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Short version: Will a Xen bridge work over a VirtualBox bridge? If so, how does it work?

Long version: I have Debian 6 (Squeeze) 64bit installed as a guest in VirtualBox, which is setup as a bridge connection using my local NIC in my laptop (not wireless).

Xen installs fine and I can start VMs. However, bridge networking on Xen does not work. DomU systems do not get an IP address, and even if the IP is set statically I can't ping DomU systems.

In Debian, I added the line (network-script 'network-bridge antispoof=yes') to /etc/xen/xend-config.sxp.

Creating a script /etc/xen/scripts/network-wrapper works with the following within it:

/etc/xen/scripts/network-bridge netdev=eth0 bridge=xenbr0 start

But if any changes are made to /etc/xen/xend-config.sxp and xend is started, then I will get the following error:

sigerr: command not found
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Not to be rude but you do realize you are trying to run a hypervisor inside of a virtual machine monitor right all on top of another host operating system? I'm not sure what you are trying to do, but there's got to better way to do it. – kce Mar 6 '12 at 1:00
Yes I know, but I am trying to do some testing with Xen, and taking snapshots with VirtualBox makes it really easy to go back when I make mistakes. I guess I will have to find a Linux backup solution and just install Debian on a real workstation. Thanks for the comment. – Mike Mar 6 '12 at 1:40
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is possible to run Xen paravirtualization bridge from within VirtualBox. Just allow promiscuous mode in the virtual machine settings, and do not use a wireless NIC for the attached bridge adapter in VirtualBox. Here are my settings:

VirtualBox Network Settings

I tested both using Xen and a Debian bridge, they both work fine.

I know this is not convetional as stated by KCE, in the comment above, but it is a good setup for testing if you want to learn Xen, without having to use a seperate machine. So I hope this is of some help to someone else.

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