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Re: Building domains as a lesser user (was Re: [Xen-devel] boot loaders for domain != 0)

Ian Pratt wrote:

One fairly simple option is to use Linux as a domU boot loader. Boot
with an intrd, mount the specified filesystem, read off grub.conf, display a menu over
the xencons, kexec the appropriate kernel.

I'd have to think through whether kexec would need modifications, but I
believe it uses the same 32 bit kernel entry point that xen/linux does
(no grubby 16bit nastiness).
Yeah, I think kexec would work but unfortunately it's not part of the kernel yet. It could be folded into Xen but I agree with Jeremy that it seems like overkill. Boot through Linux just to get to a grub screen seems a little strange too.

Jacob's two-stage approach would work although it requires a lot of custom code. It also makes it pretty difficult to support new types of loaders. And you still have a point of failure with that "trusted" loader. I don't think you ever really see a graphical boot using this approach either. Getting a system going with xlibs working would basically put you back at the kexec() solution.

I've got the user-space boot loader working quite nicely. I want to test at the systems in the office though so I'll post it sometime tomorrow. In the very least, it can be used a data point. It seems like a very appealing solution if the security concerns can be addressed.


Anthony Liguori

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