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[Xen-devel] Xen/ia64 status (and solicitation for alpha testers and developers)

  • To: <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: "Magenheimer, Dan (HP Labs Fort Collins)" <dan.magenheimer@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 11:46:23 -0800
  • Delivery-date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 19:47:27 +0000
  • List-id: List for Xen developers <xen-devel.lists.sourceforge.net>
  • Thread-index: AcTeJ8Ndien7Ha7xRdyFAWQwJIcYYw==
  • Thread-topic: Xen/ia64 status (and solicitation for alpha testers and developers)

As some of you have noticed, there is a new architecture (ia64)
in the Xen 2.0 testing and unstable trees.  Though the files
checked into that branch comprise the core hypervisor functionality
for Xen/ia64, there are many additional files required to be
checked in and merged before Xen/ia64 will be buildable and runnable.

Xen/ia64 is increasingly solid but is not yet as capable or
widely-supportable as Xen/x86.  In particular, it currently
only boots one domain -- domain0.  Much of the core infrastructure
is present to support multiple domains and, indeed, I suspect
minimal multi-domain support could be quickly hacked in, but I am
instead trying to ensure that as many of the higher-level APIs
as possible are supported so that the infrastructure (e.g.
xend and all the python stuff) is portable.  I am also working
with the core Xen team to merge changes into common directories
so that Xen/ia64 can more easily track changes to the Xen core
without a bunch of ugly ifdef patches.  These things take time
and so far I have been working solo and part-time on Xen/ia64.

My development/test environment has been limited to an HP rx2600
running Red Hat AS3.2.  Xenlinux/ia64 is currently built from
linux-2.6.9 with only a few minor config tweaks.  Xenlinux must go
through a binary-translation pass after which it is essentially fully
virtualized but as a result is quite slow (4x).  Paravirtualization
is high on my list and will bring performance to near native,
just like Xen/x86.  Ignoring the slowdown, xenlinux (domain0) is
quite robust and -- at least in my tested environment -- runs
all* drivers and user code, even full agpgart graphics.

Early in 2005, Xen/ia64 should be ready for a broader audience.
For now, I am soliciting a small number of alpha testers.  If
you are interested in Xen on ia64, have access to Itanium hardware,
would like to help out with build or development tasks, and have
some skills working with low-level kernel debugging, I'm eager
for your help.  Potential end users should wait for a later release,
however I am still interested in hearing from you.  Note that
like Xen/x86, Xen/ia64 is fully GPL and any help or contribution
will be open source and properly credited.

Happy holidays,
Dan Magenheimer
HP Labs (but based in Fort Collins Colorado USA)
dan.magenheimer <at> hp.com

P.S. I won't have access to email for the next few days and I am
already a bit behind in keeping up with xen-devel mail so I would
appreciate it if you would cc me directly.  Apologies in advance
that after today I won't be able to respond until about Dec 16.

* well... nearly all.  There's a bug somewhere in IDE that I haven't
tracked down yet so I can't use my DVD-ROM :-)

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