Xen is an open source project that is also actively being incorporated into products by a number of companies. Some, such as Virtual Iron and XenSource, are focused on commercializing Xen itself, independent of a standard Linux distribution. Others, including Linux distribution vendors such as Novell, Red Hat, and Ubuntu are adding Xen and Xen-enabled kernels to their repositories and supported product lines. The commercialization of Xen and the attendant rise in actual end-customer support is indicative of both the maturity of the Xen code base and the value of Xen in enterprise and academic environments.
This chapter starts out by identifying the basic hardware requirements for using Xen. It then discusses how to obtain Xen in a variety of different ways and from a variety of sources, how to build it if necessary, and how to install a usable Xen environment on your computer system. Throughout these discussions, this chapter always identifies any other software, source code, or services that you will need to have on your system in order to build, install, or use Xen.
As with any operating system, there are big differences between the following:
The absolute minimum hardware that is required to run the Xen hypervisor, a domain0 operating system, and one or more domainU guests
The hardware on which you can run the Xen hypervisor, a domain0 operating system, and one or more domainU guests in a meaningful way for testing ...