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Red Hat, Novell To Package Xen

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the brand-new-player dept.

Software 233

robyannetta writes "Watch out VMware and Microsoft. Here comes Xen, an open-source virtualization for the Linux environment being pushed by Red Hat and Novell. Xen has also joined forces with leading Linux distributors, chip vendors and platform vendors to create a consortium that will more broadly enable open-source virtualization development and deployment." We've covered Xen before, but it's cool to see the momentum behind it growing, as more choice is a Good Thing.

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Giving me a headcrab-ache (4, Funny)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981156)

Xen has also joined forces with leading Linux distributors
Am I missing something or does this mean Vortigaunts might enter Earth through portals ... wearing Fedoras?

Oh my, it all makes sense now.

Re:Giving me a headcrab-ache (1)

overloadhz (734883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981220)

does this mean Vortigaunts might enter Earth through portals
HL2 is a sickness. I'm calling in sick again tomorrow.

Beg your pardon? (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981295)

Watch out VMware and Microsoft'? If im correct, Vmware and VPC doesnt require the host operating system to be actually ported to the virtual system, whereas Xen does. This might be fine for specific usage, but its next to useless for what I use vmware for - trying out new and interesting operating systems, configurations or such. The markets may overlap near the top end, but I see no reason why VMware/VPC need watch out, as the main market for these VMs is running Windows, and while there has been a developers port of WinXP to Xen, I severely doubt you will see that in the wild.

Re:Beg your pardon? (0, Offtopic)

Steve Embalmer (783552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981344)

Ahah! Dup post.. Fecal Troll Matter [slashdot.org] is really Richard at Work [slashdot.org]

One more karma-whore exposed.

Re:Giving me a headcrab-ache (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981338)

Gay sex in your mom's basement is still gay sex, which is illegal. Deal with it.

Re:Giving me a headcrab-ache (1)

WoBIX (819410) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981683)

As long as they don't bring Gonarch along. Now that would be a terrible mascot.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981157)

FP FP FP FP

first post! (0, Offtopic)

Danoz (627412) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981158)

'nuff said.

GNU fails First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981166)

A Gay Nigger Underground (GNU) exclusive!

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleagured North Korean community when Xinhua confirmed that Kim Jong Il portrait buttons were no longer being sported by North Korea's citizens. Recently the North Korean News Agency has discontinued referring to the miniscule despot as "dearest leader" in recent dispatches, only referring to him as "general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army." Coming on the heels of recent intelligence regarding prominent, giant portraits of Kim Jong Il being removed for "restoration" but never being replaced serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Kim Jong Il is dying.
You don't need George W. Bush's sexed up intelligence to invade North Korea. The invasion has already begun and it's coming from within the DPRK funded by Chinese money. Things are looking very bad for Kim Jong Il.
The citizens stand to gain the most in light of recent, covert events. More food, more energy, better medicine and the potential for reunification. With the potential for light at the end of a long, relentless tunnel only serves to more clearly underscore the point. Kim Jong Il is dying.
Let's look at the news. Kim Jong Il has the world's largest collection of Daffy Duck cartoons. Daffy Duck is a cartoon character who can not win against the more charismatic and intelligent Bugs Bunny. Kim Jong Il identifies with Daffy Duck and is doomed to continual failure. Unlike America's Glorious Leader George W. Bush, Kim Jong Il is struggling to ride his father's Stalinist coattails. Already cannibalism in North Korea has fallen back to the 1994 low of 39% per capita. Kim Jong Il maintains a vast harem of foreign women. It's a proven statistic that nobody wants to fuck Northern Korean women which means there are no instances of HIV. HIV is carried by foreign women. Do the math. Already clandestine shipments of AZT have been dropped behind the DMZ and spirited away into the night.
All major intelligence agencies and international news organizations are closely following the story. Kim Jong Il is very sick and his long-term survival prospects are slim to none. If the DPRK remains standing, it will only be in the hearts and minds of thoroughly brainwashed North Korean supersoldiers bred to stave off the South Korean threat of zerg rushes kekekeke gogogogogogo
Fact: Kim Jong Il is dying.

Re:GNU fails First Post (0, Offtopic)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981226)

My, the trolls are out tonight...

Re:GNU fails First Post (1)

ImSoRonery (821613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981240)

Yo I'm not dead I'm just very very ronery! I'm So Ronery I'm so ronery So ronery So ronery and sadry arone There's no one Just me onry Sitting on my rittle throne I work very hard and make up great prans But nobody ristens, no one understands Seems that no one takes me serirousry And so I'm ronery A little ronery Poor rittre me There's nobody I can rerate to Feer rike a bird in a cage It's kinda sihry But not rearry Because it's fihring my body with rage I work rearry hard and I'm physicarry fit But nobody here seems to rearize that When I rure the world maybe they'rr notice me But untir then I'rr just be ronery Rittre ronery, poor rittre me I'm so ronery I'm so ronery

Re:GNU fails First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981296)

I presume netcraft confirms this:

Kim Jong II is dying.

