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Re: [Xen-users] Windows in a DomU

To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Windows in a DomU
From: "Karsten M. Self" <kself@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 18:39:06 -0800
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on Fri, Dec 16, 2005 at 04:19:02PM +0100, Marco Natali (marco@xxxxxxxxxx) wrote:
> Hi,
> someone know how to install/configure a domain for starting Windows?
> I have a server Dell, arrived just now, and I would like to try Windows
> in a Xen domain.

There's a few things you should know, unofficial and subject to change.

MS Windows on Xen requires Intel VT or AMD Pacifica hardware, enabled in
BIOS.  Windows won't run on x86 CPUs lacking hardware virtualization
support.  These products are not yet in general circulation.  Note that
with VT/Pacifica support, MS Windows as a DomU is possible.  Windows as
Dom0 is not.

There was some early exploratory work involving a patched NT kernel
which ran paravirtualized under Xen, however this hasn't (and likely
won't) be released publicly.  Quoting an earlier message:

    The XenoXP work is not currently under active development.  Whilst
    there is no *technical* reason that it can't be done (and it would
    actually be much easier with the new Xen hypervisor interface),
    there are many tricky political/legal issues.

There's some support for running Windows in the current public Xen tree,
and you may be able to boot a Windows image.  There's some discussion on
this in earlier posts to the xen-devel mailing list, you may want to
browse the archives for pointers. 

There's a lot of active development, you shouldn't expect stuff that
works, but if you're interested in contributing to the codebase, your
participation would be welcomed.

If you're looking for current levels of satisfaction, you might try
running Windows under qemu, which does work, albeit with a significant
(but generally tolerable / usable) performance overhead.


Karsten M. Self <karsten@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
XenSource, Inc.
2300 Geng Road #250                                +1 650.798.5900 x259
Palo Alto, CA 94303                                +1 650.493.1579 fax

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