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RE: [Xen-users] Xen running Windows

To: Mattia Martinello <liste@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] Xen running Windows
From: Maxim Rozin <maxim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 09:58:05 +0200
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Have a look at the attached post to this list by Michael Walker a few days ago.

Have a nice day,

Maxim Rozin
Mobile: +972-54-5409444
Tel: +972-3-9238888

-----Original Message-----
From: xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:xen-users-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mattia Martinello
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:25 AM
To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-users] Xen running Windows

I wish to install Xen on an IntelVT machine to run Windows in a domU 
Where I can find some docs about installing Windows on Xen?

Thank you very much and goodbye.

Xen-users mailing list
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To: <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Xen-users] Xen w/ IntelVT->Windows Success Report
From: "Michael Walker" <Michael.Walker@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 18:47:21 +0200
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Xen w/ IntelVT->Windows Success Report


I've spent quite a few weeks trying to get a IntelVT enabled
system loaded with a Xen and then running a version of Windows
with the IntelVT support.

After many trials and tribulations - I thought it would be worth
writing up a little report in the hopes that it will help others
down this path.  Note I'm not going into the full details of how
to get a Xen system up & booted - there is plenty of information
on that in the WiKi's - I'm just offering what I thought was
interesting in getting Windows booted in a IntelVT/HVM enabled

1) Get a IntelVT enabled system and enable the settings in the BIOS:

  First you need a IntelVT enabled system, I have a very nice
  server system with 4 dual core Intel Xeon processors.  The
  Xeon's have the vmx capabilities, but you *must* also make
  sure that the IntelVT capabilities are enabled via the BIOS.
  The one other gotchya I ran into was that for my system after
  re-setting the BIOS you must power-cycle the system for the
  updated settings to take place.  If you do not, on this
  system, even though the BIOS says VT is enabled Xen will not
  recognize it as such (that cost me a couple of days =O).

2) Base system - Fedora Core 5 + Xen3.0-Unstable

  My base system was Fedora Core 5.  I tried to use the Xen3.0.2
  which is distributed with FC5, but that failed on this system,
  each time I attempted to boot a VT enabled system the whole
  system would crash.  No error to the console, nothing left for
  me to examine - just reboot.

  So - I next pulled the latest Xen-unstable development tree down
  using Mercurial and created a build workspace.  I installed
  the additional packages required for a HVM enabled build
  (libvncserver & dev86) and completed the default 'make world'
  followed by 'make install' and booted to that new Xen
  hypervisor and Domain0 kernel.

3) Once system has booted Xen - verify that VMX is enabled.

  Once the Xen0 enabled kernel has booted - you can verify that
  your Xen has found the IntelVT enabled bits by doing the

    [root@vermont ~]# xm dmesg | grep VMX
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    (XEN) VMXON is done
    [root@vermont ~]#

   You should have a VMXON for each reported processor.  If you
   have any other messages visit your BIOS settings.  There is
   no reason to go any further until you have VMXON reported -
   it just isn't going to work.

4) Create the Xen disk image & find a install media

  I created my Xen enabled disk image as follows:
      # mkdir -p /root/xenimages
      # cd /root/xenimages
      # dd if=/dev/zero of=WS128.img bs=1M count=4096

  For my install media I chose to use a iso image of the
  WinXP - ServicePack2 CDRom.  I copied this into the

  For some reason my cdrom device was not available when I was
  booted into the Xen-unstable kernel.  If it had been, I also
  could have installed with the media in the CDRom drive.

4) Create a HVM enabled Xen Configuration

  I created mine by starting with /etc/xen/xmexample.hvm and
  then modifying it as appropriate.  Following is my Xen
  configuration file:

    [root@vermont xen]# cat /etc/xen/winXP128
    kernel = "/usr/lib/xen/boot/hvmloader"
    memory = 512
    name = "WinXP128"
    cpus = ""
    vif = [ 'type=ioemu, bridge=xenbr0' ]
    disk = [ 'file:/root/xenimages/winXP128.img,ioemu:hda,w' ]
    on_poweroff = 'destroy'
    on_reboot   = 'destroy'
    on_crash    = 'destroy'
    device_model = '/usr/lib/xen/bin/qemu-dm'
    [root@vermont xen]#

  Note that the "boot='d'" designates that this Xen image
  should boot off of the 'cdrom image'.  This is required for
  the initial boot - and will be changed to "boot='c'" once the
  hard drive image has Windows installed on it.

