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I'm coming from a vmware environment, wanting to play with Xen. I have a server with 2 x 500G SATA drives (no hardware RAID available, have to use software-based RAID1).

My partitions are all RAID1 except for swap. I left a little over 400G for my VMs and I would like to use LVM for the disk images. For domU's swap, should I allocate that from the 400G or should that be coming from dom0's partition? I asked because I've seen numerous config options that shows either or.

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My experience is mostly with Citrix's XenServer but the differences between their implementation and just building your own Xen host should be negligible.

  • The domU's swap should be internal to the domU. Just in terms of policy (functional seperation, isolation of individual VMs from each other) I can't see why it would be advantageous to share swap space between the privileged environment (the host; dom0) and the unprivileged domUs. When you're installing the domUs, just partition out your VHD/VDI as if you were working on a physical server.
  • LVM is a good choice for domU storage because the Xen dom0 can treat it as a raw block device and the domUs are then created as Logical Volumes within the LVM. This allows sharing of the storage and VDI resizing.

Citrix has a nice pretty picture overview of the storage options that your might find useful (CTX119088).

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Thank you, I'm spoiled coming from a vmware environment where we have GUIs to do the heavy lifting. –  luckytaxi Jun 23 '11 at 17:10

First - why is your Dom0-swap not mirrored? Did you ever see a system using swap that lost halv of it? - I did (I was just curious and the trainer was boring...).

Second: If you really need swap set it up within the DomU's own "disks". But you don`t have to set up swap at all...

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