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Re: [Xen-users] Creating initial file system for a new Xen domain

To: "Mark Williamson" <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Creating initial file system for a new Xen domain
From: "David Stone" <unclestoner@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 15:21:27 -0400
Cc: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Thanks for your help, I understand and got this working now.


On 10/19/07, Mark Williamson <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > I've moderately familiar with using XenSource distributions and also
> > administering Xen with tools like virt-manager on Fedora.  However now
> > I'm building xen (3.0.3) from source and trying to use what I built
> > myself.
> >
> > My first question is why is it that tools like virt-manager don't work
> > when I boot to the Xen hypervisor and Dom0 I built?  The virt-manager
> > I'm trying to use is from FC6.  Is this known to be generally
> > impossible for some reason (missing APIs), or is it supposed to work
> > at least sometimes?  What are my other options for tools that will
> > create a Xen domain configuration file...I know this can be done by
> > hand but there must be more friendly tools out there somewhere...
> I'm not entirely sure, to be honest.  I would guess that maybe virt-manager
> isn't up to date enough to use your hypervisor version, but I'm not really
> familiar enough with it to say for sure.  Does xm, etc work correctly for
> you?
> What distro are you on?  You could perhaps try updating to a newer
> virt-manager (e.g. the one from FC6?  Or from source, or from SVN?).
> > My second question is very basic, forgive me: using just the tools
> > that are built with the xen source distribution, how does one install
> > Linux on a DomU?  I know you just point to a kernel/ramdisk in the
> > domain configuration file, but what about the root filesystem?  Using
> > XenExpress and virt-manager, I always run through a Linux install, so
> > that populates the root filesystem with all the stuff essential for
> > the system.  I know that you can point a domain to a partition in the
> > domain's configuration file, but how do you populate that partition?
> If you want an HVM domU, you create a configuration file that points to the
> virtual disk of the domain, and gives it a virtual cdrom drive pointing to
> the .iso of the install CD.  Then proceed basically as for a normal machine.
> If you want a PV domU, the process varies.  To install a Redhat-type guest,
> you ferret around on the install CD until you find the installation kernel
> and initrd for Xen, then create a config file that boots these, passing it
> the virtual disks for it's install destination and the .iso file (don't pass
> this as a cdrom, it won't work).  For other guests, there are other ways -
> you can also install RH-like (and maybe other) RPM distros using "rpmstrap".
> And you can install Debian-likes using "debootstrap".  Both of these tools
> can be used to drop a distro install into a filesystem tree (e.g. a mounted
> virtual disk partition).
> Various distros (Redhat, SuSE, etc) also provide their own tools for
> installing a guest.  The libvirt folks were looking at supporting SuSE guests
> from virt-manager, which would be cool.
> > My third and final question is: when using virt-install a file-backed
> > VBD is created for the DomU.  The domain's configuration file has:
> > disk = [ 'tap:aio:/vmdisks/Fedora6Guest3,xvda,w', ]
> > I'd like to mount this in Dom0.  I execute
> > xm block-attach 0 tap:aio:/vmdisks/Fedora6Guest3 /dev/xvda1 w 0
> > which seems to work.  But how do mount the device /dev/xvda1 in Dom0?
> > I think the problem is that it isn't really an ext3 filesystem,
> > because it contiains multiple partitions (one for /boot and one for
> > /), so I can't just say
> > mount -t ext3 /dev/xvda1 /tmp/mountpoint
> Easiest way is to use the lomount command; it's included in the Xen
> distribution and originally came from the Qemu distribution.  It allows you
> to select a partition from a virtual disk image and specify a directory to
> mount its filesystem on.  This uses the Linux loopback device.  Make sure you
> unmount before booting the guest, or bad things may happen ;-)
> Hope that helps!
> Cheers,
> Mark
> --
> 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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