1: [[!meta title="Xen Status and HowTo"]]
3: Xen is a Type 1 hypervisor which supports running multiple guest operating
4: systems on a single physical machine. One uses the Xen kernel to control the
5: CPU, memory and console, a dom0 operating system which mediates access to
6: other hardware (e.g., disks, network, USB), and one or more domU operating
7: systems which operate in an unprivileged virtualized environment. IO requests
8: from the domU systems are forwarded by the Xen hypervisor to the dom0 to be
11: This document provides status on what Xen things work on NetBSD
12: (upstream documentation might say something works if it works on some
13: particular Linux system).
15: This document is also a HOWTO that presumes a basic familiarity with
16: the Xen system architecture, with installing NetBSD on amd64 hardware,
17: and with installing software from pkgsrc. See also the [Xen
20: If this document says that something works, and you find that it does
21: not, it is best to ask on port-xen and if you are correct to file a
26: # Overview
28: The basic concept of Xen is that the hypervisor (xenkernel) runs on
29: the hardware, and runs a privileged domain ("dom0") that can access
30: disks/networking/etc. One then runs additional unprivileged domains
31: (each a "domU"), presumably to do something useful.
33: This HOWTO addresses how to run a NetBSD dom0 (and hence also build
34: xen itself). It also addresses how to run domUs in that environment,
35: and how to deal with having a domU in a Xen environment run by someone
36: else and/or not running NetBSD.
38: There are many choices one can make; the HOWTO recommends the standard
39: approach and limits discussion of alternatives in many cases.
41: ## Guest Styles
43: Xen supports different styles of guests.
45: [[!table data="""
46: Style of guest |description |NetBSD dom0? |NetBSD domU?
47: PV |Paravirtualization (hypercalls) |yes |yes
48: HVM |unmodified guest - domU perceives HW |can run guests |yes
49: PVHVM |Like HVM but also PV drivers |can run guests |current only
50: PVH |Lightweight HVM (no qemu) and PV |not yet |current only
53: In Para-Virtualized (PV) mode, the guest OS does not attempt to access
54: hardware directly, but instead makes hypercalls to the hypervisor; PV
55: guests must be specifically coded for Xen.
56: See [PV](https://wiki.xen.org/wiki/Paravirtualization_(PV\)).
58: In HVM mode, no guest modification is required; however, hardware
59: support is required, such as VT-x on Intel CPUs and SVM on AMD CPUs.
60: The dom0 runs qemu to emulate hardware. It is therefore non-sensical
61: to have an HVM dom0.
63: In PVHVM mode, the guest runs as HVM, but additionally can use PV
64: drivers for efficiency. Therefore it is non-sensical for to have a
65: PVHVM dom0. See [PV on HVM](https://wiki.xen.org/wiki/PV_on_HVM).
67: There have been two PVH modes: original PVH and PVHv2. Original PVH
68: was based on PV mode and is no longer relevant at all. Therefore
69: PVHv2 is abreviated PVH. PVHv2 is basically lightweight HVM with PV
70: drivers. A critical feature of it is that qemu is not needed; the
71: hypervisor can do the emulation that is required. Thus, a dom0 can be
72: PVHv2. The source code uses PVH and config files use pvh, but NB that
73: this refers to PVHv2. See
76: At system boot, the dom0 kernel is loaded as a module with Xen as the kernel.
77: The dom0 can start one or more domUs. (Booting is explained in detail
78: in the dom0 section.)
80: ## CPU Architecture
82: Xen runs on x86_64 hardware (the NetBSD amd64 port).
84: There is a concept of Xen running on ARM, but there are no reports of this working with NetBSD.
86: The dom0 system should be amd64. (Instructions for i386PAE dom0 have been removed from the HOWTO.)
88: The domU can be i386 PAE or amd64.
89: i386 PAE at one point was considered as [faster](https://lists.xen.org/archives/html/xen-devel/2012-07/msg00085.html) than amd64.
90: However, as of 2021 it is normal to use amd64 as the domU architecture, and use of i386 is dwindling.
92: ## Xen Versions
94: In NetBSD, Xen is provided in pkgsrc, via matching pairs of packages
95: xenkernel and xentools. We will refer only to the kernel versions,
96: but note that both packages must be installed together and must have
97: matching versions.
