XAPI on Debian

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Installing xapi on Debian Unstable

This is Project Kronos. Follow theses instructions to get xapi, the XenAPI server daemon, installed on a Debian unstable box, using the upstream Linux kernel. This will effectively allow you to turn an existing Debian machine into an XCP host. Note that this is *very much* a work-in-progress. Some features will be broken, and there will be a bit of manual configuration required. We appreciate any testing you do for this project, but please don't consider this production ready yet! Please visit the Kronos Supported Features page for a list of XCP features that are known to work on Kronos.

1. Install Debian Squeeze

1.5 Install firmware (only if necessary - http://wiki.debian.org/Firmware)

  • (Install any firmware required - may not be necessary)

So, for example:

echo "deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ squeeze non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list

apt-get update

apt-get install firmware-bnx2

2. Convert to Unstable:

  • Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and replace 'squeeze' with 'unstable'
perl -pi -e 's/squeeze/unstable/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

apt-get update

apt-get dist-upgrade

3. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add a line for experimental

echo "deb http://ftp.uk.debian.org/debian/ experimental main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list

apt-get update

4. Install Xen hypervisor and dom0 kernel

apt-get install xen-hypervisor-4.1-amd64 linux-image-3.0.0-2-686-pae

5. Set up a Debian apt sources repo. This will update your system with the latest Kronos packages from our build server.

apt-get install curl
echo "deb http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/repo/debian unstable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kronos.list
echo "deb-src http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/repo/debian unstable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kronos.list
wget --quiet -O - http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/xcp.gpg.key | apt-key add -
apt-get update
apt-get install xcp-xapi xcp-eliloader

Once you've installed these packages, you can just do an `apt-get update && apt-get upgrade` to keep up with the latest builds.

6. Post-install setups

Optional: Make xen the default grub entry:

mv /etc/grub.d/20_linux_xen /etc/grub.d/09_linux_xen

Setup the network/interfaces file:

cat > /etc/network/interfaces <<EOF 
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo xenbr0
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
iface eth0 inet manual

iface xenbr0 inet dhcp
	bridge_ports eth0


Setup the xensource-inventory file:


cat > /etc/xensource-inventory << EOF

6. Reboot.

Using XCP

Set up your path:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/lib/xen-common/xapi/bin

Edit the /etc/xensource-inventory file to add your main interface as the management interface, and to tell the storage plugins where your main filesystem is located. It should have lines in approximating the following:


Set up a storage repository. For now, I recommend NFS, or EXT if you have an unused block device. For example:

SR=`xe sr-create type=nfs name-label=nfs device-config:server=<nfs server> device-config:serverpath=<path on server>`


SR=`xe sr-create type=ext device-config:device=/dev/sda3 name-label=ext`

Set this as pool default SR:

POOL=`xe pool-list --minimal`
xe pool-param-set uuid=$POOL default-SR=$SR

To install windows, you'll need an iso. These can be served by an NFS server. Try this:

xe-mount-iso-sr nfs-server:/path/to/isos

Then create a windows VM:

xe vm-install template=Windows\ 7\ \(32-bit\) new-name-label=windows
xe vm-cd-add vm=windows cd-name=win7.iso device=3
xe vm-start vm=windows

To get networking working, you'll need to manually set up the bridge:

brctl addbr xenbr0
brctl addif xenbr0 eth0

You may need to move the IP address to the bridge rather than the physical interface. Having done this, try a pif-scan:

xe pif-scan

This might create the network for your interface.

PV drivers for Windows

wget http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/xs-tools-5.9.960.iso
mv xs-tools-5.9.960.iso /usr/lib/xen-common/xapi/packages/iso

After doing this, rescan the SR to pick up the new ISO.

Compiling from source

The easiest way to compile the XCP toolstack from source is to use the xapi-autobuilder.

git clone https://github.com/jonludlam/xapi-autobuilder.git
cd xapi-autobuilder
make clean ; make

Requirements for xapi-autobuilder:

pbuilder debhelper dh-ocaml dh-autoreconf cdebootstrap python-debian mercurial git

Note that you will also need to install blktap-dkms_0.1_all.deb from http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/latest

wget http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/blktap-dkms_0.1_all.deb

This will build all of the required packages for Xapi on Debian (except for vncterm, which is only available as a binary until we sort out licensing issues). Take a look at xapi-autobuilder/build.sh to see what's going on inside, and modify that script to point to your own repositories if you plan on compiling your own code.

You can manually download all of the latest packages and source packages using:

wget -r -l1 --no-parent -nd http://downloads.xen.org/XCP/debian/latest/
rm index.html*