Xen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981175)

I just hope they get rid of the jumping puzzles this time.

Sad but true (0, Offtopic)

TheIonix (780003) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981181)

This is sad but it's the truth... Where are we going

USE THiS XEN LINK (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981190)

PARENT LINK CONTAINS REFERRAL; /WHORE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981304)

n/t

No, it doesn't (0, Flamebait)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981357)

PARENT LINK CONTAINS REFERRAL; /WHORE (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, @05:01PM (#10981304)
n/t

Liar.

Re; PARENT'S POST CONTAINS GAYNESS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981363)

See subject

Question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981191)

How is the G-Man involved in this???????

stupid typoed names (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981201)

Novell is "novel" with an extra "l"
Xen is "oxen" with a missing "o"

Uhm... (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981219)

'Watch out VMware and Microsoft'? If im correct, Vmware and VPC doesnt require the host operating system to be actually ported to the virtual system, whereas Xen does. This might be fine for specific usage, but its next to useless for what I use vmware for - trying out new and interesting operating systems, configurations or such. The markets may overlap near the top end, but I see no reason why VMware/VPC need watch out, as the main market for these VMs is running Windows, and while there has been a developers port of WinXP to Xen, I severely doubt you will see that in the wild.

Re:Uhm... (4, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981297)

From the article...
  • Xen does not support Windows today because it uses a technique called para-virtualization to achieve high performance that involves modifying the operating system kernel, Pratt said. However, the debut of virtualization features in next-generation CPUs from Intel and AMD will make it easier to support unmodified operating systems, Pratt said.
  • "At that time we will reconsider Windows support," he said.

And more here [ogi.edu] :
  • Full virtualization requires no changes to the guest OS. But it is not well suited for x86 architecture as x86 is not virtualizable. x86 has machine instructions that are termed sensitive. Sensitive instructions will fail without trap when executed in the guest OS. This requires dynamic rewrite of guest OS kernel during run time and shadow system structures which results in a performance hit. Para-virtualization solves the above issues but it requires changes to the guest OS kernel although are required for the Application Binary Interface (ABI) and hence applications can run as they are on the guest OS.

Re:Uhm... (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981359)

And more here [nwfusion.com]
  • Virtualization technology has been used on mainframes and high-end servers for years, but IT departments are starting to use the technology on low-end servers as well
  • "In order to virtualize technologies within a processor, a little bit of hardware goes a long way," Brookwood said. Users still need virtualization software, but that software will run much faster with hardware support, he said.

    Neither Intel nor AMD has built such technology into their processors for low-end servers, but both are now talking about having that capability available around 2006. Intel has discussed its Vanderpool virtualization technology at recent conferences, but like AMD, has not provided specific details about the technology.

Re:Uhm... (3, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981461)

Are there any good benchmarks out there comparing Xen to VMWare? this PDF [ira.uka.de] contains benchmarks for very specific operations, not entire programs, but indicates that Xen is much faster for those operations. Though it also notes that VMWare's license prevents people from publishing benchmarks. So... This might mean that VMWare itself realizes that they have severe performance problems in places?

Re:Uhm... (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981379)

Interesting, because the Xen homepage [cam.ac.uk] has this [cam.ac.uk] to offer:

1.3 Which OSes run on Xen?


To achieve such high performance, Xen requires that OSes are ported to run on it. So far we have stable ports of Linux 2.4, Linux 2.6, and NetBSD. Ports of FreeBSD and Plan 9 are nearing completion.

1.4 Does Xen support Microsoft Windows?

Unfortunately there are no plans to support any versions of Windows in the near future. Furthermore, a port of Windows would be encumbered by licensing issues. Longer term, virtualisation features in next-generation CPUs should make it much easier to support unmodified OSes: at that time we will reconsider Windows support.


Personally, I trust the homepage more than the article.

Re:Uhm... (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981405)

They... both say... the... same... thing?

Re:Uhm... (4, Funny)

ScoLgo (458010) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981435)

Shatner? Is that you?

Re:Uhm... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981446)

Im sorry, I thought you were emphasising something else in your post, whereas it was actually myself misreading the line :/

Re:Uhm... (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981438)

"At that time we will reconsider Windows support," he said.

In other words, the check is in the mail?