99: Versions available in pkgsrc:
101: [[!table data="""
102: Xen Version |Package Name |Xen CPU Support |EOL'ed By Upstream
103: 4.11 |xenkernel411 |x86_64 |No
104: 4.13 |xenkernel413 |x86_64 |No
107: See also the [Xen Security Advisory page](http://xenbits.xen.org/xsa/).
109: Older Xen had a python-based management tool called xm; this has been
110: replaced by xl.
112: ## NetBSD versions
114: Xen has been supported in NetBSD for a long time, at least since 2005.
115: Initially Xen was PV only.
117: NetBSD Xen has always supported PV, in both dom0 and domU; for a long
118: time this was the only way. NetBSD >=8 as a dom0 supports HVM mode in
119: domUs (HVM as a dom0 does not make sense).
121: Support for PVHVM and PVH is available only in NetBSD-current; this is
122: currently somewhat experimental, although PVHVM appears reasonably
125: NetBSD up to and including NetBSD 9 as a dom0 cannot safely run SMP.
126: Even if one added "options MULTIPROCESSOR" and configured multiple
127: vcpus, the kernel is likely to crash because of drivers without
128: adequate locking.
130: NetBSD-current supports SMP in dom0, and XEN3_DOM0 includes "options
133: NetBSD (since NetBSD 6), when run as a domU, can run SMP, using
134: multiple CPUs if provided. The XEN3_DOMU kernel is built
135: with "options MULITPROCESSOR".
137: Note that while Xen 4.13 is current, the kernel support is still
138: called XEN3, because the hypercall interface has not changed
141: # Creating a NetBSD dom0
143: In order to install a NetBSD as a dom0, one first installs a normal
144: NetBSD system, and then pivot the install to a dom0 install by
145: changing the kernel and boot configuration.
147: In 2018-05, trouble booting a dom0 was reported with 256M of RAM: with
148: 512M it worked reliably. This does not make sense, but if you see
149: "not ELF" after Xen boots, try increasing dom0 RAM.
151: ## Installation of NetBSD
153: [Install NetBSD/amd64](/guide/inst/) just as you would if you were not
154: using Xen. Therefore, use the most recent release, or a build from
155: the most recent stable branch. Alternatively, use -current, being
156: mindful of all the usual caveats of lower stability of current, and
157: likely a bit more so.
159: ## Installation of Xen
161: ### Building Xen
163: Use the most recent version of Xen in pkgsrc, unless the DESCR says that it is not suitable.
164: Therefore, choose 4.13.
165: In the dom0, install xenkernel413 and xentools413 from pkgsrc.
167: Once this is done, copy the Xen kernel from where pkgsrc puts it to
168: where the boot process will be able to find it:
170: [[!template id=programlisting text="""
171: # cp -p /usr/pkg/xen413-kernel/xen.gz /
174: Then, place a NetBSD XEN3_DOM0 kernel in the `/` directory. Such
175: kernel can either be taken from a local release build.sh run, compiled
176: manually, or downloaded from the NetBSD FTP, for example at:
178: [[!template id=programlisting text="""
182: ### Configuring booting
184: Read boot.cfg(8) carefully. Add lines to /boot.cfg to boot Xen,
185: adjusting for your root filesystem:
187: [[!template id=filecontent name="/boot.cfg" text="""
188: menu=Xen:load /netbsd-XEN3_DOM0.gz root=wd0a console=pc;multiboot /xen.gz dom0_mem=512M
189: menu=Xen single user:load /netbsd-XEN3_DOM0.gz root=wd0a console=pc -s;multiboot /xen.gz dom0_mem=512M
192: This specifies that the dom0 should have 512MB of ram, leaving the rest
193: to be allocated for domUs.
195: NB: This says add, not replace, so that you will be able to more
196: easily boot a NetBSD kernel without Xen. Once Xen boots ok, you may
197: want to set it as default. It is highly likely that you will have
198: trouble at some point, and keeping an up-to-date GENERIC for use in
199: fixing problems is the standard prudent approach.
201: \todo Explain why rndseed is not set with Xen as part of the dom0
204: Note that you are likely to have to set root= because the boot device
205: from /boot is not passed via Xen to the dom0 kernel. With one disk,
206: it will work, but e.g. plugging in USB disk to a machine with root on
207: wd0a causes boot to fail.
