Chapter 2. Exploring the Xen Virtual Architecture

This chapter will examine the main features of Xen. The last chapter looked at some of the reasons for virtualizing x86, why it is hard, and gave a very brief overview of how Xen addresses some of these problems. We will now take a more detailed look at how the various parts of Xen interact with each other, and what each part does. We will also examine how a paravirtualized Xen guest environment differs from real hardware.

2.1. Booting as a Paravirtualized Guest

When an x86 processor is started, it begins in real mode where it is compatible with the 8088 found in the original IBM PC. One of the first things a modern operating system does is enter protected mode and install interrupt handlers. ...

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