Turnkey Linux distributes Linux virtual machines in a Xen compatible format. I have a XenServer instance running and I would like to run a recently downloaded Turnkey Linux virtual machine on it. But I have never used XenServer before.

Can you point me a tutorial specific for this case, since the manual doesn't seem to cover it very well?


Installing TurnKey Linux VMs on Citrix XenServer can be really messy. The answer depends on the version of the TurnKey VM you are using:

Installing 12.0 TurnKey Linux VMs on Citrix XenServer 6.1/6.2:

Citrix XenServer console (create VM):

  • New VM
  • Choose Other template (implies HVM guest instead of PV)
  • Choose ISO image for installation soure
  • Add one disk for root and one disk for swap
  • Start installing VM
  • Chose entire disk instead of LVM (otherwise the disks cannot be resized by the host)

VM's console (configure guest):

  • apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get install linux-image-686-bigmem
  • For the console you need to add the following line in /etc/inittab before line 1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1:
    • co:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 hvc0
  • In /etc/fstab switch from /dev/hd* to /dev/xvd* if needed
  • Shut down the VM

Citrix XenServer console (change virtualisation technique for this guest from HVM to PV):

  • xe vm-list power-state=halted (write down UUID for the VM)
  • xe vm-param-set uuid=UUID HVM-boot-policy= (leave blank after equals sign)
  • xe vm-param-set uuid=UUID PV-bootloader=pygrub
  • xe vm-disk-list uuid=UUID (find VDB disk's UUID of root partition)
  • xe vbd-param-set uuid=VBD's UUID bootable=true
  • Reconnect to server in XenCenter Manager

VM's console (install XenTools)

  • Start appliance
  • mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
  • /mnt/Linux/install.sh
  • umount /mnt
  • Eject xs-tools.iso from the VM's CD-ROM, otherwise the VM won't boot.
  • sudo reboot

Installing 13.0 rc3 TurnKey Linux VMs on Citrix XenServer 6.2:

The 13.0 rc3 finally works with XenServer 6.2.0 without any major difficulties.

  • Create new VM from Other install media (you get a HVM guest this way.)
  • Installation source: ISO image
  • Update packages using apt-get
  • Install XenServer tools
  • Reboot
  • Optionally: change guest's virtualisation method from HVM to PV as described above

The surprising thing is that you see memory, network and performance meters in XenCenter and can reboot, suspend or shut down the machine from there, as if it was a PV guest. If you check the HVM-boot-policy and PV-bootloader params of the VM, you'll see that XenServer recognizes it as a HVM guest, but that does not have any effect on the above mentioned features. Yet, it makes sense to change these params to get a PV guest.

  • 1
    I wouldn't call that messy... after all, that's how to run Ubuntu in PV mode before the inclusion of 12.04LTS templates... and the additional VM details, maybe because TKL is using the latest kernel which have full Xen support built in. Anyways, your answer is really a great one, and extremely helpful for me. If only I can vote twice for you... :-)
    – pepoluan
    Feb 24 '14 at 17:19
  1. One way is to use the installer instead of the virtual machine
  2. There is a XenConverter in http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_1688624.asp It converts the Turnkey OVF format in the XenSever format, that can be imported in the XenCenter

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