209: Beware that userconf statements must be attached to the dom0 load, and
210: may not be at top-level, because then they would try to configure the
211: hypervisor, if there is a way to pass them via multiboot . It appears
212: that adding `userconf=pckbc` to `/boot.cfg` causes Xen to crash very
213: early with a heap overflow.
215: ### Console selection
217: See boot_console(8). Understand that you should start from a place of
218: having console setup correct for booting GENERIC before trying to
219: configure Xen.
221: Generally for GENERIC, one sets the console in bootxx_ffsv1 or
222: equivalent, and this is passed on to /boot (where one typically does
223: not set the console). This configuration of bootxx_ffsv1 should also
224: be in place for Xen systems, to allow seeing messages from /boot and
225: use of a keyboard to select a line from the menu. And, one should
226: have a working boot path to GENERIC for rescue situations.
228: With GENERIC, the boot options are passed on to /netbsd, but there is
229: currently no mechanism to pass these via multiboot to the hypervisor.
230: Thus, in addition to configuring the console in the boot blocks, one
231: must also configure it for Xen.
233: By default, the hypervisor (Xen itself) will use some sort of vga
234: device as the console, much like GENERIC uses by default. The vga
235: console is relinquished at the conclusion of hypervisor boot, before
236: the dom0 is started. Xen when using a vga console does not process
237: console input.
239: The hypervisor can be configured to use a serial port console, e.g.
240: [[!template id=filecontent name="/boot.cfg" text="""
241: menu=Xen:load /netbsd-XEN3_DOM0.gz console=com0;multiboot /xen.gz dom0_mem=512M console=com1 com1=9600,8n1
243: This example uses the first serial port (Xen counts from 1; this is
244: what NetBSD would call com0), and sets speed and parity. (The dom0 is
245: then configured to use the same serial port in this example.)
247: With the hypervisor configured for a serial console, it can get input,
248: and there is a notion of passing this input to the dom0. \todo
249: Explain why, if Xen has a serial console, the dom0 console is
250: typically also configured to open that same serial port, instead of
251: getting the passthrough input via the xen console.
253: One also configures the console for the dom0. While one might expect
254: console=pc to be default, following behavior of GENERIC, a hasty read
255: of the code suggests there is no default and booting without a
256: selected console might lead to a panic. Also, there is merit in
257: explicit configuration. Therefore the standard approach is to place
258: console=pc as part of the load statement for the dom0 kernel, or
259: alternatively console=com0.
261: The NetBSD dom0 kernel will attach xencons(4) (the man page does not
262: exist), but this is not used as a console. It is used to obtain the
263: messages from the hypervisor's console; run `xl dmesg` to see them.
265: ### Tuning
267: In an attempt to add performance, one can also add `dom0_max_vcpus=1 dom0_vcpus_pin`,
268: to force only one vcpu to be provided (since NetBSD dom0 can't use
269: more) and to pin that vcpu to a physical CPU. Xen has
270: [many boot options](http://xenbits.xenproject.org/docs/4.13-testing/misc/xen-command-line.html),
271: and other than dom0 memory and max_vcpus, they are generally not
273: \todo Revisit this advice with current.
274: \todo Explain if anyone has ever actually measured that this helps.
276: ### rc.conf
278: Ensure that the boot scripts installed in
279: `/usr/pkg/share/examples/rc.d` are in `/etc/rc.d`, either because you
280: have `PKG_RCD_SCRIPTS=yes`, or manually. (This is not special to Xen,
281: but a normal part of pkgsrc usage.)
283: Set `xencommons=YES` in rc.conf:
285: [[!template id=filecontent name="/etc/rc.conf" text="""
289: \todo Recommend for/against xen-watchdog.
291: ### Testing
293: Now, reboot so that you are running a DOM0 kernel under Xen, rather
294: than GENERIC without Xen.
296: Once the reboot is done, use `xl` to inspect Xen's boot messages,
297: available resources, and running domains. For example:
299: [[!template id=programlisting text="""
300: # xl dmesg
301: ... xen's boot info ...
302: # xl info
303: ... available memory, etc ...
304: # xl list
305: Name Id Mem(MB) CPU State Time(s) Console
306: Domain-0 0 64 0 r---- 58.1
309: Xen logs will be in /var/log/xen.
