Dom0 Kernel Versions

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Revision as of 02:44, 12 December 2011 by Kyl191 (talk | contribs) (Merge details about pv_ops & xenlinux kernels into Xen Kernel Feature Matrix)

This page lists the dom0 kernel versions that are known to exist for various distributions. Kept here for info if people are using older distributions. This was extracted from Dom0_Kernels_for_Xen.


  • Debian 4.0 ("Etch") contains 2.6.18 Xen dom0 kernel.
  • Debian 5.0 ("Lenny") contains 2.6.26 Xen dom0 kernel based on early version of OpenSUSE forward-ported patches. Some users have experienced stability problems with this kernel, when used with newer Xen 3.3 and 3.4 hypervisors. Also, some users have reported live migrations being broken with this lenny's kernel.
  • Debian 6.0 ("Squeeze") contains a pv_ops Xen dom0 kernel

Also see official Debian Xen page


Now that dom0 kernel support has entered the upstream kernel, Fedora 16 (and later) supports Xen out of the box.

Obsolete information: This is relevant for Fedora 15 and lesser Fedora 9 - 15 do not contain Xen dom0 kernels (but they do contain Xen hypervisor and tools and Xen domU enabled kernels). If you are running Fedora 15 or earlier you can find third party rpm packages built for you by M A Young (they require Xen >= 4.0).


Gentoo has multiple dom0 kernels available: 2.6.18 (latest is xen-sources-2.6.18-r12) and rebased kernels with OpenSUSE patches (latest is xen-sources-2.6.31-r11). (Note: Old, outdated info)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS

The last release of RHEL (and by extension CentOS and other derivatives) to include a Xen dom0 kernel was RHEL 5. We are currently working with the community to provide dom0 kernel packages for RHEL 6.


  • Includes Xen dom0 kernel based on Linux 2.6.18, with a lot of patches and fixes by Redhat. RH has also backported a lot of drivers and support for new hardware and features.
  • Known to be very stable, but doesn't support latest Xen features
  • Is known to work with Xen 3.4.x hypervisors (, and of course with the official RHEL5 Xen 3.1.2 hypervisor.
  • Available in kernel-2.6.18-*.el5.src.rpm from: [1]
  • RHEL 5.4 ships with kernel-2.6.18-164.*.el5.src.rpm
  • RHEL 5.5 ships with kernel-2.6.18-194.*.el5.src.rpm
  • Good choice as dom0 because RHEL5 has long lifecycle, and it's actively maintained and bugfixed.
  • Good choice because it's tested and certified to run on many vendors server hardware.
  • Good choice especially if you are trying out Xen virtualization for the first time, and want to use a distribution that has well working and tested Xen included.
  • Also see Redhat Enterprise Linux 6 Xen 4.0 Tutorial

Oracle VM

Uses modified Oracle Linux 5 Dom0 kernels

  • Oracle VM 2.1 and 2.2 use 2.6.18-based kernels
  • Oracle VM 3.0 uses a 2.6.32-based kernel, derived from the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux 5


Novell is forward-porting the original Xenlinux 2.6.18 patches for new kernels in OpenSUSE (and SLES). Currently (as of November 2011) patches and Xen dom0 kernel packages exist up to Linux 3.1.

  • OpenSUSE 11.2 ships with Linux 2.6.31 based Xen kernel using the forward-ported Xenlinux patches.
  • OpenSUSE 11.3 ships with Linux 2.6.34 based Xen kernel using the forward-ported Xenlinux patches.
  • OpenSUSE 11.4 ships with Linux 2.6.37 based Xen kernel using the forward-ported Xenlinux patches.
  • OpenSUSE 12.1 ships with Linux 3.1 based Xen kernel using the forward-ported Xenlinux patches.
  • OpenSUSE kernel factory:

SuSE Linux Enterprise (SLES)

SLES10 and SLES11 contain Xen dom0 kernels.

  • SLES10 is based on Linux 2.6.16.
  • SLES11 is based on Linux 2.6.27 with forward-ported original Xenlinux 2.6.18 patches.
  • SLES11 SP1 ships with a Linux 2.6.32 dom0 kernel based on the forward-ported Xenlinux patches.
  • Good choice as dom0 because SLES releases have long lifecycle and they are actively maintained and bugfixed, and it's tested and certified to run on many vendor's server hardware.


The last release of Ubuntu which includes a Xen dom0 kernel is 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot). If you are running a older version of Ubuntu we recommend using the Debian Squeeze dom0 deb packages:

Although Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) has Xen dom0 kernel (based on Linux 2.6.24) available in the universe repository, many users have reported various bugs with this kernel - both as dom0 and as domU, and so it's recommended not to use it.


XCP (Xen Cloud Platform) uses the Citrix XenServer kernel as is. Up to and including XCP v0.5, the kernel's been based on 2.6.27 More information about XCP is available here: [2]

Building the kernel:


Based on XenServer 2.6.27 kernel, with XCI specific patches and modifications.

Building the kernel: