Getting Started

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Revision as of 11:49, 26 March 2012 by Ijc (talk | contribs) (Initial basic outline)
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The aim of this document is to guide a new user through the decisions needed in order to get a Xen system up and running and to provide a jumping off point for more specific documentation to meet their aims.

Getting Xen

The recommended way for most people to get Xen is to install via your distribution whereever possible. There are many distros which have good support for Xen included right out of the box. This option is generally much simpler than the alternatives since many of the common pitfalls are eliminated by consuming existing tested packages. You will also benefit from being able to ask the distribution community for help which will often result in responses which are more specific to the distribution in question.

Selecting Domain 0 Operating System / Distro

The selection of a domain 0 operating system is largely one of personal preference and/or existing skillset. If you are already familiar with a particular distribution in a non-Xen context then this is likely to be the best choice for you, assuming that the distribution has support for Xen.

Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuSE, SLES, XCP, Oracle VM, Fedora, NetBSD are all known to have good support for Xen in their current releases.

TODO link to a category which tags host installation guides for various distros

Installing Xen From Source

If you are planning to develop on Xen or you require a bleeding edge feature which is not yet available in the distributions then you may find that you need to build from source.

TODO link to a suitable guide

Selecting a Domain 0 Kernel

Xen no longer ships with a particular kernel which is recommend for domain 0 usage (nor domain U for that matter). This is because Xen support in distributions and in mainline kernels is now more than sufficient for most use cases.

As with instalation of Xen itself the best option is generally to use your distribution kernel.

As of Linux v3.0 everything which is needed for a functional domain 0 is included in the mainline Linux tree and this has lead to renewed support for Xen domain 0 by distributions. See above for a list of distributions which have good support for Xen.

TODO links to a dom0 kernel page

TODO link to a suitable guide for building from source

Selecting Toolstack

There are several toolstacks which can be used with Xen. Choice of Toolstacks discusses the features of the various toolstacks and the various use cases where they may be appropriate.

Installing a Guest

TODO link to a category which tags guest installation guides

Advanced Topics

Driver Domains

Stub domains