I'm building a fresh workstation and want to use Linux alongside Windows. This seems like a good opportunity to get acquainted with with either Xen or KVM.
So I face a choice. In favour of using Xen I see a type 1 hypervisor with very clear delineation between domains. KVM on the other hand seems to be ahead in terms of currency with the latest kernel(s).
I googled "xen vs kvm" and pulled apart the first page of results. I've also been through several Server Fault searches and now have a jumble of facts bouncing around my head, not all of which will be current.
In short I'm not really sure which way to jump. What really matters to me is:
- stability, both in the hypervisor and in the guests
- reasonable performance, particularly for the Windows guest
- strong guest isolation
- ease of management
- USB pass-through to guests
With all that in mind, which do you think is the better option?
Update - several months later.
For the benefit of anyone with the same questions in the near future, this is how it all played out in the end:
- I started with Xen on OpenSuse 11.2, several days before 11.3 was due. I found the suse update channels to be very slow (dunno if that was just an issue for me specifically or not). I got Xen up and running quickly but had a lot of grief with the guest's network adapters.
- Ubuntu 9.10 was released as I was doing this so I decided to give that a try. The system itself was wonderful and KVM just plain worked out of the box. However I had the occasional stability issue that I felt might have been related to KVM (other suspects at the time were Compiz and NFS).
- To see if the stability issue was tied to KVM I decided to try VirtualBox and found it to be even easier to use with a nice interface and surprisingly good performance.
- The stability issue hasn't gone away yet so I guess KVM wasn't at fault but at the moment I'm staying with VirtualBox because it just feels nicer to use and has some good features combined with good performance.
This where I'm at today. Hope this is useful to someone.