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Xen 3.1.1 release candidate 2 is out :)

Posted on | September 28, 2007 | No Comments

Oh come, all ye Xenn-ers get the latest rrrr-c. (Ok, I’ll shut up)

Keir has finished assimilating the patch queue into the new release candidate for Xen (3.1.1). There are a plethora of improvements best witnessed by viewing the change log.

I know that many of you prefer to yum or apt-get your way into Xenhood. There’s nothing really wrong with this, however, you should take note of a few things:

  • You get your OS packager’s version of Xen, not the latest and greatest from XenSource. Every OS packager takes Xen, ‘cherry picks’ patches then does their own voodoo. This is great, but you might want to consider letting your flavor follow the course of development.
  • Many of the gurus who blog tutorials, tips and tricks for Xen build Xen from source. If you use your OS packager’s version, these resources might not work for you. Debian and Ubuntu do a pretty good job staying ‘close’ to XenSource, others get really picky about including patches from xen-unstable.

At this point, I really recommend having Mercurial installed prior to messing with Xen. 3.1.1 pulls in a slightly different version of the 2.6.18 kernel, see this repository to understand the difference from a stock kernel (how it used to work). When you run ‘make’, Xen will want to use Mercurial to pull in that kernel tree then apply the stuff in the sparse tree against it, thus producing your xen-0 and xen-u kernels.

From what I understand, because Xen’s paravirt_ops is now in mainstream Linux (2.6.23-rc8 is a good example), the sparse tree will soon be eliminated. Any kernel can easily adapt for the Xen hypervisor, just like VMI ops.

Most of the major changes that I see are for HVM (fully virtualized) guests, plus some stuff to add more BSD compatability and the elimination of a bunch of work arounds. If you have time, give it a try, the Xen developers are looking for feedback.


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