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Is there a minimal/lightweight Linux distro that directly boots into Xen / VBox so I can create/boot into one or more Virtual Machines?

If not, How do I make one?

  • I have four partitions
  • I do not want to use a LiveCD. I want this to be installed in the first partition.
  • I do not want have a Bootloader menu (can directly boot into this custom OS)

So if I switch on the notebook: -> I'd see BIOS -> I'd see the Custom OS booting directly -> I'd see Xen / Vbox or the Virtualization appearing as the only app running. -> I'd Create a New VM or Start an Existing VM -> I'd maintain hard-disks of these VMs on the free space available on other partitions

Thank you for your advice/help/direction in advance.

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3 Answers 3

Well, I don't know if you can skip the bootloader, as it's necessary for even 1 OS/Kernel. Regardless, the bootloader is tiny and you can set the timeout to 0 or 1.

As for minimal/lightweight Linux, you can install a base CentOS distro without any custom packages and load it with Xen. I've done this very thing and I can get a bare-bones CentOS distro down to around 300MB (and probably smaller if I spent more time). It boots into Xen and starts up all the VMs I have created.

Once you have a base CentOS installed, run the following to install Xen:

# yum groupinstall Xen

Once it's all done, make sure you edit your /etc/grub/grub.conf config to boot the Xen kernel (set default to 0).

This guide may also be helpful for installing additional VMs:

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Xen/InstallingCentOSDomU

I hope this helps!

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As far as easy goes, I've done something similar using a debian distro. Installed a base system, installed the xen kernel and tools and such and then went through and started removing the rest of the stuff - not that there was much to remove; on debian 'minimal' is pretty minimal!

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Check out Citrix XenClient.

It is a bare metal hypervisor designed for laptops.

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