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Re: [Xen-users] how to install Windows without hardware support

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Subject: Re: [Xen-users] how to install Windows without hardware support
From: Mark Williamson <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007 02:58:14 +0100
Cc: suyash jape <suyashjape@xxxxxxxxx>
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> Hi all
> 1) Is installing Windows on non-VT hardware possible....in full
> virtualization mode.?
>   Its clear that windows cannot be installed in paravirtualized mode
> without VT hardware support. But can we install windows VMs in full
> virtualization mode ( like VMware or Qemu )  in Xen.
> What if someone cannot afford VT hardware and still wants to virtualize his
> data center with Xen.
> and is ready to take the performance hit , just for his Windows VMs.
> For this , do we have to use Qemu separately?
> Can we incoporate these emulated Windows VMs with the other Xen VMs(linux
> VMs ) for Xen VM management, considering only non -VT hardware.

This question has come up occasionally, but unfortunately there's no 
straightforward way to run unmodified OSes under Xen.  For Xen (unlike 
VMware) the VT / SVM hardware isn't there as an optional extra, it really is 
required to support running unmodified guests :-(

However, as you say, if you play around with something like QEmu you would be 
able to (slowly!) run unmodified guests.

You could try running each Qemu in a separate XenLinux virtual machine, which 
would enable you to migrate the machines around using xm migrate, do 
suspend / resume etc.  But it wouldn't be integrated with Qemu's control 
interface, which you'd still need to access in the usual way.

If you did this, you'd probably want to configue Qemu to export the Windows 
VM's display directly over VNC - displaying to the XenLinux framebuffer seems 
at best like a waste of time, and possibly (even) slower to work with.

Hope that helps,

Dave: Just a question. What use is a unicyle with no seat?  And no pedals!
Mark: To answer a question with a question: What use is a skateboard?
Dave: Skateboards have wheels.
Mark: My wheel has a wheel!

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