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Debian Software Linux

New Xen Linux Distribution 30

f5hacka writes "Four students at Clarkson University developed a new linux distribution based on the Xen kernel. The distribution is called Xenophilia. Xenophilia is a derivative of Debian Linux and uses the new Debian installer to install its packages. Its homepage is available at http://cosi.clarkson.edu/xen/. The distribution is available for download at http://mirror.clarkson.edu/pub/distributions/xenop hilia/"
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New Xen Linux Distribution

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  • There's a serious lack of information on that site. Like what the purpose of building yet another distro was, what need they were filling, other than learning to roll your own distro.

    More power to them. I personally use MacOS X and FreeBSD daily. I consider setting up a Linux machine from time to time (okay mods, I'm not setting up flamebait here), but it gets to be a real turnoff finding a more or less 'standard' distro that isn't a pain to set up. FreeBSD isn't elegant at all (PC-BSD [pcbsd.org] seems to be stepping up to fill that need nicely), but at least it's the devil I know (pun intended).

    Gentoo and/or Debian based systems at least seem to be the way to go these days, but the every-increasing number of distros bugs me. Don't want to pick a distro only to find it discontinued and have to load a new one. :\
    • If you RTFA on the 'Xen' kernel, you'd see what's news. The Xen kernel supports some Nifty Virtual Machine Stuff which you won't find in a standard kernel or, as far as I'm aware, in any of the big-name distributions. This is New and Cool.
      • by hankaholic ( 32239 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:12AM (#12543663)
        If you RTFA on the 'Xen' kernel, you'd see what's news. The Xen kernel supports some Nifty Virtual Machine Stuff which you won't find in a standard kernel

        Bzzt. There is no mention of the "Xen kernel" in the articles cited, so it's unclear as to which Fucking Article you're talking about.

        chet@chet:~$ links -dump http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/ [cam.ac.uk] | grep -i kernel
        chet@chet:~$ links -dump http://cosi.clarkson.edu/xen/ [clarkson.edu] | grep -i kernel

        Xen is a layer which allows the user to boot multiple operating systems at the same time. It happens to include modifications to the Linux kernel which allow the user to do virtualization stuff that may seem "New and Cool" to the average X86 user who hasn't heard of virtual machines, but is more like "Old and Busted" for those who've heard of IBM outside of the SCO case.

        According to some article sponsored by IBM [techtarget.com]:

        "Since 1972, VM has been providing the capabilities to "virtualize" the complete S/370, S/390, and zSeries architecture allowing a single physical processor to run multiple guest operating system [sic] simultaneously with each guest thinking it has complete control of the system. Historically, MVS and VSE the operating systems most likely to be run as VM guests, but now with the increasing role of Linux in the data center, it is becoming a popular VM guest system as well."

        More informative than the links provided is the Xen user documentation [cam.ac.uk], especially sections 2.3.3, 2.4.1, and most of 3.

        A good start for reading about the history of VM would be to Google for "IBM VM".
      • Consider yourself aware [slashdot.org]. It's one of the big point features for the version of SUSE that just came out.


      • by jd ( 1658 )
        Fedora ships with Xen, these days, I believe.
      • The point is that the blurb on /. should give me a *reason* to read the article. When tere's 12 new distros a day, who cares? There should be *something* in the blurb that says why this one stands out from the others. I don't have the time or the motivation to chase down every new linux release, or even just the ones that get /.ed. Most people in the real world, even those who read /., are in that boat.

        The fact that four guys from some place I never heard of did it, just isn't enough motivation.
      • Xen does have a lot of cool virtual machine features that you wont find in the standard kernel, or anywhere outside of a Z series machine. One of the nicest things that hasnt been meantioned here yet is the live migration of domains. That was what initialy made us look at xen - as a system to facilitate hardware upgrades of comodity servers without woring about the downtime it will cause your services. If you have all your services running as xen domains, you can migrate them to another physical computer
    • Gentoo and/or Debian based systems at least seem to be the way to go these days, but the every-increasing number of distros bugs me. Don't want to pick a distro only to find it discontinued and have to load a new one. :\

      Then why not go with Debian and/or Gentoo? They've both been around quite a while and have thriving userbases, so I doubt either will be discontinued in the near future. Debian's new installer makes setup a breeze, and Gentoo wasn't too bad to install the last time I did it (and that was q
    • FreeBSD isn't elegant at all

      What exactly isn't elegant about FreeBSD? The ports system, the separation of the base system from the rest of the OS, the nice new RC scripts are all things I find MORE elegant about FreeBSD over Linux.

      It may not look pretty (omg it doesn't have a pretty splash screen to hide all those nasty boot messages halp!!1111), but, not elegant?

      As far as too many Linux distros, I agree 128%.
    • The site doesnt have much information on it yet because it just went live last night. The main point was to just get the distribution out there to the people who already know what xen is, so that they can help test it.

      Xenophilia isnt so much a new distribution, as it is a hacked set of debian installer packages that replace the kernel installation stages with a new set of stages that install and configure the xen hypervisor and the xen kernel for domain 0. All the other packages are identical to the
  • For shame! They could have called it "Xenophobia", and the GNAA would have had its own distro.
    • We came up with the Xenophilia name, becuase the distribution is meant to bring togeather any distributions you want as other domains running on the system.

      Ed - debian installer hacker for xenophilia
  • does it run on ms-windows??? cos if it's yet another virtual machine running on Linux then it's no good to me...
    • Its actually not a virtual machine running on linux - its linux running on a hypervisor. In the current stable version it supports linux 2.4 or 2.6 as the managing domain, and 2.4, 2.6 netbsd and freebsd as other domains.

      In the past an experimental port of windows was made to an older version of xen, but as far as i can tell it was done under a research liscense from microsoft and cant be released.

      In xen 3, they are planning on having support not only for running modified guest domains, but also running
  • I guess this is like the scene near the end of Ants where one of the characters yells "Money" and the ringleading flea jumps around: "where?!". Then, the spider webs him.

    So, Slashdot yells "Linux" and we all reflexively click the link? Since just being a (new) Linux distro is the only criteria for a story, doesn't fairness really means Slashdot should post links to every active Linux Distribution that hasn't had a story on Slashdot?

    Why not create a bash script to grab a distro name and url per hour from
    • You mean in A Bug's Life... Damn them for releasing two computer animated films about insectoid types simultanously... *sigh*
      • Mea culpa.

        I think being the Father of a 3 year old results in seeing so many kids movies so many time you get brain damage.

        Uhm, what were we talking about?
        • I don't know?

          It would be interesting to study if the brain damage from seeing them too many times is enough to offset the memory formation from seeing them so many times.. *sigh*

  • ... or NetBSD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hubertf ( 124995 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @12:17PM (#12544284) Homepage Journal
    Why yet another distribution when everyone's favourite operating system already works, even on Xen - ``Of course it runs NetBSD!'' :)

    Some links:
    * What does Xen look like - a screenshot:
    http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/hubertf-xe n.png [netbsd.org]
    * Installation:
    http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/xen/howto.html [netbsd.org]
    * General information on NetBSD/Xen:
    http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/xen/ [netbsd.org]
    * Live CD with Debian, NetBSD and FreeBSD:
    http://www.feyrer.de/NetBSD/blog.html#20050421_004 1 [feyrer.de]
    * Benchmarking:
    http://www.iki.fi/kuparine/comp/xendom0/xendom0.ht ml [www.iki.fi]

    - Hubert

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain