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Re: [Xen-users] Issues with older O/Ss

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Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Issues with older O/Ss
From: Mark Williamson <mark.williamson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2007 19:37:44 +0000
Cc: Nick Couchman <Nick.Couchman@xxxxxxxxx>
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> Well, I'm trying to use XEN to run some older O/Ss and am having some
> trouble, probably due to these O/S's lack of idle calls to the CPUs.  I
> need to run WinNT 3.51 (please don't laugh too hard :-) in a virtual
> machine and would also like to run Symantec Ghost to image machines,
> especially for P2V purposes.  Unfortunately, these O/Ss seem to freeze the
> VMs - the CPU usage goes up to 50% for the VM and whatever the guest O/S is
> doing hangs.  Anyone have any ideas for running these O/Ss - NT 3.51 and
> Ghost (DOS) in a XEN HVM?

Out of interest, are you using an Intel CPU?

Some guests which do esoteric things don't work so well on Xen.  Some realmode 
stuff is less well supported particularly on Intel chips at the moment.  It's 
possible that you're bumping up against one or more of these problems.

Any interesting messages in xm dmesg?

I don't have any specific suggestions regarding getting these OSes to run, 
other than that you might want to submit a bug report or (better) send a mail 
to the xen-devel mailing list reporting your problem.  I'm not sure if anyone 
will be working on this at the moment but it's quite possible that older 
legacy guests will eventually receive better support in the future.

You might find that on a modern PC Qemu will be able to run these OSes 
adequately fast, so you might want to try that...  Alternatively, I expect 
some of the other virtualisers (VMware, for instance) may have robust support 
for older guests. 


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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