports.org. Waiting for http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-xen-devel/2006-September/000739.html, I suppose :-(

In the mean time the easiest way to create a domU filesystem from a dom0 is by following ["Installing Debian GNU/Linux from a Unix/Linux System"]; http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i386/apcs04.html.en ;

  • /!\ Work in progress, your help is appreciated

DomU graphical

I guess it must be possible to do this, maybe in a similar way as the DomU, through the xen native vnc support or in a straight X11 session over a network connection with the ssh console option (does the graphical installer have X11 client support?).

  • /!\ Work in progress, your help is appreciated