311: ### Issues with xencommons
313: `xencommons` starts `xenstored`, which stores data on behalf of dom0 and
314: domUs. It does not currently work to stop and start xenstored.
315: Certainly all domUs should be shutdown first, following the sort order
316: of the rc.d scripts. However, the dom0 sets up state with xenstored,
317: and is not notified when xenstored exits, leading to not recreating
318: the state when the new xenstored starts. Until there's a mechanism to
319: make this work, one should not expect to be able to restart xenstored
320: (and thus xencommons). There is currently no reason to expect that
321: this will get fixed any time soon.
322: \todo Confirm if this is still true in 2020.
324: ## Xen-specific NetBSD issues
326: There are (at least) two additional things different about NetBSD as a
327: dom0 kernel compared to hardware.
329: One is that through NetBSD 9 the module ABI is different because some
330: of the #defines change, so there are separate sets of modules in
331: /stand. In NetBSD-current, there is only one set of modules.
333: The other difference is that XEN3_DOM0 does not have exactly the same
334: options as GENERIC. While it is debatable whether or not this is a
335: bug, users should be aware of this and can simply add missing config
336: items if desired.
338: Finally, there have been occasional reports of trouble with X11
339: servers in NetBSD as a dom0.
341: ## Updating Xen in a dom0
343: Basically, update the xenkernel and xentools packages and copy the new
344: Xen kernel into place, and reboot. This procedure should be usable to
345: update to a new Xen release, but the reader is reminded that having a
346: non-Xen boot methods was recommended earlier.
348: ## Updating NetBSD in a dom0
350: This is just like updating NetBSD on bare hardware, assuming the new
351: version supports the version of Xen you are running. Generally, one
352: replaces the kernel and reboots, and then overlays userland binaries
353: and adjusts `/etc`.
355: Note that one should update both the non-Xen kernel typically used for
356: rescue purposes, as well as the DOM0 kernel used with Xen.
358: ## anita (for testing NetBSD)
360: With a NetBSD dom0, even without any domUs, one should be able to run
361: anita (see pkgsrc/misc/py-anita) to test NetBSD releases, by doing (as
362: root, because anita must create a domU):
364: [[!template id=programlisting text="""
365: anita --vmm=xl test file:///usr/obj/i386/
368: # Unprivileged domains (domU)
370: This section describes general concepts about domUs. It does not
371: address specific domU operating systems or how to install them. The
372: config files for domUs are typically in `/usr/pkg/etc/xen`, and are
373: typically named so that the file name, domU name and the domU's host
374: name match.
376: The domU is provided with CPU and memory by Xen, configured by the
377: dom0. The domU is provided with disk and network by the dom0,
378: mediated by Xen, and configured in the dom0.
380: Entropy in domUs can be an issue; physical disks and network are on
381: the dom0. NetBSD's /dev/random system works, but is often challenged.
383: ## Config files
385: See /usr/pkg/share/examples/xen/xlexample* for a very small number of
386: examples for running GNU/Linux.
388: The following is an example minimal domain configuration file. The domU
389: serves as a network file server.
391: [[!template id=filecontent name="/usr/pkg/etc/xen/foo" text="""
392: name = "domU-id"
393: kernel = "/netbsd-XEN3PAE_DOMU-i386-foo.gz"
394: memory = 1024
395: vif = [ 'mac=aa:00:00:d1:00:09,bridge=bridge0' ]
396: disk = [ 'file:/n0/xen/foo-wd0,0x0,w',
397: 'file:/n0/xen/foo-wd1,0x1,w' ]
400: The domain will have name given in the `name` setting. The kernel has the
401: host/domU name in it, so that on the dom0 one can update the various
402: domUs independently. The `vif` line causes an interface to be provided,
403: with a specific mac address (do not reuse MAC addresses!), in bridge
404: mode. Two disks are provided, and they are both writable; the bits
405: are stored in files and Xen attaches them to a vnd(4) device in the
406: dom0 on domain creation. The system treats xbd0 as the boot device
407: without needing explicit configuration.
409: There is not type line; that implicitly defines a pv domU. Otherwise,
410: one sets type to the lower-case version of the domU type in the table
411: above, e.g. `type = "hvm"`.
413: By convention, domain config files are kept in `/usr/pkg/etc/xen`. Note
414: that "xl create" takes the name of a config file, while other commands
415: take the name of a domain.
