HowTo: OpenSuSE 11.2 PV running on XenServer 5.5.0
I’ve been running virtual machines for a while now (maybe 3 years?) and they have all been running on some bare minimal OpenSuse installation (in Dom U) with Xen being the hypervisor.
I decided the other day to give XenServer 5.5.0 (the free version) a try. I had a few days of unhappiness, mainly because I love openSuse, and it seemed that nobody knew how to get it installed in XenServer, as a PV guest.
I finally got it working. Finally got openSuSE 11.2 running in XenServer, as a PH guest, with the Server Tools installed and working. It was actually quite easy. This writeup explains how to install openSuSE 11.2 into XenServer 5.5.0 as a PV guest.
– To create a new VM, click the “New VM” button.
– Select “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11” from the list of templates when creating a new VM.
– When you’re prompted to select a location, paste “http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.2/repo/oss/” in the “Install URL:” location (If you use a disk media, it won’t find the proper xen kernel, and won’t work)
– Go through all the other prompts, and adjust the disksize, CPUs, memory, etc to your desire.
Your VM should now start. Give it a bit while it downloads all it needs, and starts the installer. The installer will start in text mode (which is fine).
The only thing you’ll need to do is make sure the /boot partition (or the / partition if there is no separate /boot partition) is an EXT3 partition. By default openSuSE 11.2 makes every partition an EXT4 partition. The XenServer bootloader can’t access EXT4 partitions. This took me the longest time to figure out. I have read somewhere that XenServer also reads ReiserFS partitions, but I’ve only tried EXT3, and it works.
That’s it. Once you reboot the VM, install the XenServer Tools, and everything should work.
Speaking of XenServer Tools: it was the other thing I had issues with. All the documentation I read refers to the virtual DVD drive as /dev/xvdd, but in openSuSE it’s /dev/sr0. Also, the first time I tried to mount the XenServer Tools iso in openSuSE 11.2, it crashed and rebooted the VM. So I opened the iso in a HVM Windows XP installation, and copied the “Linux” folder to a network location which I later accessed from the openSuSE 11.2 installation, to install the XenServer Tools.