Correct (1)

user9918277462 (834092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981340)

The submitter of this article is quite obviously clueless. Xen and VMware are wildly different technologies designed for very different problems. Xen is much closer to VMWare GSX Server, which has little in common with VMWare Workstation.

Re:Correct (2, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981392)

The article doesn't mention VMware Workstation. Xen competes with VMware ESX, which is the most expensive version of VMware. It's gotta be a little worrisome to EMC.

Re:Uhm... (3, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981354)

Watch out VMware and Microsoft'? If im correct, Vmware and VPC doesnt require the host operating system to be actually ported to the virtual system, whereas Xen does.

You're right. However, for once people are using their terms correctly whereas they normally get mixed together.

Virtual PC, despite the name, is not virtualisation software. It's an emulator - has the whole chip and other bits of hardware under there to run, even if it's natively running on an x86 anyway. That's why it's useful to me over VMWare, as I swap the same virtual machine between Mac and Windows platforms.

VMWare is virtualisation software. It doesn't emulate as such, instead it provides hooks to access the native platform as if it were a separate environment. That normally makes it quicker than an emulator, and I believe this is normally borne out in various speed comparisons with Virtual PC.

I've not encountered Xen, but from how things sound it really is a proper virtualisation package and not any form of emulator. It sounds like it is providing kernel hooks to access its current Linux environment as if there were multiple environments. So it definitely is virtualisation. Think of IBM's zSeries virtualisation - that needs special coding too, from what I recall.

"I see no reason why VMware/VPC need watch out, as the main market for these VMs is running Windows..." may be how most people think of it, but Virtual PC is not a VM - it's an emulated environment.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Uhm... (3, Informative)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981473)

Umm... VirtualPC is both. Virtual PC for the Mac is an emulator that translates x86 code to PowerPC. Virtual PC for Windows is a virtual machine that executes x86 code natively.

Re:Uhm... (4, Insightful)

lakeland (218447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981587)

Xen won't run an OS unless that OS has been especially ported to Xen. I.e. it is ideal for running linux, BSD, and not much else. It is also x86 only (I can't use it as a MOL replacement).

It has one huge benefit over VMWare, it is extremely fast. The virtual machine has so close to the performance of the host that it would be reasonable to do such things as: implement a 100% reliable server on your computer and then implement an up-to-date desktop machine inside it. Implement virtual hosting on cheap x86 hardware. Run two distros simultaneously, etc.

Personally I think running a reliable server on the same hardware as your unreliable desktop would be nice. Have the one machine always work correctly for handling mail, printing, web serving, etc. But still up to date.

"Porting" (4, Interesting)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981437)

That's a little bit overstated. For Linux, the changes are a couple thousand lines of code. That's a number I took from their research papers.

But what do you have to change ? First of all, the system has to be made aware that it's not the "top top". Its physical memory is no longer contiguous (you ask Xen for memory pages, and it gives them to you in arbitrary places), it also has to be aware of absolute time that's no longer tick++. Second, you need drivers for the abstract network card and disk. Those are generally easy to write, because you just delegate the real work to Xen. VMWare is already doing something similar with its vmxnet driver for Windoze.

I'd really expect these kind of changes to the OS to be incorporated in the main linux tree, as they mature.

What do you gain from all this ? Well, SPEED. I mean, SPEED. Take a look at their research papers (wrong suggestion for the "I won't RTFA" crowd, but still ...). Their slowdowns/throughput losses (they run Postgres and Apache on a couple of virtual nodes, as opposed to a single, consolidated machine), are negligible (less than 10%). On some configurations they even got performance improvements! At the same time, VMWare and UML do considerably worse.

In general, it's very easy to "virtualize" stuff that's running mostly in user space. As soon as you have considerable OS+I/O overhead, your performance drops significantly. The para-virtualization approach (employed by Xen), pretty much gets you the best of both worlds.

The money made from virtualization is from servers (1)

Nailer (69468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981644)

is, as the article states, business server use. Put the VM images on a SAN, run the virtualization software on the real hosts.

Then when you need some CPU power, add a real host, suspend a VM, and resume it from the new real host.

Last time I checked, all servers don't run Windows.

VMWare is an ugly hack, that will ultimately perform worse than things like UML and Xen because of the unnecessary requirement to emulate a CPU by Windows.