417: Examples of commands:
419: [[!template id=programlisting text="""
420: xl create /usr/pkg/etc/xen/foo
421: xl console domU-id
422: xl create -c /usr/pkg/etc/xen/foo
423: xl shutdown domU-id
424: xl list
427: Typing `^]` will exit the console session. Shutting down a domain is
428: equivalent to pushing the power button; a NetBSD domU will receive a
429: power-press event and do a clean shutdown. Shutting down the dom0
430: will trigger controlled shutdowns of all configured domUs.
432: ## CPU and memory
434: A domain is provided with some number of vcpus, up to the number
435: of CPUs seen by the hypervisor. For a domU, it is controlled
436: from the config file by the "vcpus = N" directive.
438: A domain is provided with memory; this is controlled in the config
439: file by "memory = N" (in megabytes). In the straightforward case, the
440: sum of the the memory allocated to the dom0 and all domUs must be less
441: than the available memory.
443: ## Balloon driver
445: Xen provides a `balloon` driver, which can be used to let domains use
446: more memory temporarily.
448: \todo Explain how to set up a aystem to use the balloon scheme in a
449: useful manner.
451: ## Virtual disks
453: In domU config files, the disks are defined as a sequence of 3-tuples:
455: * The first element is "method:/path/to/disk". Common methods are
456: "file:" for a file-backed vnd, and "phy:" for something that is already
457: a device, such as an LVM logical volume.
459: * The second element is an artifact of how virtual disks are passed to
460: Linux, and a source of confusion with NetBSD Xen usage. Linux domUs
461: are given a device name to associate with the disk, and values like
462: "hda1" or "sda1" are common. In a NetBSD domU, the first disk appears
463: as xbd0, the second as xbd1, and so on. However, xl demands a
464: second argument. The name given is converted to a major/minor by
465: calling stat(2) on the name in /dev and this is passed to the domU.
466: In the general case, the dom0 and domU can be different operating
467: systems, and it is an unwarranted assumption that they have consistent
468: numbering in /dev, or even that the dom0 OS has a /dev. With NetBSD
469: as both dom0 and domU, using values of 0x0 for the first disk and 0x1
470: for the second works fine and avoids this issue. For a GNU/Linux
471: guest, one can create /dev/hda1 in /dev, or to pass 0x301 for
474: * The third element is "w" for writable disks, and "r" for read-only
478: [[!template id=filecontent name="/usr/pkg/etc/xen/foo" text="""
479: disk = [ 'file:/n0/xen/foo-wd0,0x0,w' ]
482: Note that NetBSD by default creates only vnd. If you need more
483: than 4 total virtual disks at a time, run e.g. "./MAKEDEV vnd4" in the
486: ## Virtual Networking
488: Xen provides virtual Ethernets, each of which connects the dom0 and a
489: domU. For each virtual network, there is an interface "xvifN.M" in
490: the dom0, and a matching interface xennetM (NetBSD name) in domU index N.
491: The interfaces behave as if there is an Ethernet with two
492: adapters connected. From this primitive, one can construct various
493: configurations. We focus on two common and useful cases for which
494: there are existing scripts: bridging and NAT.
496: With bridging (in the example above), the domU perceives itself to be
497: on the same network as the dom0. For server virtualization, this is
498: usually best. Bridging is accomplished by creating a bridge(4) device
499: and adding the dom0's physical interface and the various xvifN.0
500: interfaces to the bridge. One specifies "bridge=bridge0" in the domU
501: config file. The bridge must be set up already in the dom0; an
502: example /etc/ifconfig.bridge0 is:
504: [[!template id=filecontent name="/etc/ifconfig.bridge0" text="""
507: !brconfig bridge0 add wm0
510: With NAT, the domU perceives itself to be behind a NAT running on the
511: dom0. This is often appropriate when running Xen on a workstation.
512: TODO: NAT appears to be configured by "vif = [ '' ]".
514: The MAC address specified is the one used for the interface in the new
515: domain. The interface in dom0 will use this address XOR'd with
516: 00:00:00:01:00:00. Random MAC addresses are assigned if not given.
