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  • An open-source project developed by the ‘University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory' in coordination with the ‘Open Source Development Labs' and several Linux distributors and currently managed by Xen.source.
  • It requires the user to boot up a Xen Linux Kernel package, server tools and documentation and then launch para-virtualized guest OS systems.
  • The kernel package incorporates support for running Xen in domain 0 (xen0) as a server and for unprivileged (xenU) user access. The virtual machines are called domains. When the Xen Kernel starts up, it creates a primary domain, domain0, which manages the system and set up virtual machines for other operating systems.
  • xend server: Manages virtual machines
  • /var/log/xend.log: places the xend messages
  • xend-config: for configuring Xen xend server
  • The guest OS is modified and configured to access the Xen interface.
  • HVM Abstraction Layer: It provides support for the Hardware Virtual Machine (HVM). The configuration file for HVM is in the /etc/xen directory and has the extension .hvm
Xen Benefits
  • Increased Efficiency for Enterprise-level systems: Virtual machines have nearly the same efficiency as the native kernel
  • It has full native device drive access support for graphics.
  • Setup a separate test system: Xen isolates servers in virtual machines on the system, which lets the virtual machine access the hardware support provided by the native kernel.

Constraint: Only UNIX and LINUX OS configured to be Xen compatible.

XenMan Tool
  • It provides a desktop interface to manage Xen domains (starting, stopping, or rebooting) or virtual machines, adding new ones, or deleting old ones.
  • It can be used on most distributions, which include Debian, SUSE, and Ubuntu.
  • The dashboard lets users check statistics like CPU and memory usage.
  • Allows to save the snapshot of a machine and restore to the point
    xenman command to start XenMan from a terminal window
    xenman.conf: XenMan configuration file. Global definitions held in the /etc/xenman/xenman.conf file. The file defines virtual block devices, snapshots location, provides an environment, specific configurations, and client configuration like GNOME support, use of images collected into an image store.
  • Each user has .xenman directory.

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