Re:Uhm... (1)

tirnacopu (732831) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981686)

VMware DOES require some extensive testing of the guest operating system by THEIR team. If they can't figure out what's wrong, you are out of luck. Period. No way to fiddle with the internals and persuade it to even boot FreeBSD 5, while 4.7 runs smoothly. Also, VMware is very expensive for server usage. With an OSL license, I can have MS VPC for about 100 bucks/year, and a Slackware install has been running as a service inside W2K SRV for me quite nicely. No, this setup is in no way supported, but it does run, and with very good performance, with months of uptime regardless of the regular windows reboots, since VPC saves the machine state on shutdown. My only problem is that them darned logs don't get rotated when expected because the host machine is down :)
Also, I am yet to try some buffer overflows and the kind on this virtual machine, no idea whether they would work in any way.
So my point would be: having a choice is A Good Thing. VMware (server) is heavily optimized and carefully tested for specific setups, but also very expensive, while the consumer emulator (MS VPC) is way better, less resources-demanding and cheaper for my needs. I for one welcome our new, opensource, flexible, community-supported, not windows-biased emulator overlords.

A link? (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981224)

Does Xen have a website yet? It would be nice to have a link.

Re:A link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981236)

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/

Half Life? (1)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981234)

I did not know you could package up an entire alien race!?!

Link (1)

forsetti (158019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981242)

Xen [sf.net]

Re:Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981268)

Argh.. Stop karma whoring. The damn link was already posted. And even so, you should be posting them as AC anyway.

URL? (1)

Refrozen (833543) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981255)

I can't find a website for this 'Xen'... I guess if it is that new G00gle hasn't indexed it yet? Oh wait, here it is XEN WEBSITE [cam.ac.uk]

Re:URL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981503)

Didn't you know? Google updates it's index [google.com] about as often as Earth experiences ice ages.

huh? (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981263)

Watch out VMware and Microsoft.

Why Microsoft?

Re:huh? (1)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981276)

Dont they make Virtual PC?

Re:huh? (1)

burns210 (572621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981306)

But Xen has nothing to do with VirtualPC. VPC lets you run emulation software on Windows or a Mac to emulate an x86 computer for running operating systems like windows, linux, *bsd, etc.

Xen is a userlinux-style system that is Linux-only for running only linux virtual systems, essentially. This is more like a Sun Contrainers competitor(if that) than a VirtualPC or VMWare competitor.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981698)

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/
"We have a fully functional ports of Linux 2.4 and 2.6 running over Xen, and regularly use it for running demanding applications like MySQL, Apache and PostgreSQL. Any Linux distribution (RedHat, SuSE, Debian, Mandrake) should run unmodified over the ported OS.

In addition to Linux, members of Xen's user community have contributed or are working on ports to other operating systems such as NetBSD (Christian Limpach), FreeBSD (Kip Macy) and Plan 9 (Ron Minnich). A port of Windows XP was developed for an earlier version of Xen, but is not available for release due to licence restrictions."

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/faq .html
"To achieve such high performance, Xen requires that OSes are ported to run on it. So far we have stable ports of Linux 2.4, Linux 2.6, and NetBSD. Ports of FreeBSD and Plan 9 are nearing completion."

Re:huh? (1)

Crimsane (815761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981311)

if you read the article you would find out MS makes Connectix, which is appearently marketed under the "virtual server" brand, competition to VMWare.

another "watch out" is if linux gets GPL "virtualization software", people could be more responsive to switch to linux.
If they already own their windows licenses, they would be able to run all the programs they currently run, and make the movement from windows to linux in smaller steps. Maybe today they just run new apps in linux, and tommorow they start moving from virtualized office to native OO.org.

Re:huh? (1)

Koguma (608998) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981530)

If you want to run windows without extra cost you already have Wine and Bocs. Xen won't do it at least another 2 years.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981285)

VirtualPC

Microsoft's own (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981302)

Microsoft VirtualPC [microsoft.com]

Re:Microsoft's own (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981684)

According to Xen's site [cam.ac.uk] Microsoft Research is supporting the project.

Re:huh? (1)

shufler (262955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981305)

Microsoft bought VirtualPC, which was (is) a popular alternative to VMWare for Windows. It may or may not have also had a Mac version, I cannot remember at the moment.

Re:huh? (1)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981480)

The Mac version of VPC came long before the PC version of VPC. Microsoft ported the program when they bought Connectix.

" household name" bullshit (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981649)

The bit about Xen becoming a household name is bullshit. Outside geek households nobody knows waht an operating system. Most people just talk about "the computer" and can't really tell the the boundaries between their applications, web content and their cameras. They certainly don't know about operating systems and vrtualisation.

Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (2, Insightful)

entrigant (233266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981264)

From TFA:

Xen does not support Windows today because it uses a technique called para-virtualization to achieve high performance that involves modifying the operating system kernel, Pratt said. However, the debut of virtualization features in next-generation CPUs from Intel and AMD will make it easier to support unmodified operating systems, Pratt said.