518: ## Starting domains automatically
520: To start domains `domU-netbsd` and `domU-linux` at boot and shut them
521: down cleanly on dom0 shutdown, add the following in rc.conf:
523: [[!template id=filecontent name="/etc/rc.conf" text="""
524: xendomains="domU-netbsd domU-linux"
527: # domU setup for specific systems
529: Creating domUs is almost entirely independent of operating system. We
530: have already presented the basics of config files in the previous system.
532: Of course, this section presumes that you have a working dom0.
534: ## Creating a NetBSD PV domU
536: See the earlier config file, and adjust memory. Decide on how much
537: storage you will provide, and prepare it (file or LVM).
539: While the kernel will be obtained from the dom0 file system, the same
540: file should be present in the domU as /netbsd so that tools like
541: savecore(8) can work. (This is helpful but not necessary.)
543: The kernel must be specifically built for Xen, to use PV interfacesas
544: a domU. NetBSD release builds provide the following kernels:
546: i386 XEN3PAE_DOMU
547: amd64 XEN3_DOMU
549: This will boot NetBSD, but this is not that useful if the disk is
550: empty. One approach is to unpack sets onto the disk outside of Xen
551: (by mounting it, just as you would prepare a physical disk for a
552: system you can't run the installer on).
554: A second approach is to run an INSTALL kernel, which has a miniroot
555: and can load sets from the network. To do this, copy the INSTALL
556: kernel to / and change the kernel line in the config file to:
558: kernel = "/home/bouyer/netbsd-INSTALL_XEN3_DOMU"
560: Then, start the domain as "xl create -c configfile".
562: Alternatively, if you want to install NetBSD/Xen with a CDROM image, the following
563: line should be used in the config file.
565: disk = [ 'phy:/dev/wd0e,0x1,w', 'phy:/dev/cd0a,0x2,r' ]
567: After booting the domain, the option to install via CDROM may be
568: selected. The CDROM device should be changed to `xbd1d`.
570: Once done installing, "halt -p" the new domain (don't reboot or halt:
571: it would reload the INSTALL_XEN3_DOMU kernel even if you changed the
572: config file), switch the config file back to the XEN3_DOMU kernel,
573: and start the new domain again. Now it should be able to use "root on
574: xbd0a" and you should have a functional NetBSD domU.
576: TODO: check if this is still accurate.
577: When the new domain is booting you'll see some warnings about *wscons*
578: and the pseudo-terminals. These can be fixed by editing the files
579: `/etc/ttys` and `/etc/wscons.conf`. You must disable all terminals in
580: `/etc/ttys`, except *console*, like this:
582: console "/usr/libexec/getty Pc" vt100 on secure
583: ttyE0 "/usr/libexec/getty Pc" vt220 off secure
584: ttyE1 "/usr/libexec/getty Pc" vt220 off secure
585: ttyE2 "/usr/libexec/getty Pc" vt220 off secure
586: ttyE3 "/usr/libexec/getty Pc" vt220 off secure
588: Finally, all screens must be commented out from `/etc/wscons.conf`.
590: One should also run `powerd` in a domU, but this should not need
591: configuring. With powerd, the domain will run a controlled shutdown
592: if `xl shutdown -R` or `xl shutdown -H` is used on the dom0, via
593: receiving a synthetic `power button pressed` signal. In 9 and
594: current, `powerd` is run by default under Xen kernels (or if ACPI is
595: present), and it can be added to rc.conf if not.
597: It is not strictly necessary to have a kernel (as /netbsd) in the domU
598: file system. However, various programs (e.g. netstat) will use that
599: kernel to look up symbols to read from kernel virtual memory. If
600: /netbsd is not the running kernel, those lookups will fail. (This is
601: not really a Xen-specific issue, but because the domU kernel is
602: obtained from the dom0, it is far more likely to be out of sync or
603: missing with Xen.)
605: Note that NetBSD by default creates only xbd. If you need more
606: virtual disks in a domU, run e.g. "./MAKEDEV xbd4" in the domU.
608: ## Creating a Linux PV domU
610: Creating unprivileged Linux domains isn't much different from
611: unprivileged NetBSD domains, but there are some details to know.
613: First, the second parameter passed to the disk declaration (the '0x1' in
614: the example below)
616: disk = [ 'phy:/dev/wd0e,0x1,w' ]
618: does matter to Linux. It wants a Linux device number here (e.g. 0x300
619: for hda). Linux builds device numbers as: (major \<\< 8 + minor).
