Is it possible to install Xen as a standalone operating system, without any existing linux distribution? If yes, how?

Thank you.

  • Why would you want to? – Joe Internet Jan 8 '10 at 4:09

Xen is a hypervisor, not an OS. But it currently requires on the Linux Dom0 for two things.

  1. It provides the device drivers for the Xen hypervisor and Virtual Machines.
  2. Dom0 is used as an interface to control the hypervisor and Virtual Machines.

Like others have pointed out there are options where you can hit the ground running via live cd's or distributions such as XenServer which puts a more user friendly interface on Xen.


No, you require a linux install on your dom0 at this time. If you're not comfortable with managing the dom0 yourself, you could look at something like Citrix Xenserver which will abstract the dom0 for you and give you a pretty point-and-click interface to manage it all.


From my reading of the user guide, you have to have a domain 0, which will be Linux. You can use their LiveCD so you don't have to install anything on the hardware - is that what you mean?


The only way to run it stand-alone (or bare-metal as they say) is to run XenServer instead of Xen. Quite a good option though.

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