As usual slashdot is overhyping or just getting shit plain wrong in article summaries. This is yet another usermode linux clone it seems. This is probably not very different from the "revived" plex86. VMWare is fine where it is for the time being, and it still appears OSS cannot muster the will and/or talent to produce a viable alternative to VMware.

Re:Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (1)

Zardus (464755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981483)

Well, there's QEmu [bellard.free.fr] , and Bochs [sourceforge.net] , which can run Windows in Linux and so on. However, they are full CPU emulators, and are as such much much slower than VMWare. If all you're using VMWare for is like Outlook in Windows (and some organizations I know do exactly that), then these solutions might suffice, but for anything else VMWare wins hands-down.

Re:Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (1)

pkhuong (686673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981592)

qemu x86 on x86 can either be full emulation or only virtualisation.

Re:Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (2, Informative)

The_Bagman (43871) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981484)

Xen is *very* different than plex86. Xen is a virtual machine monitor - it directly executes most instructions, and achieves performance that is within a few percent of non-virtualized operating systems.

Plex86 is an emulator - it interprets most instructions, and it is dog-slow.

It's true that Xen requires the guest OS to be ported to the Xen virtual architecture, but this has been done for linux.

Re:Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981552)

Plex86 is a virtualizer, not an emulator. You may be confusing it with Bochs.

Re:Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981487)

In server consolidation environments, Xen is very much a viable alternative to VMware ESX -- it's faster and cheaper.

Re:Watch out VMWare and Microsoft my ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981598)

A port of Windows XP was developed for an earlier version of Xen, but is not available for release due to licence restrictions.
Mmm shared-source.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981266)

Xen does not support Windows today because it uses a technique called para-virtualization to achieve high performance that involves modifying the operating system kernel

It doesn't support Windows, so who really gives a damn?

I've always wanted to run a Debian session from within RedHat. /sarcasm I suppose it's cool for developers who need to support multiple distributions, but yawn to the rest of us.

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

kinema (630983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981353)

I suppose it's cool for developers who need to support multiple distributions, but yawn to the rest of us.
Actaully Xen has a future in datacenters. One really usefull feature of Xen is the ability to migrate VMs from machine to machine without major interuption of service. I believe that there is also some work being done on making Xen work on clusters.

User of VMWare (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981269)

I already use VMWare, and while I love the concept, I have had several problems, especially in using it to test newer versions of OS's. (Fedora Core 3, for example, could not load the kernel properly, while it wouldn't even recognize the disc for Fedora Core 2. Yes, I checked the checksum, yes, it matched.)

It would be great if someone could come up with a better (and free) alternative to it, hopefully some of these bugs can be worked out. I would certainly like to see all the "good" features kept, such as auto-switching between guest and host OS just by moving in and out of the window, automatic piggybacking of the host's net connection via NAT, and the overall smoothness of the interface once you do get it running. The ability to mount an ISO image as a CD is also an excellent one.

Re:User of VMWare (1)

user9918277462 (834092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981376)

Xen has nothing to do with VMware-style guest OS "virtualization".

You're looking for something more like QEmu [bellard.free.fr] , which while it's actually a CPU emulator they're working on adding virtualization capabilities a la VMware Workstation/VPC.

Re:User of VMWare (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981454)

I have installed and run Fedora Core 3 (and before that FC2) in VMware Workstation 4.5.2-8848 under WinXP (urgh) at work. I have had no problems at all. When I compiled 2.6.9 in FC2, the performance increase inside VMware was very noticeable.

If you want my VM files (minus the disk) and xorg.conf, contact me via my site.

For those trying to run VMware Workstation on Fedora Core 3, this is in the release notes:
VMware WS 4.5.2 is known to work on Fedora Core 3 after the following workarounds are used:
* You must upgrade the kernel modules and configuration using the unofficial vmware-any-any-* toolkit available from: http://platan.vc.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/vmware/
* After vmware-config.pl is run and the VMware modules are loaded, the following command creates the /sys/class/* nodes needed for udev:
cp -rp /dev/vm* /etc/udev/devices/

I agree that it would be great to come up with an OSS equivalent, but I can imagine that it would be a huge undertaking. VMware is the only application I need on Linux that is commercial, a free version would be nice for home usage.

Re:User of VMWare (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981485)

I generally use Slackware/Debian on it in any case, it was just something where I wanted to try it out and didn't have an unused box lying around. Thanks much for the offer though.

Re:User of VMWare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981524)

Fedora's issue with VMWare isn't VMWare's issue, it is Fedora's.

I hate to say that and not have a refference for it, but I do remember an agruement on the Fedora boards over whether or not how Fedora boots up is technically within the spec.

