• 17.03.2010 00:08:22

    OpenSolaris and SuSE Xen 10.2 guest
    Installing a SuSE 10 domu as guest in a Solaris Xen dom0
    from: cpom | Comments: 0

  • Preface: Installing a Suse domu , without a Novell/Suse based dom0, even with builtin Hardware Virtualisiation capabilities , isnt that trivial as exspected, especcially with an Intel VT based CPU. In a perfect world one would insert the install cd/dvd, start the preferred tool for domU generation and install Suse like on real hardware...

  • But due to some real mode limitations in the xen base it will not work this way. After starting up the domU hangs almost instantly

    I own only Intel based Hardware and i wanted a SuSE domU for development purposes, so I needed another solution. As OS base i use Solaris Developer Express 01/08 wich comes with an slightly older xen drop (v 3.0.4), but the described problem still exist in newer versions of xen. So I came up with a solution that i used a year ago for a centos install and that did the trick for me.

    Please note, the created SuSE Domain is not fully virtualised, is uses the paravirtualisation mode of xen.

    Tested with:

    • XEN 3.0.4, XEN 3.1.2
    • OpenSolaris Nevada b82, b83a, b85dom0
    • Filesystem on an image and on ZFS Volume

    • A working dom0 on OpenSolaris (64bit)
    • Gerd Hoffmann's suse-prepare-install script
    • SuSE 10.2 Xen kernel and install-initrd
    • root access to a linux system (or a linux domU)


    Step 1: Create a raw zfs volume to hold the data of your SuSE domU:

    • myhost# zfs create -V 20G vmpool/suse10
    • myhost# newfs /dev/zvol/rdsk/vmpool/suse10

    This creates a 20 GB zfs volume named suse10 in my zfs pool vmpool and the second command creates an (ufs) filesystem on it.

    Step 2: Get and prepare an SuSE installation kernel and ramdisk

    This one is tricky. You need Gerd Hofmanns suse-prepare-install script wich is difficult to find, but have a look here and a SuSE kernel and install ramdisk. Download it from a SuSE Mirror near you.

    I used kernel-xen- and install-initrd-1.0-72.x86_64.rpm
    a 64Bit guest. At next you need a running linux system. Copy the script and the two rpm's in a directory of your choice at your linux system and run the script with:

    sh suse-prepare-install

    and copy the resulting two files (inst.xen- and inst.xen- back to you solaris host. If you dont have access to a real linux system, use an installed and running domU with fedora or centos. I did it this way, copied with scp the files over to my fedora domU, started suse-prepare-install and scp' ed the created files back to my solaris dom0.

    Step 3: Create a configuration file for your SuSE domain

    A minimal config file should like like this:

    disk = [ 'phy:/dev/zvol/vmpool/suse10,xvda,w']
    memory = 1024
    name = "suse10"
    kernel = "/etc/xvm/kernel/suse/vmlinuz-xen"
    ramdisk ="/etc/xvm/kernel/suse/initrd-xen"
    vif = ['bridge=rge0']
    on_poweroff = 'destroy'
    on_reboot = 'restart'
    on_crash = 'preserve'

    Please note, Solaris doesnt use the infamous xen-bridge for network access but another mechanism. So there is my Realtek NIC (rge0) my bridge. The kernel and ramdisk entriess are used later to boot up the installed domU. For the disk device there is my zfs volume called suse10 with device name xvda. I store the config files and kernel for my domU under /etc/xvm

    Step 1: Start your domU for Installation

    Installation: If you are done with all the three steps above, you can start the installation process. If you have a fast network connection I recommend doing an ftp or http install over the nfs way.

    With this command line you start up the suse installation system. You can choose wich way the installation should go

    xm create -c /etc/xvm/myconfig kernel=inst.xen- ramdisk=inst.xen-

    With this command line you start up the suse installation system. You connect to the suse mirror near you and do a direct ftp install

    xm create -c /etc/xvm/myconfig kernel=inst.xen- ramdisk=inst.xen-

    Step 2: Install the base system

    If all goes well you are presented with some screens where you can choose your language, system time etc., you can now partition the disk of the domU and select preconfigured set of programms. I recommend for an initial install to select only the base system. After installation you can easily select another set and make full blown desktop system from it. Start the installation and have a cup of coffee.

    After the first stage of system setup is finished you were kicked back to the console of your solaris system and the domU reboots. Unfortunataly, if you used the command line with direct ftp install it trys to load the installation system again. Kill the domain with xm destroy suse10 and use the first command line. After booting up it says it cant find SuSE Installation cd und you are forced to crawl trough some menus. There is a menu entry that brings you back to the second stage of installation, called System/installation and then Boot installed system. After booting into yast you should be able to finish the installation of the base system.

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