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Re: [Fwd: Re: [Xen-devel] Newbee - Xenoboot CD]

To: Ted Hilts <thilts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [Xen-devel] Newbee - Xenoboot CD]
From: Tim Deegan <Tim.Deegan@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2005 09:38:00 +0000
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On Tue, Mar 01, 2005 at 02:01:52PM -0700, Ted Hilts wrote:
> Could you provide the URL for the statement you made, "There will be a 
> Xen/Debian/BSD live CD available from the Xen project site within the 
> next few days, which does boot to Xen". I am very interested in this CD 
> (probably an iso image?).

Not just yet, but I will when it's uploaded.
> Does this mean that the LIVE CD contains a Debian Distribution with Xen 
> installed and containing one virtual machine containing the BSD OS? 

The live demo CD boots to Debian + Xen, and can boot additional Debian
and FreeBSD guest OSes (I haven't checked the upper limit, but let's say
between five and thirty) by taking copy-on-write snaphshots of the root
filesystems and using those for the guest filesystems.

> In other words what would one be able to do with this LIVE CD other than 
> run the BSD OS as a demo? Could the LIVE CD or it's contents somehow be 
> put onto a hard drive to provide a fully functional and expandable 
> system?

Certainly, although currently there's no automatic method for doing it.

It should be as easy as copying the filesystem to a disk partition and
installing GRUB.  After that you'd have to configure the system for your
required setup, and maybe update the boot order so it doesn't start the
demo.  And, of course, make copies of the root filesystem for any guest
OSes you want to run as well.

> 1. Install a Linux distribution (how about SuSE 9.1 which has a 2.6.x 
> kernel)?
> 2. Either (using the Xen source or an Xen binary) replace the SuSE 9.1 
> kernel
> with Xen which I understand is built on (uses or is part of -- ported to) 
> either
> the 2.4.x and the 2.6.x kernel)?
> 3. Then using Xen create a virtual machine into which I can "plant" SuSE 
> 9.2 OS
> or some other 2.6.x based Linux distribution or even BSD?

This happens the other way around, mostly.  You build a root filesystem
containing the OS you want as the guest and when it's ready boot the
virtual machine using it.

> 4. Then I can take the customized Xenoboot CD for that Xen installation and 
> use it for
> a permanent front end boot and recovery system and also a way to backup 
> systems
> as well as using one system as a template to create(clone) others or 
> migrate a system
> or even partitions????

Yes, you could do that.  The Xenoboot CD would just need to be
customised to get its boot instructions from your server.  


Tim Deegan                           (My opinions, not the University's)
Systems Research Group
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory

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