Nice Press release (1)

Che Guevarra (85906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981319)

Watch out, here it comes. An "open-source virtualization" something or other. WOW! Is it also robust and oriented toward our needs? Neat! Moles and trolls, moles and trolls.

What's wrong with user-mode linux? (1)

Sadiq (103621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981326)

Erm,
What's wrong with user-mode linux? Why are people re-inventing the wheel?

Re:What's wrong with user-mode linux? (2, Interesting)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981577)

That's a good question. The paper describing xen is here [cam.ac.uk] . I'm not sure what the implementation differences are between the two, but xen managed to achieve much better performance on certain benchmarks. So, it's functionally equivilent to UML, but faster (YMMV). Maybe someone who's not too lazy to read the paper right now can tell us what they did different.

Don't forget the trademark (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981327)

Xen is a Good Thing (TM).

Re:Don't forget the trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981463)

Xen is a Good Thing (TM).

You forgot about Poland.

Bush Arrested in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981342)

for war crimes [world-cnn.com]

Xen is good stuff (3, Informative)

gbnewby (74175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981352)

I was an early user of 1.0, and have followed developments of Xen since. It's very nicely done, open source, and builds on existing kernels and distributions (it's not really a standalone application, but integrates with the Linux kernel and adds some userland tools).

Xen lets you configure one physical system with multiple virtual systems. Hardware access (disk, net, video) is transparent via software.

This is kind of the conceptual opposite tools like Condor and Globus: rather than bundling lots of physical systems together as one (aka, grid computing), it is meant to take one system and subdivide. This makes for easier development (including testing for grid services, Web services, different distros, etc.), and of course is good for virtualization (like in Web hosting services).

Congrats, team!

is this the xen project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981358)

http://xen.terrabox.com/index.php/What%20is%20xen [terrabox.com]

or this:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/ [cam.ac.uk]

???

there are too many xen pages out there?

anyone knows?

there are even xen-based linux distros already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981381)

Article Text (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981364)

Open-Source Alternative To VMware
Open-source virtualization consortium to debut

By Paula Rooney, CRN
5:16 PM EST Wed. Dec. 01, 2004

Watch out VMware and Microsoft. Here comes Xen.

Xen, an open-source project with growing ties to Red Hat, Novell and Hewlett-Packard, is emerging as the leading contender for providing open-source virtualization for the Linux environment.

Ian Pratt, the founder of the Xen project that originated from the University of Cambridge in England, confirmed that developers from Red Hat and Suse are preparing "testing packages" of Xen that will be released in the near future.

Additionally, Xen has joined forces with leading Linux distributors, chip vendors and platform vendors to create a consortium that will more broadly enable open-source virtualization development and deployment.

Xen backers are hopeful that support from heavy hitters in the Linux industry will make Xen a household name in the open-source community. The open-source project completed the first major update of Xen version 2.0 in November.

Steven Hand, another computer scientist at the University of Cambridge's computer lab, said he expects the Red Hat drop will be available in the same time frame as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, which is due in the first quarter of 2005.

"Red Hat's packaging Xen in the near future as part of Fedora. We've talked to Suse," said Hand. "We have a lot of momentum in the open-source community. Now we're pushing into mainstream Linux so when Xen goes into the latest versions of Linux, users can compile a Xen kernel out of the box."

Red Hat will release test builds for Red Hat Fedora Core 3, and Novell will soon release test builds for Novell Suse Linux, Pratt said. The Xen components will be dropped into experimental Linux packages, but they won't be commercially supported.

Xen does not support Windows today because it uses a technique called para-virtualization to achieve high performance that involves modifying the operating system kernel, Pratt said. However, the debut of virtualization features in next-generation CPUs from Intel and AMD will make it easier to support unmodified operating systems, Pratt said.

"At that time we will reconsider Windows support," he said.

Neither Red Hat nor Novell would comment on their plans with Xen. A Novell spokesman said the company is "excited about what Xen is doing. But it's premature at this point for us to talk publicly about our strategy and potential partnerships around virtualization."

Xen will be available under the General Public License; some components may be available under a NetBSD-style license, Hand said.

Consultants and solution providers in the open-source market said they would welcome an alternative to VMware and Virtual Server, but Xen needs to add support for Windows. VMware supports Linux but is often an expensive add-on to an open-source stack, other observers said.

"Xen is very, very good, but it does not yet support Windows," said Chris Maresca, senior partner at Olliance Group, Palo Alto, Calif. "A lot of people use VMware to support WinX on Linux."

Ironically, Microsoft Research provided funding for the Xen group when it was founded two years ago, but has since back out, Xen officials said.

Xen is only one of several open-source projects devoted to offering virtualization software for the open-source and Linux environment.

