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Re: [Xen-users] Windows XP on XenServer local machine itself

On 09/17/2009 08:56 PM Fajar A. Nugraha wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:48 AM, ken <gebser@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> So I want to make sure that I'm not confused before I get going.  I very
>> much do want to be able to run Windows and Linux and Solaris on the same
>> laptop all at the same time.  Xen can do this, right?
> Yes, but it might not be the way you want it to.
> With Xen, the "main" OS (dom0) is a Xen-aware OS. This can be Linux,
> Opensolaris, or others (like *BSD), but NOT Windows. 

That's fine.  My dom0 would be Linux.  I've heard good things about
CentOS, I'm most familiar with RPM package management, and manage RHEL
systems at work (where I'd probably like them to adopt Xen in future).

> DomU can be
> (almost) any OS (if your hardware supports intel VT/AMD-V).

This is where I find a lot of ambiguity.  I've been wanting to buy a new
laptop to run a CentOS/Xen dom0 with Solaris, Linux, and Windows domUs,
but haven't found clear and informative specifications on what hardware
works and what doesn't.

On this note, Open Solaris has cool (free) CD: you boot it and it runs a
test on the machine.  The test determines if that machine's hardware is
compatible.  Further, this compatibility test is automatically uploaded
to a Sun machine on the net and goes into a database which others can
then search on the web.  Such a system for Xen would provide the most
exhaustive and definitive resource for people wanting to purchase
systems and at the same time would encourage hardware manufacturers to
support Xen (lest be left out of consideration by consumers).

> This is different from vmware/virtualbox where the main OS can be
> Windows. Why does it matter? Because only controlling domain can have
> full direct access to hardware. There's pci passthru for domU, but
> AFAIK it's not perfect yet (as in people that reported it to work says
> it requires specific hardware and version of Xen) for some devices
> (like graphic cards).

Yes, that's one of my major concerns at the moment.  I want to buy a
notebook to run Xen on... and knowledgeably avoid non-supported
hardware.  Any (authoritative) resources I could look at?

> So in short, Xen allows you to run all three OS you mentioned an the
> same time, but in common setup Windows will not have DirectX or sound.

Hmmm.  That would be a problem, as I need to tune into videocasts which
are Windows-specific (and one reason I'm still hanging on to Windows at

Fajar, thanks much for the clarifications.  You've helped me maintain
hope that I won't have to go to virtualbox.

Best to all,

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