# HG changeset patch
# User Ian Jackson <ian.jackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
# Date 1297241677 0
# Node ID 9f96906ec72452390180c30ea96f3d3006943040
# Parent 8ef21ac0b464f244f7d72f768436a1137ddb8aeb
docs: document vbd numbering and naming
Signed-off-by: Ian Jackson <ian.jackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
docs/misc/vbd-interface.txt | 126 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 files changed, 126 insertions(+)
diff -r 8ef21ac0b464 -r 9f96906ec724 docs/misc/vbd-interface.txt
--- /dev/null Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 1970 +0000
+++ b/docs/misc/vbd-interface.txt Wed Feb 09 08:54:37 2011 +0000
@@ -0,0 +1,126 @@
+Xen guest interface
+A Xen guest can be provided with block devices. These are always
+provided as Xen VBDs; for HVM guests they may also be provided as
+emulated IDE or SCSI disks.
+The abstract interface involves specifying, for each block device:
+ * Nominal disk type: Xen virtual disk (aka xvd*, the default); SCSI
+ (sd*); IDE (hd*).
+ For HVM guests, each whole-disk hd* and and sd* device is made
+ available _both_ via emulated IDE resp. SCSI controller, _and_ as a
+ Xen VBD. The HVM guest is entitled to assume that the IDE or SCSI
+ disks available via the emulated IDE controller target the same
+ underlying devices as the corresponding Xen VBD (ie, multipath).
+ For PV guests every device is made available to the guest only as a
+ Xen VBD. For these domains the type is advisory, for use by the
+ guest's device naming scheme.
+ The Xen interface does not specify what name a device should have
+ in the guest (nor what major/minor device number it should have in
+ the guest, if the guest has such a concept).
+ * Disk number, which is a nonnegative integer,
+ conventionally starting at 0 for the first disk.
+ * Partition number, which is a nonnegative integer where by
+ convention partition 0 indicates the "whole disk".
+ Normally for any disk _either_ partition 0 should be supplied in
+ which case the guest is expected to treat it as they would a native
+ whole disk (for example by putting or expecting a partition table
+ or disk label on it);
+ _Or_ only non-0 partitions should be supplied in which case the
+ guest should expect storage management to be done by the host and
+ treat each vbd as it would a partition or slice or LVM volume (for
+ example by putting or expecting a filesystem on it).
+ Non-whole disk devices cannot be passed through to HVM guests via
+ the emulated IDE or SCSI controllers.
+Configuration file syntax
+The config file syntaxes are, for example
+ d0 d0p0 xvda Xen virtual disk 0 partition 0 (whole disk)
+ d1p2 xvda2 Xen virtual disk 1 partition 2
+ d536p37 xvdtq37 Xen virtual disk 536 partition 37
+ sdb3 SCSI disk 1 partition 3
+ hdc2 IDE disk 2 partition 2
+The d*p* syntax is not supported by xm/xend.
+To cope with guests which predate this specification we preserve the
+existing facility to specify the xenstore numerical value directly by
+putting a single number (hex, decimal or octal) in the domain config
+file instead of the disk identifier; this number is written directly
+to xenstore (after conversion to the canonical decimal format).
+Concrete encoding in the VBD interface (in xenstore)
+The information above is encoded in the concrete interface as an
+integer (in a canonical decimal format in xenstore), whose value
+encodes the information above as follows:
+ 1 << 28 | disk << 8 | partition xvd, disks or partitions 16 onwards
+ 202 << 8 | disk << 4 | partition xvd, disks and partitions up to 15
+ 8 << 8 | disk << 4 | partition sd, disks and partitions up to 15
+ 3 << 8 | disk << 6 | partition hd, disks 0..1, partitions 0..63
+ 22 << 8 | (disk-2) << 6 | partition hd, disks 2..3, partitions 0..63
+ 2 << 28 onwards reserved for future use
+ other values less than 1 << 28 deprecated / reserved
+The 1<<28 format handles disks up to (1<<20)-1 and partitions up to
+255. It will be used only where the 202<<8 format does not have
+Guests MAY support any subset of the formats above except that if they
+support 1<<28 they MUST also support 202<<8. PV-on-HVM drivers MUST
+support at least one of 3<<8 or 8<<8; 3<<8 is recommended.
+Some software has used or understood Linux-specific encodings for SCSI
+disks beyond disk 15 partition 15, and IDE disks beyond disk 3
+partition 63. These vbds, and the corresponding encoded integers, are
+Guests SHOULD ignore numbers that they do not understand or
+recognise. They SHOULD check supplied numbers for validity.
+Notes on Linux as a guest
+Very old Linux guests (PV and PV-on-HVM) are able to "steal" the
+device numbers and names normally used by the IDE and SCSI
+controllers, so that writing "hda1" in the config file results in
+/dev/hda1 in the guest. These systems interpret the xenstore integer
+ major << 8 | minor
+where major and minor are the Linux-specific device numbers. Some old
+configurations may depend on deprecated high-numbered SCSI and IDE
+disks. This does not work in recent versions of Linux.
+So for Linux PV guests, users are recommended to supply xvd* devices
+only. Modern PV drivers will map these to identically-named devices
+in the guest.
+For Linux HVM guests using PV-on-HVM drivers, users are recommended to
+supply as few hd* devices as possible and use pure xvd* devices for
+the rest. Modern PV-on-HVM drivers will map the hd* devices to
+Some Linux HVM guests with broken PV-on-HVM drivers do not cope
+properly if both hda and hdc are supplied, nor with both hda and xvda,
+because they directly map the bottom 8 bits of the xenstore integer
+directly to the Linux guest's device number and throw away the rest;
+they can crash due to minor number clashes. With these guests, the
+workaround is not to supply problematic combinations of devices.
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