Bochs, an open-source project founded in 1994 that evolved into Plex86, focused on Linux virtual machines. Observers said Plex86's approach is more like VMware's. Founder and developer Kevin Lawton said he talked with IBM, Red Hat and Novell about getting backing for the Linux VM project in 2003, but those discussions didn't pan out.

The existing code, he said, is very experimental in nature and needs additional development before it could be classified as a "version 1.0" commercially ready server. The last update of Plex86 posted in December 2003. The project is now stalled, said Lawton, who is consulting for a startup company.

Top Linux vendors have also explored another open-source project, called user-mode Linux, or UML, said Lawton. UML is said to be slower than Xen but runs on more established technology and is often used for testing and debugging applications, observers said.

HP Labs and Intel Labs are other backers of Xen. HP is using Xen in its utility computing efforts, Hand said.

While HP would not comment on its plans for Xen, one HP executive said the company is working with several source projects and commercial companies as well as HP's own virtualization technology to help enable utility computing.

"We're primarily working with VMware and Microsoft in the virtualization space," said Nick van der Zweep, director of virtual and utility computing at HP, noting that HP is not bundling Xen at this point but is investing in "various OS initiatives."

Dave McCrory, founder of Surgient, an ISV and ASP whose platform uses virtualization technology, said there is a market for an open-source spin-off of VMware, but there are limitations to Xen that could stymie its acceptance.

"Xen is semi-virtualization. Right now, you can't run Windows except a modified XP version and modified Linux. If someone could come up with an enterprise virtualization solution that was open source, it would be fantastic," said McCrory, also chief scientist at the Austin, Texas, firm.

"Another problem that would face open-source solutions is that a lot of the real virtualization ground is consumed by patents created by VMware and Connectix and now owned by EMC and Microsoft," he said. (EMC owns VMware while Microsoft now own Connectix's virtualization software and is marketing it under the Virtual Server brand.) "This would pose another problem if corporations were considering adopting these types of solutions. I do believe there would be a market for it, however."

As Xen tries to impress customers of Red Hat Fedora and Suse and eventually gain commercial support, its leaders are busy trying to secure support from a broad cross-section of chip vendors, hardware vendors and management tool vendors, Pratt said.

He noted that research and development on Xen will continue within the computer lab at Cambridge University, but product development and support will be a separate spin-off.

One Linux ISV said it's still early for virtualization software on Linux, but Xen is the most promising open-source project to date.

"While it can be more complex to set up than VMware, it is able to achieve near-native performance on even the most taxing of tests. Xen is under active development, and is rapidly becoming a major player in the virtualization space," said Nick Lassonde, chief software architect at Versora, Santa Barbara, Calif. "We're seeing more and more demand for virtual machine technology for Linux-based servers, and we expect that this will continue to grow over the next five to seven years."

dont see it in FC 2 yet (1, Informative)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981368)

[root@ root]# yum install xen #yeah like this will really work
Gathering header information file(s) from server(s)
Server: Fedora Core 2 - i386 - Base
Server: Fedora Core 2 - i386 - Released Updates
Finding updated packages
Downloading needed headers
Cannot find a package matching xen
No actions to take
[root@ root]# find /lib/modules/2.6.9-1.6_FC2/|grep -i xen
[root@ root]# find /var/cache/yum/|grep -i xen
[root@ root]#

Re:dont see it in FC 2 yet (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981425)

That's because the latest features appear in the Fedora Core development tree, not in already-released versions.

Re:dont see it in FC 2 yet (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981585)

That's because the latest features appear in the Fedora Core development tree, not in already-released versions

Does that mean that it eventually will be released into fc2?... also I'm not quite sure how it will be released, as another kenrnel, package, or module? Right now I'm using a manual build on top of FC2, but it does not work too nicely with iptables, for example.

Re:dont see it in FC 2 yet (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981646)

That means that you will need to upgrade to FC4 or track the unstable/rawhide branch. FC2 is stablized and will only receive security updates.

What about Qemu ? (3, Interesting)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981372)

I'm a happy Qemu user on fedora 2 ; although not as flexible as plex86 wrt host architecture, nor as polished as VMware, Qemu has windows support, and just does the job fine, after minor tweakings.

I've yet to try Xen, but as of now, I just need basic windows compatibility to launch closed softwares (most of them being databases of law articles on CD-ROM to copy / paste extracts in linux Openoffice for research purpose), and Qemu does just that.

I only wish it could play GTA3-VC !

Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981400)

Anyone noticed this on the xen web site;-
Work on Xen has been supported by UK EPSRC grant GR/S01894, Intel Research, HP Labs and Microsoft Research.
M£ contributing to F/OSS. OK, which universe is this?

