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RE: [Xen-devel] New release candidate for Xen 4.0.0 (RC9)

To: Dan Magenheimer <dan.magenheimer@xxxxxxxxxx>, Joanna Rutkowska <joanna@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Keir Fraser <Keir.Fraser@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-devel] New release candidate for Xen 4.0.0 (RC9)
From: Ian Pratt <Ian.Pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 15:44:07 +0100
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Thread-topic: [Xen-devel] New release candidate for Xen 4.0.0 (RC9)
> > I don't think it makes sense for anyone to really be using 2.6.18
> > anymore.
> Sorry, I have to disagree.  The only real issue with 2.6.18 is
> old drivers.  If your machine works fine with 2.6.18 dom0, it
> is still very likely the most stable and fully-functional dom0
> bits and has been tested with many previous releases of Xen
> and was the default for pre-4.0 until a few months ago.

That's a very big "if". The 2.6.18 available for download from xenbits has not 
been actively kept up to date with new drivers etc. 

If you really want to use 2.6.18, at least use an actively maintained version 
e.g. from XenServer 5.5 or OracleVM, CentOS etc.

> > The 2.6.27 tree is probably the most widely tested right now, and is
> > shipping in commercial xen distros, and xen.org's Xen Cloud Platform
> > and XCI.
> I don't want to get into a numbers argument, but all Oracle VM
> shipments are using a 2.6.18-based dom0.  And I'd venture to
> guess that, since most enterprise shops rarely move immediately to
> the leading edge release, the vast majority of commercial Xen users
> are using a 2.6.18-based dom0.

2.6.27 is hardly leading edge for use with Xen. Novell released SLES11 over a 
year ago. 

Over the last year, there will have been a lot more test resources focussed on 
the combination of modern xen and 2.6.27 than there have been on 2.6.18.

You may be right that there is more 2.6.18 in enterprise use, but the vast 
majority of that will be in combination with older versions of Xen.


> > pvops is certainly where the development effort is currently focussed,
> > and hopefully what the commercial distros will all be using later this
> > year[*].
> Yes, agreed.  This is definitely the direction.  But I don't
> think it's time to throw away linux-2.6.18-xen.hg quite yet
> (the suggestion of which is what triggered my allergic reaction
> here :-).
> > > Can you shed some light on this issue -- why is this kernel repo
> > there,
> > > and what kernel will *really* be the official and stable option for
> > Xen 4?
> > > What will be part of the next week release?
> Keir already answered this tersely, but let me explain further
> (and others can correct me if I am wrong).  There IS NO official
> dom0 for Xen 4.0 from xen.org.  Xen 4.0 is a hypervisor not
> a virtualization distro.  Similarly, Linux 2.6.33 is a kernel release,
> not an OS distro.  Distros of both are free to choose whatever other
> components work best for their customers.
> So IMHO the http://xenbits.xensource.com/linux-2.6.18-xen.hg tree
> is still maintained because it is still useful for a significant
> number of developers.
> P.S. I *do* plan to switch to pvops... but I've been saying that
> for over a year now ;-)

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