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Re: [Xen-devel] Easier interface for kickstarting Xen VMs

To: "Edward Z. Yang" <ezyang@xxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-devel] Easier interface for kickstarting Xen VMs
From: Stefano Stabellini <stefano.stabellini@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 12:23:07 +0100
Cc: xen-devel <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Ian Jackson <Ian.Jackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Stefano Stabellini <Stefano.Stabellini@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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On Tue, 21 Sep 2010, Edward Z. Yang wrote:
> Excerpts from Stefano Stabellini's message of Tue Sep 21 12:46:53 -0400 2010:
> > You should be aware that we are trying to move away from xend to xl,
> > that generally supports the same VM config file format with just one
> > exception: embedded python.
> Stefano, that's really interested!  None of our current team was aware of
> this fact; probably because we're still on Ubuntu 8.04 due to Xen's
> special packaging situation on this platforms.

xl/libxl is still under heavy development, the first version that should
be stable enough for production use is going to be released with xen

> > Considering that kickstarting Xen VMs is a common problem and probably
> > the main headache for sysadmins when moving from xend to xl, I would
> > welcome a clean and small solution to this problem that doesn't involve
> > embedded python.
> That's great to hear.  The point of the solution is to do away with the
> embedded Python.

Yes, exactly.

> > If we go with the temporary fs strategy, I guess there isn't any actual
> > code to be committed to xen-unstable, but rather a wiki page to
> > describe the solution and a link to the initrd? 
> Considering that any given Kickstart file needs to be converted into an
> initrd, there would be code involved.  I am also unconvinced that Anaconda
> actually /works/ with layered initrd, see my post here:
> https://www.redhat.com/archives/kickstart-list/2010-September/msg00015.html
Ok then we can convert kickstart files into temporary iso images or read
only disks?

Instead of implementing this feature directly in the toolstack maybe it
is better to have another tool take a ks file and generate the
VM config file and the temporary disk. This way the whole process would
be a more transparent and flexible.

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