Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm wanting to use Xen Hypervisor to be able to run both Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7 at the same time using virtualization. I can find plenty of XCP tutorials but I'm not looking to install the cloud stack, I just want the server confined to my machine.

All I need is a link to a decent tutorial for this purpose. I've read a ton of articles that lead me to believe I'm on the right track, but not enough to feel comfortable getting it right if I just dive in. I'm getting caught up on whether I need to install Ubuntu and then install Xen into it, or do I need to install Xen on a small partition and then leave the rest of the hard drive open for the virtualization... I dunno.

Basically, I need the virtualization of Windows 7 for Adobe Premiere and After Effects (until Lightworks for Linux comes out and I can afford NUKEX). If I didn't need those, I'd be rocking out a straight up Ubuntu machine or just using VirtualBox for my virtualization. However, I need Windows to run as an HVM so it runs like I would expect rather than having the issues I may run into with VirtualBox (video drivers, etc).

So, any suggestions?

share|improve this question
I am veery interested in that. I do not know how to help you/us BUT i want to learn about possible solutions. Any luck yet? – gabriel Oct 18 '12 at 7:56
Nope, I actually gave up on the endeavor since I couldn't figure it out. I gathered from the resources I did find that you have to install Ubuntu, then install XEN for virtualization, then install Win7 as a guest OS. I tried doing so several times but I had a lot of trouble so I was doing something wrong. – trezy Oct 21 '12 at 15:51

What you are looking for is called PCI or VGA passthrough. Xen allows you to pass through a physical device like a USB host or a graphics card to your guest, in your case Windows 7. Doing so gives you native/near-native performance when using the guest OS.

BUT, to do that you need compatible hardware:

  1. The CPU must support VT-d (Intel) or AMD-Vi / IOMMU (AMD).
  2. The motherboard and BIOS also must support VT-d ...
  3. The graphics adapter must be VGA passthrough compatible - if it's an AMD, chances are good, if it's Nvidia, then the professional Quadro 2000 and higher cards should work, or perhaps an older card. Look here Xen VGA passthrough Tested Adapters for a start, but this list is not complete.

You may want to look here HOW-TO make dual-boot obsolete for a Linux Mint 13 based tutorial, which should work (almost) unaltered for Ubuntu 12.04.

Just make absolutely sure you got the right hardware!

share|improve this answer gives a good guide:

By completing this guide you will have installed a fully functional Xen Project hypervisor and started your first guest operating systems, connected them to your network and have been introduced to fundamental concepts such as virtual machine storage and virtual networking.

You can also check the many other pages on the wiki for other information, especially the Tutorials and HowTos (from the left navigation bar on the wiki).

The Linux Mint based tutorial from @powerhouse's answer is also great, updated (to September 2015) and has a lot of details and other useful links.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.