How to Install a FreeBSD domU on a Linux Host

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The FreeBSD wiki describes the current state of the FreeBSD xen port(s).

FreeBSD will run in 3 configurations:

  1. 32-bit PV (kernel "XEN"; requires "PAE" option)
  2. 64-bit HVM with PV drivers (kernel "XENHVM")
  3. 32- or 64-bit HVM without PV drivers (kernel "GENERIC")

For instructions on building user-space xenstore tools, see HOWTO-xen-tools.txt.

For instructions on building and installing a "XENHVM" kernel on XCP, see this blog post.

FreeBSD 7.2 domU on a linux dom0

It is fairly straightforward to create a FreeBSD DOMU virtual machine inside a linux DOM0.

Here's a sample configuration file. This is set to boot an ISO image file of freebsd7.2, which the author happened to need in order to create a development environment for pfSense firewall.


import os, re
arch = os.uname()[4]
if re.search('64', arch):
        arch_libdir = 'lib64'
else:
        arch_libdir = 'lib'

kernel = "/usr/lib/xen-4.0/boot/hvmloader"
builder = 'hvm'
memory = 768
vcpus = 1

name = "xenfreebsd"

vif = [ 'type=ioemu, bridge=eth0' ]
acpi = 1
apic = 1
disk = [ 'phy:/dev/xen/xen4-freebsd72-00,hda,w', 'file:/home/download/freebsd-7.2-RELEASE-i386-dvd1.iso,hdc:cdrom,r' ]
device_model = '/usr/' + arch_libdir + '/xen-4.0/bin/qemu-dm'
usbdevice='tablet'

# boot on floppy (a), hard disk (c) or CD-ROM (d)
boot='d'

# use vnc for console not sdl, don't start vnc console
vnc=1
sdl=0
vncconsole=0

on_poweroff = 'destroy'
on_reboot   = 'restart'
on_crash    = 'restart'


The main change required will be to fix the paths to the CD or DVD iso.

Once started with xm create, use "vncviewer localhost:0" to attach to the installer and complete the process.

It may be necessary to use ssh forwarding if the xen server isn't your local machine; e.g. "ssh -L5900:127.0.0.1:myxenhost.example.com" and then "vncviewer localhost:0".


The information below is quite out of date and has been kept for reference purposes only. Most of the links are also broken!