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[Xen-devel] PATCH 0/3: Direct linux kernel boot for HVM

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Subject: [Xen-devel] PATCH 0/3: Direct linux kernel boot for HVM
From: "Daniel P. Berrange" <berrange@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 05:38:21 +0000
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Those who saw Chris Wright give my Xen summit presentation a few weeks back
may remember one of the proposals was to support direct linux kernel boot
for HVM guests. ie, the ability to have a guest boot off a kernel, initrd, 
and args instead of merely the BIOS supported disk/cdrom/network.

This capability is useful for provisioning of new guests because you get
the ability to pass information directly to the installer program via the
kernel boot args. For example, with Anaconda you can pass in the URL for
a kickstart file, and thus get a 100% automated / unattended install
without needing to build custom ISO images or setup PXE.

QEMU / KVM have always had this ability for HVM guests, so I figured it
ought to be possible to make it work in Xen too, except the neccessary
code was #ifdef'd out in the ioemu copy of QEMU. After some poking it
became clear why this was.  The Linux kernel wants its protected-mode
image to live at 0x100000 and starts executing at this addr immediately
when switching from real to protected mode. A Xen guest also starts 
executing at 0x100000, and the HVM guest firmware lives at this address.
They obviously can't both live there. Hence why direct kernel boot is
currently not supported on Xen. The answer is to move the Linux kernel
elsewhere....more on that in later patches

The following 3 patches implement all this. They have been tested against
xen-unstable changeset 16606, on i386 only. I have not tested them on
x86_64 yet, hence I am NOT requesting commit to xen-unstable yet. This is
just a posting for code review...

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