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Old 08-04-2009, 06:27 AM   #1
Solar Granulation
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A pathetically simple question about Xen


I'm probably missing something really obvious in my search for this information, but I really haven't found a clear answer so I decided to ask here, where there is lots of juicy knowledge.

Does Dom0 constitute a fully functional Linux OS?

What I'm getting at, really, is this; I have my day-to-day Linux installation that I wouldn't sacrifice if I can help it. I would like to also be able to run another system with virtualisation so that I have access to both at once, obviously. My concern is whether, if I install the Xen version of the kernel and other required software, my system will stay as usable as it is now.

Can I use my current installation as Dom0 without incurring any penalties? Or would I have to run a DomU for my daily tasks and would that be slowed by virtualisation?
 
Old 08-04-2009, 06:45 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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Dom0 is a standard distro, yes. It naturally has to run a modified Xen kernel, and then run libvirt and the likes on it, but you can certainly use it for whatever else you need to if it's only for test and personal use.
 
Old 08-04-2009, 06:54 AM   #3
Solar Granulation
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Thanks for the reply, a_k. But could you please expand on what you mean by "only for test and personal use"? Is there some disadvantage to using the Xen kernel?
 
Old 08-04-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
cmdln
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I don't know if this is still the case but historically xenified kernels have had issues with suspend and other frequently sought after things in a notebook enviornment. Don't get me wrong I love xen on servers but so far I haven't seen a comelling reason to use it to do desktop virtualization.

Also while you can run things in dom0 it's not recommended as dom0 has elevated privlodges and if something goes wonky all your domu will suffer. For example see what happens if you run seti@home in dom0 or dnetc.

Unless you have a compelling reason to run xen on a workstation I would suggest trying virtualbox. I think it can run headless as well.
 
Old 08-04-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
Solar Granulation
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Reading about it, that actually sounds like a very good solution. Thanks, cmdln!
 
  


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