  Also note that this image is set to place the console onto a
  VNC enabled terminal.

  You can also use SDL to access the graphics console - I did
  not try this since my system is in a lab and I wanted to
  remotely connect to my DomainU images.

5) Boot system and connect to terminal with VNC

  Now we're ready to boot the system.  Note that the terminal
  will be on a VNC console - so once the xen domain is created
  you need another window to attach with a vncviewer (either
  from the same system or from a different system).

      # xm create -c /etc/xen/winXP128
      Using config file "/etc/xen/winXP128".
      Started domain WinXP128

  Then in another terminal (on another machine if you like)
  connect to your <server> as follows:

     % vncviewer vermont:1

  My system is named vermont - you must provide whatever the
  server address for your system is.  Note that the VNC session
  number (:1 above) matches to the Xen Domain ID for
  the session you just created.  A 'xm list' on the
  Domain0 kernel will reveal what your current number is.

6) “Setup is Starting Windows” - install hangs

  This one got me for a long time.  I think the problem only
  occurs on system which have more then 4(maybe 8) cpus - so
  not everyone is seeing it.  The WindowsXP install starts,
  we get the 'BlueScreen' and some nice messages as hardware
  is probed out.  Then the install just hangs with the last
  message displayed in the bottom corner of:

     Setup is Starting Windows

  I was stuck here for a few days - until the following snippet
  was posted to the xen-devel alias to help me past this point:


   In that posting is the following little tidbit:

    > After passing the 1st screen of windows setup of install XP,
    > the first
    > thing you'll see at the bottom of the screen is the option to
    > press F6
    > if you need to install a SCSI or RAID controller. Don't press
    > F6. Press
    > F5 instead. This will take you to a separate menu of Hardware
    > Abstraction Layer's where you can choose an appropriate HAL
    > .The choices
    > are:
    > ACPI Multiprocessor PC
    > ACPI Uniprocessor PC
    > Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC
    > Compaq SystemPro Multiprocessor or 100% Compatible PC
    > MPS Uniprocessor PC
    > MPS Multiprocessor PC
    > Standard PC
    > Standard PC with C-Step i486
    > Other
    > Select "Standard PC". This will allow the installation to
    > complete in
    > about 20 minutes.

   So - 'press F5' when it says 'press F6'.  Whooda thunk

7) Installing via VNC

  The next thing to work around is that driving WinXP through
  the vncviewer is a little tricky.  I found the following

     a) The mouse support is spotty (this is a known issue I've
        seen discussed).  This means that in order to
     do the install and initial setup I had to use just
     the keyboard and keyboard shortcuts (tab, ...).

     b) The vncviewer doesn't resize with the install window.
     At times during the install the graphics window would
     resize (standard windows stuff) but the vncviewer did
     not resize resulting in part of the window being
     truncated in the viewer.  I found that if I just quit
     the 'vncviewer' and restarted it - it would get the
     correct size.

8) Boot from disk image to complete install

  Windows Install initially formats your (virtual) hard
  drive and copies some files over.  It then reboots to that
  hard drive to complete the install.

  When the system reboots your virtual machine will terminate,
  at this point you want to update your Xen configuration
  file to boot from the hard drive.  So - this required
  updating the 'boot' entry in the winXP file as follows:


  Then boot the Xen domain and re-attach with VNC:

     [root@vermont xen]# xm create -c /etc/xen/winXP128
     Using config file "/etc/xen/winXP128".
     Started domain WinXP128

  And attach with the vncviewer:

     % vncviewer vermont:2

  Note that I am now attached at ':2' since that is the XenID
  this session was assigned on my system (xm list).

8) Once installed - using rdesktop

  Don't be too worried about the problems with the VNC console.
  You only really need to use it to do the initial install &
  setup.  Once that is done - you can use Windows Remote Desktop
  to connect to your virtual Windows machine.  And - on Linux
  (and other Unix's) there is a nice RDP client called rdesktop

  So - once your system has been installed you can enable the
  RemoteDesktop via the following tab in Windows:

   ControlPanel->System->Remote tab

  Enable that - and you can then connect to your client with
  Remote Desktop.  At this point you're good to go.

Well - that's it.

I've used the above to install both Windows Server 2003 & Windows
XP clients.  I've had multiple WinXP & WS2003 clients running
simultaneously - and they all seems great.

Hope this helps someone.



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