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Installing Xen on a host machine is easy, but installing an operating system inside a Xen virtual machine is poorly documented. Assume that the system I wish to setup:

  • uses paravirtualization.
  • uses an image file instead of LVM.
  • has the kernel and initial RAM disk residing on the host machine instead of in the virtual machine image.

Where do I get the appropriate kernel and initial RAM disk files? How do I install the operating system in the virtual machine?

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I guess the easiest way, would be using a graphical interface such as virt-manager. If you want to do it from command line, here is another post were they explain it: How do I use Xen hypervisor?

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You can install the Xen Tools from here and then use the command line tool to setup your PV Ubuntu VM per your specifications.

I've personally used these tools via the debootstrap method for a PV Debian VM and had terrific results.

More information on Xen Tools can be found here.

Keep in mind (taken from Xen Tools link): The biggest limitation is that it can only install a limited set of guests. The version of xen-tools in Debian testing can install most versions of Debian or Ubuntu, and also has support for CentOS 5 and 6. (The CentOS support is done using rinse rather than debootstrap.)

Hope this helps.

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