November 2009 Archives

Sun xVM 3.4.2 available, dom0_min_mem

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win2008r2sysinfo.pngThe xvm-3.4-source tree has obviously reached 3.4.2, as there is no more "pre", "rc..." or other suffixes in the version number.

After a svcadm enable milestone/xvm (and a reboot if you don't already booted the Xen Hypervisor) all daemons are coming up, it seems to work.

Windows 2008 R2 in a HVM identifies the BIOS as "3.4.2-xvm" (click on the picture on the right to enlarge it).

Windows 2008 R2 on Sun xVM 3.4.2 / Xen

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devices2008r2.pngWindows 2008R2 and Sun Xen xVM? Yes it works. In Testsigning-Mode with the free GPL Xen drivers. Flawlessly. Performant.

To the right you see the result (click for original size).

The Xen Block volume (zfs volume in Dom0) is shown as "XEN PV DISK SCSI Disk Device", the virtual network interface as "Xen Net Device Driver".

To install Win 2008 R2 on Sun xVM begin to create a zfs block volume to hold the Windows boot disk:

Update: Xen Drivers for Windows 2003 and XP 32bit

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The free GPL Xen driver files (which are perfect for Sun xVM) which can be found on

have changed their naming scheme.

XP drivers are named gplpv_xp_version.msi

2003 32bit drivers are named gplpv_2003x32_version.msi; actual version number is

They'are also gplpv_Vista2008 (for Vista, 2008 and 2008R2 (only 64bit)).

A side note: To be able to use 64bit driver code on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 you have to turn testsigning on. Type as Administrator on the command line:

bcdedit /set testsigning on

reboot, install the 64bit drivers and your DomU Windows system will accept them.

New ZFS feature: deduplication - new in snv_128

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With Nevada 128 you'll get zpool/zfs version 22 with new features.

A noticeabe new feature is named "deduplication" which means that identical blocks are only kept once on disk reducing real storage use.

pascal@denver:~# zpool list
rpool   135G  63.7G  71.3G    47%  1.00x  ONLINE  -
xvm     135G  29.3G   106G    21%  8.52x  ONLINE  -

The pool "xvm" has some nearly identical block volumes (zfs zvol) for Xen/xVM use and the result is noticeable.

Don't forget to allocate enough RAM to your Dom0-kernel when using Sun xVM.

snv_128 / ZFS version 22 dedup not mounting/kernel hang

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In case your OpenSolaris snv_128 kernel does simply hang (replies to icmp echo requests but does not do much more than that...) after destroying a snapshot, a block device or a file system there's a simple solution:

Add RAM to your box resp. increase Dom-0 memory usage. In my case I had 1 GB Dom0 memory which was not sufficient.

With 2GB the pool mounted properly again. ZFS with deduplication needs RAM. Sad that there's no warning message including an abortion of the pool import in that case.

Xen 3.4.2 Sun xVM (3.4.2-rc1-xvm)

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Sun xVM 3.4.2 is available via source. The version below is outdated, please look at

The result of the Mercurial source tree snapshot from from Oct 06, 2009 built as non-debug packages - can be found here:

Be sure to remove the OpenSolaris packages with the same name before.  :)

Take this "AS-IS" without any warranty of any kind. I am not endorsed to Sun nor I take any responsibility for these packages. I used the OpenSolaris xvm-3.4 gate from Oct 06,2009. Xen version is 3.4.2-rc1-xvm.

It works well with snv_126.

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