Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Oct 2006 14:53 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linux "Linux had always lacked a Open Source virtualisation technology in the same league as Solaris containers or commercial product like Vmware. That was until Xen came into the picture. Xen is an opensource virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems. Recently, I downloaded the Xen Live CD ISO image from their website and burned it on to a CD in order to give it a trial run. What follows below are my experiences in trying out this very promising virtualisation technology."
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Hmm, Xen
by MattPie on Mon 16th Oct 2006 15:33 UTC
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The only problem I see with Xen is that it's not as easy as VMware (well, that and Windows support on the current iteration). With VMware, it just makes *sense*. You create a VM with the web wizard, optionally assign an ISO image for the CD-ROM, and it acts just like a regular PC in a window.

Xen (admittedly, I didn't delve too far into it and in the 2.0 time frame) wasn't 'easy' like that. You have to find custom kernels or patched OSs (like FreeBSD), and I'm still unsure of how you actually 'install' the guest OS. I tried Xen in SLES10, and the VM failed to boot properly.

The test CD is fantastic, but it's a canned world. As soon as you try to create your own setups, the learning curve gets steep.

I'm sure someday Xen will be made easy, but right now its more hassle than I'm willing to put into it.

Edited 2006-10-16 15:34

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmm, Xen
by Mark Williamson on Mon 16th Oct 2006 15:53 in reply to "Hmm, Xen"
Mark Williamson Member since:

Disclaimer: I work on Xen, am paid by XenSource.

Xen is getting easier. There have been a few attempts at a web interface but none have really stuck in the free product. There's one in the commercial product XenEnterprise, however.

Distro integration should make things easier. Novell SLES, etc can install Xen by default and include a Yast Module for installing further virtual machines (currently only SuSE VMs are supported, I think, with support for others planned for future releases of their enterprise products).

RedHat are doing similar stuff with the next RHEL release, and their VirtManager software (which will also manage virtual machines on other virtualisation / emulation platforms such as QEmu, allowing users more flexibility).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Hmm, Xen
by skx2 on Mon 16th Oct 2006 16:03 in reply to "RE: Hmm, Xen"
skx2 Member since:

Distro integration is definitely the next step. I'm happily using Xen on my Debian systems and with my xen-tools I can create a new instance of Debian, CentOS, or even Gentoo in just a few minutes.

The web/console control panel does need to be written yet. There have been several started but none have gained significant traction, and it is a hard problem to solve. (Mine I gave up on; it'll come back once I've planned the spec more.)

Kudos to the entire Xen team for such cool and easy to use technology though.

Reply Parent Score: 1