This document explains how you setup Xen for Arch Linux
What is Xen?
According to the Xen development team: "The Xen hypervisor, the powerful open source industry standard for virtualization, offers a powerful, efficient, and secure feature set for virtualization of x86, x86_64, IA64, PowerPC, and other CPU architectures. It supports a wide range of guest operating systems including Windows®, Linux®, Solaris®, and various versions of the BSD operating systems. (more)".
Basically Xen exists out of two components: the Xen hypervisor, and the userland tools to manage that hypervisor. In Xen terminology anything virtualized is called a "domain".
In this document I will be refering to a few basic concepts:
- Host OS: this is the operating system that hosts the guests.
- Guest OS: this is the operating system running in virtualization.
- Domain: when we are talking about virtualization, a domain is one of the virtual machines that run on the system. Domain0 is the first domain started by the Xen hypervisor at boot, and will be running a Linux OS. This domain is privileged: it may access the hardware and can run the XenControlTools that manage other domains. These other domains are referred to as DomUs, the U standing for "user". They are unprivileged, and could be running any operating system that has been ported to Xen.
The hypervisor is actually a modified linux kernel. It is currently based on kernel 22.214.171.124. This also means that your hardware must be supported by that kernel. A Xen kernel is provided by the linux-xen package.
These tools allow controlling the guests that are running on the system. You can find these tools in the xen package.