I used the No Starch Press "Book of Xen" as a starting point to learn more about Xen and begin a dom0 installation as described therein. Through failed installations and subsequent searches I learned that Red Hat / CentOS no longer supports Xen in favor of KVM. After playing with OpenSUSE I'm running into silliness there too - so -

Rather than continuing to pull out my hair I thought I'd do what I should have done to begin and ask for recommendations on the lightest weight and simplest installation for a Xen Dom0 installation - based on current kernels...


BTW - My intention is to run Win2k8 and RHE for DomU.


Did you install a Xen specific kernel (kernel-xen)? Although Red Hat / CentOS don't include a Xen-specific kernel by default, you should still be able to install the kernel-xen and xen packages to get the base install. HowToForge has a good walkthrough for setting Xen up with CentOS: http://www.howtoforge.com/paravirtualization-with-xen-on-centos-5.6-x86_64 ; Dom0 kernel support info in more detail is also available here: http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/XenDom0Kernels

But as for the simplest installation, have you considered Citrix XenServer? It's a commercialized version, and is still available for free. Pay versions do exist that get you more features and support, but if you're looking for both simple and free just to get up and running, I'd say give it a look: http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_1688615.asp


Well, of the remaining "mainline" distributions out there, looks like you probably need to try Debian or Ubuntu. Either of these should support Xen just fine.

  • I second this based on my personal experience: both Debian and Ubuntu work just fine as Xen dom0. – snap Aug 5 '11 at 4:58

Use SLES. SLES11 SP1 now supports XEN 4.x.

When we started with virtualization in 2005 we did some stability tests (also with OpenSuSE) but dropped that in favour of SLES (at that time 10 SP2 as far as I remember). What crashed in the "Open" version ran rock solid in the commercial version of SuSE. SLES even supported W2K3 as DomU...

We are now at SLES 10SP3 (in all our production Dom0s running 70+ DomUs) and are starting to migrate to SLES10 SP4 since SP3 is nearing EoL. The next generation will be SLES11, since RH does not support XEN any longer.

Another alternative might be Oracle VM (based on "Unbreakable Linux" - another RH-clone, but using XEN) - I have not tested that, but I will...

  • I ended up heading back into a Debian kernel, but I learned through the process that SLES probably is the easiest option for Xen virtualization. I may go round back and give it a try at some point... – Ejoso Sep 2 '11 at 22:55

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