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[Xen-devel] Porting an OS to Xen

  • To: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • From: "Simon Martin" <smartin@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 20:28:27 +0000
  • Delivery-date: Sun, 13 Oct 2013 20:29:14 +0000
  • List-id: Xen developer discussion <xen-devel.lists.xen.org>

Hi all,
I originally posted this on the xenproject Q&A forum, and it was suggested that I repost it here. If it would be better posted elsewhere then please let me know. Please skip the next paragraph if you're not interested in the why.
Over the last 2 decades I have been developing a real-time OS with one of my customers (I was an employee when we started, a consultant for the last 15 years). This runs on our own hardware (originally TI TMS320C3x, then MIPS64, then ARM9). The system started off 80% C 20% Assembly, and is now about 99% C and 1% Assembly (just the bootstrapping). We now have a requirement to run this OS in parallel with Windows. I have looked at various real-time hypervisors and Windows extensions, however I think we can get more mileage out of Xen due to the open source nature of the project.
I bought the book "The Definitive Guide to the Xen Hypervisor" as it was recommended by the xenproject Q&A forum and it is very interesting, however the examples are 32 bit and I am working 64 bit, and let's say that my x86 assembler is a bit rusty to say the least!
My questions (I am running Xen 4.1.4 on Debian Wheezy):
1.- I have looked at MirageOS but I think it is overkill for what I want to do. I just want a basic C wrapper to allow Xen to load my software, I would prefer not to have to learn OCaml, but if this is what it takes, then I'll have to do it.
2.- Is there any sample simple x86_64 code that I can work from to get out of the starting blocks?
3.- xl complains about my image not being a bzImage. Is there anyway I can avoid this error/warning? If not how do I convert my image to a bzImage? I'd rather not have to port in half the Linux bootstrap.
4.- Despite xl complaining about the kernel not being in bzImage format it still seems to run (I get the same error message from the MirageOS but the image loads and runs OK). However it crashes and I have no way of seeing what's going on. Is there any way to debug my guest startup inside Xen?
TIA and Regards.
 _     _  Debian GNU User   Simon Martin
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