Imagine (1)

commander_line (835199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981464)

Imagine a beowulf cluster running Xen hosting Tomcat. Ahh, the joys of running virtual machines on a virtual machine that's part of a giant virtual machine. Uhh, Bob, how far away from the hardware are we now?

I just hope it is better than... (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981467)

Novell's Zenworks, which rendered 1000 NT4 PC's/night useless on a regular basis while I was in college.

Re:I just hope it is better than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981630)

Zenworks is a very costly desktop imaging and application deployment solution from Novell which allows all machines to be updated seamlessly. It can be powerful when used right or a nightmare when done wrong. Xen is an open source virtual machine solution to run multiple linux operating systems within one host operating system.

Xen, ZEN? (0, Troll)

lateralus_1024 (583730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981486)

Hope it doesn't share the same fate as Novell's ZENworks(Zero Effort Networking). In one way it worked...the only place still using Novell Network is my local DMV...they also apply Zero Effort Everything.

What is Xen? Here you go... (5, Informative)

Erich (151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981522)

Thought everyone might like an explanation of what Xen does, in comparison to VMware.

VMware works with a host operating system to provide a complete x86 virtual environment for a guest operating system.

Xen is an operating system in its own right. It's a "virtual machine monitor" or "hypervisor". It can spawn multiple guest operating virtual machines.

x86 is not a very good architecture for virtualization. To have a virtualizeable architecture, anything a user-level program can do should behave the same way it would in supervisor mode, or it should trap so the virtual machine monitor can emulate it. x86 has instructions that don't quite follow this guideline -- for instance, you can see what protection ring you are currently in. In supervisor mode, you would get something like ring 0. In user mode, you get ring 3. So an operating system trying to see what ring it was in would get ring 3, but you are trying to fool it into thinking it is in ring 0.

Anyway, Xen modifies the guest architecture. It disallows these "sensitive" instructions and creates some virtual devices that are easier to emulate (like a simple software-programmed TLB). This allows the performance to be very very good, faster than VMware, but it requires you to fiddle with your operating system a bit. Which, of course, is easy to do with Linux.

User-ode Linux (1)

naitro (680425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981560)

While we're all smoking the virtualization-pipe, let's check out User-mode Linux [usermodelinux.org] .

Patent issues (1)

SweenyTod (47651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981584)

I am concerned about how far they can go, when the article mentions this:
"Another problem that would face open-source solutions is that a lot of the real virtualization ground is consumed by patents created by VMware and Connectix and now owned by EMC and Microsoft," he said. (EMC owns VMware while Microsoft now own Connectix's virtualization software and is marketing it under the Virtual Server brand.) "This would pose another problem if corporations were considering adopting these types of solutions. I do believe there would be a market for it, however."


Surely it'll get to the point where one technique XEN is employing and then butts up against a patent and then it's game over?

eek (1)

Deadbolt (102078) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981602)

I just hope it doesn't suck like the OTHER Xen.

so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10981604)

suppose a windows application doesn't run under wine

what's the best solution to run this application under linux?

bochs?

CoLinux - running Linux on Windows nativly. (1)

PiotrK (16050) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981606)

It is easy to boot linux in text mode to have both Linux and Windows running at the same time.

I would like to use this method instead of dual booting (only one OS at the same time).

Is there any rpm that do required modification to SuSE linux, to be able to boot it in the graphic mode using coLinux?

The coLinux site - http://www.colinux.org/ [colinux.org]
The latest version is here - http://www.colinux.org/snapshots/

Xen is already better than VMWare (2, Interesting)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981608)

I think something that folks are missing here is that Xen is not some whizzbang way to run your favorite Windows programs or to try out new versions (or completely different) of an operating system.

Xen is more similar to VM; it's already great for server farms and when things like OpenSSI become available/usable it'll mean the realization of network-wide clustering that's Tannenbaum's wet dream.

VMware/Qemu/Plex86 might be [aguably] good for those who only pretend to use their computer, but they're absolute piss for Real Work(tm).

Intel will offer virtualization in hardware (1)

mrm677 (456727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981628)

Intel is actively working on adding hardware virtualization (Vanderpool) to its lineup of x86 processors. This will make products, like VMWare, obsolete.

Hmm (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981645)

I wonder if Novell will create a management system, allowing point-and-click and/or programmable provisioning capabilities. They could call it ZENWorks for Xen! The manual could be called "Zen and the Art of Xen with ZENWorks"

It still has long way to go (1)

forfan (719906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10981711)

Obviously, VMWare is much stronger than Xan by now. The only thing I feel exciting on Xan is that Xan is open source. This is really an interesting project.
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