Xen and the art of server maintenance

Aught to be a good title for a book on Xen, no?

Anyway, while discussing Xen with the COO (and it just occurred to me, really this project should be the CTO’s, not the COOs… odd how the COO does all this stuff…) he came to the conclusion that, like openVZ and Virtuozzo, Xen guest systems shared the kernel with the Host. That didn’t sound right to me, but I couldn’t disprove it with my Xen server, where every DomU had an empty /boot.

So I updated the kernel in Dom0, but didn’t reboot. I now have a newer kernel installed than the one it’s currently running.
I then tweaked the /etc/xen-tools/xen-tools.conf and built a new DomU, to use the new kernel. Everything went without a hitch. I now have a Dom0 running 2.6.18-4-xen-686, with a domU running 2.6.18-6-xen-686. So it would seem that while they all “share” a kernel in the sense that they share a single install on the hard drive (all pulling from the dom0 /boot directory), they aren’t sharing a single instance of the kernel in memory.

I then tried to get a working CentOS 5 domU running, but ran into some snags. That will be another post.