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[Xen-devel] Re: Newbie questions

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Subject: [Xen-devel] Re: Newbie questions
From: Jan Rychter <jan@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2004 14:08:33 -0700
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>>>>> "Steven" == Steven Hand <Steven.Hand@xxxxxxxxxxxx>:
 >> I've just started looking at Xen and I have some questions. These
 >> are all fairly basic, as there is preciously little overview
 >> documentation (most of it seems to be fairly detailed).
 >> First of all, I'm coming from an UML (User-Mode Linux) and VMware
 >> background. I'm using UML for a number of things, and I'm generally
 >> happy with it, except for the performance and lack of suspend/resume
 >> functionality.

[...many interesting explanations snipped...]

 >> -- if yes, is it reasonable to expect that a patched (customized for
 >>    a laptop) kernel that includes swsusp2 and encryption (among
 >>    other things) will be able to support Xen?

 Steven> So encryption should not be a problem; swsusp2 might be
 Steven> depending on how much power-management support it requires. To
 Steven> try this out you'd need to build a xenolinux kernel from
 Steven> scratch (i.e. get the source, build xen, build a xenolinux tree
 Steven> (see HOWTO), patch xenolinux tree, cross fingers, build,
 Steven> boot...).

 Steven> Note that the xenolinux kernel is based on 2.4.25 -- there is
 Steven> no support for 2.6 as yet.

 >> -- is Xen at all suitable for the following usage scenario: a laptop
 >> host, with frequently changing networking, software suspend (via
 >> swsusp2), Xenolinux without real-world networking
 >> (e.g. host<->Xenolinux communication only)?

 Steven> Laptop is fine in general (several of us run xen and xenolinux
 Steven> on our laptops), although some funky laptops may cause problems
 Steven> (we support only a subset of device drivers in the current
 Steven> model)


Thanks a lot for your (and Ian Pratt's) answers. They have indeed helped
me a lot in understanding whan Xen is (and what it is not).

I was really looking for a way to make my virtual world persistent
(suspendable and preferably also snapshottable) and independent of the
crash of the day being served to me by Linux. In particular, the USB
subsystem in Linux ranks highly among the crappiest things I have to

From your explanations it seems that Xen is designed for virtual hosting
environment and isn't really the way to go for me. UML (user-mode linux)
suits my needs better. Except it doesn't have suspend/resume
functionality. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait for that.

many thanks for your time,

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