[opensource] Virtualization Technologies (Xen)

Jeffrey Tadlock linux at elfshadow.net
Thu Oct 19 14:48:31 EDT 2006


Jim Dinan wrote:
>  However,
> Xen relies on paravirtualization which means the guest operating systems
> need to be modified to cooperate with Xen.  In the context of Linux,
> this is no problem and it's easy to get linux guests running inside Xen.
>  However, windows is not yet available as a Xen guest (hopefully soon).

>  Now
> that Intel and AMD have introduced virtualization-friendly extensions in
> their latest chips, I would expect these restrictions to change.  Also,
> if you do purchase a system that you plan to run a VMM on, make sure it
> has a CPU that supports these extensions.

I believe with the recent versions of Xen on the more recent Intel and
AMD processors with virtualization-friendly extensions you can run a
Windows Guest OS now.  You just need to have both.  I have not tried it
yet though - so I can neither confirm nor deny.

This is from here though:

http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XenFaq

1.4. Does Xen support Microsoft Windows?

The paravirtualized approach we use to get such high performance has not
been usable directly for Windows to date. However Xen 3.0 added Intel
VT-x support to enable the running of unmodified guest operating
systems, including Windows XP & 2003 Server, using hardware
virtualization technology.

Also, if buying something with the Virtualization friendly extensions
make *sure* the vendor is supplying a BIOS that enables you to turn
these on if they are not on by default (I don't think AMD offers the
chance to disable them).  I have an HP laptop with an Intel chip with
vmx support that does *not* allow you to enable the virtualization
extensions in the BIOS.  The option isn't even there.  A thread is going
in one of their forums for several weeks now and it looks like they
might finally consider releasing an updated BIOS, but there is not one
yet.  Just something to keep an eye out for, mainly a concern for
laptops I think.

--Jeffrey



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