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[Xen-users] Re: Bootable LiveDVD w/ Xen that boots Windows Image?

Joshua Kinard wrote:
Hey all,
Need to know if ths sounds like a crazy idea or not. Not really messed with Xen a whole lot, but I have played around with other virtualization technologies, so I'm not 100% if I can do what I'm after. Basic gist is, I want to create a small Xen dom0 install, primarily using Debian Lenny 5.0.2, and from it, boot a Windows XP domU instance, but do all of this from a single bootable DVD disc. I think I've got the basics down behind setting up a bootable Linux DVD, as I've built netboots before and found some some scripts which might help. The tricky part is going to be the Windows install. I figure I can install it on a read-write virtual disk, and later package that image up for booting off of the DVD. The only curiosity is going to be how well Windows takes it, because it scibbles all over the place (Registry mostly) when it boots. There's a specific application I need to be available when this whole mess boots up. I won't use said app very often (1-2 times/month), but I don't want to keep an entire Windows install around for it. I'm thinking it'd be easier to somehow get this onto a bootable medium, and since Windows wasn't designed to boot off of CD and DVD media, I figured that this would be the next best idea. Or if people have better ideas, I am all ears...

This should be possible. As posted earlier there already live CDs booting Xen and a dom0. For Windows you could use a PE image then and boot it from an iso image within dom0's filesystem. Not sure how much space a recent Windows PE image takes but I still have some BartPE CDs(!) here, so it shouldn't be too hard to get this all onto a single DVD image.

That being said I would still recommend a USB drive as DVD/CD are slow and booting an iso from within an (compreseed) squashfs won't make things faster. Also think about security updates, you don't want to boot with an unpatched Windows thats a couple of month old...

Best regards,

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