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RE: [Xen-devel] Zen and Pacifica

To: "Dave Feustel" <dfeustel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Xen-devel] Zen and Pacifica
From: "Petersson, Mats" <Mats.Petersson@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 16:33:43 +0200
Cc: Mark Williamson <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
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Thread-topic: [Xen-devel] Zen and Pacifica
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:xen-devel-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
> Dave Feustel
> Sent: 31 March 2006 17:52
> To: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Cc: Mark Williamson
> Subject: Re: [Xen-devel] Zen and Pacifica
> On Friday 31 March 2006 10:41, Mark Williamson wrote:
> > > I expect to buy an AMD64 Pacifica-enabled computer in the 
> 2nd half 
> > > of this year to use with OpenBSD in 64-bit mode. I would 
> like to use 
> > > Xen, but as far as I have been able  to determine, Xen 
> 3.0 does not 
> > > support AMD Pacifica.
> > > Am I wrong about that?
> > 
> > It'll be supported in the 3.0.2 release - it's in the 
> -unstable tree 
> > right now.
> Will 3.0.2 support running unmodified operating systems?
> That's the feature I need to run OpenBSD under Xen.

Yes, absolutely. However, I must "warn" you that OpenBSD is not on our
"target-list", so it's possible (although somewhat unlikely) that it
will not work right - every OS has it's own quirks during specific small
sections of code (switch from real to protected mode [particularly code
that "abuses" this switch, like "Big Real-Mode" can cause problems, as
the internal state of the processor and the "apparent state" aren't the
same[1]], page table updates, special IO operations, etc) that may need
some special attention in the hypervisor. 

I'm not at all saying "Don't do this", but rather setting your
expectations that it's a small possibility that something is broken.
It's probably not very hard to fix if it is, it just takes someones time
to figure out why it's broken, and how to fix it - usually, it's just a
simple case of another "if (x) do_something_special();" in some
function. And I'd say there's 98% chance that it works just fine as is.
2% risk that there's a problem... 

Also, there's a few months yet until the second half of this year, so we
may well have fixed all the remaining bugs 'til then... ;-)

[1] If anyone wants more details on how this works, please fire me a
personal mail... ;-)

> When is 3.0.2 likely to be released?
> Thanks,
> Dave 
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