620: So, hda1 which has major 3 and minor 1 on a Linux system will have
621: device number 0x301. Alternatively, devices names can be used (hda,
622: hdb, ...) as xentools has a table to map these names to devices
623: numbers. To export a partition to a Linux guest we can use:
625: disk = [ 'phy:/dev/wd0e,0x300,w' ]
626: root = "/dev/hda1 ro"
628: and it will appear as /dev/hda on the Linux system, and be used as root
631: To install the Linux system on the partition to be exported to the
632: guest domain, the following method can be used: install
633: sysutils/e2fsprogs from pkgsrc. Use mke2fs to format the partition
634: that will be the root partition of your Linux domain, and mount it.
635: Then copy the files from a working Linux system, make adjustments in
636: `/etc` (fstab, network config). It should also be possible to extract
637: binary packages such as .rpm or .deb directly to the mounted partition
638: using the appropriate tool, possibly running under NetBSD's Linux
639: emulation. Once the file system has been populated, umount it. If
640: desirable, the file system can be converted to ext3 using tune2fs -j.
641: It should now be possible to boot the Linux guest domain, using one of
642: the vmlinuz-\*-xenU kernels available in the Xen binary distribution.
644: To get the Linux console right, you need to add:
646: extra = "xencons=tty1"
648: to your configuration since not all Linux distributions auto-attach a
649: tty to the xen console.
651: ## Creating a NetBSD HVM domU
653: Use type='hvm', probably. Use a GENERIC kernel within the disk image.
655: ## Creating a NetBSD PVH domU
657: This only works with a current kernel in the domU.
659: Use type='pvh'. Probably, use a GENERIC kernel within the disk image,
660: which in current has PV support.
662: \todo Verify.
664: \todo Verify if one can have current PVH domU on a 9 dom0.
666: ## Creating a Solaris domU
668: See possibly outdated
669: [Solaris domU instructions](/ports/xen/howto-solaris/).
671: ## PCI passthrough: Using PCI devices in guest domains
673: NB: PCI passthrough only works on some Xen versions and as of 2020 it
674: is not clear that it works on any version in pkgsrc. \todo Reports
675: confirming or denying this notion should be sent to port-xen@.
677: The dom0 can give other domains access to selected PCI
678: devices. This can allow, for example, a non-privileged domain to have
679: access to a physical network interface or disk controller. However,
680: keep in mind that giving a domain access to a PCI device most likely
681: will give the domain read/write access to the whole physical memory,
682: as PCs don't have an IOMMU to restrict memory access to DMA-capable
683: device. Also, it's not possible to export ISA devices to non-dom0
684: domains, which means that the primary VGA adapter can't be exported.
685: A guest domain trying to access the VGA registers will panic.
687: If the dom0 is NetBSD, it has to be running Xen 3.1, as support has
688: not been ported to later versions at this time.
690: For a PCI device to be exported to a domU, is has to be attached to
691: the "pciback" driver in dom0. Devices passed to the dom0 via the
692: pciback.hide boot parameter will attach to "pciback" instead of the
693: usual driver. The list of devices is specified as "(bus:dev.func)",
694: where bus and dev are 2-digit hexadecimal numbers, and func a
695: single-digit number:
699: pciback devices should show up in the dom0's boot messages, and the
700: devices should be listed in the `/kern/xen/pci` directory.
702: PCI devices to be exported to a domU are listed in the "pci" array of
703: the domU's config file, with the format "0000:bus:dev.func".
705: pci = [ '0000:00:06.0', '0000:00:0a.0' ]
707: In the domU an "xpci" device will show up, to which one or more pci
708: buses will attach. Then the PCI drivers will attach to PCI buses as
709: usual. Note that the default NetBSD DOMU kernels do not have "xpci"
710: or any PCI drivers built in by default; you have to build your own
711: kernel to use PCI devices in a domU. Here's a kernel config example;
712: note that only the "xpci" lines are unusual.
714: include "arch/i386/conf/XEN3_DOMU"
716: # Add support for PCI buses to the XEN3_DOMU kernel
717: xpci* at xenbus ?
718: pci* at xpci ?
720: # PCI USB controllers
721: uhci* at pci? dev ? function ? # Universal Host Controller (Intel)
723: # USB bus support
724: usb* at uhci?
726: # USB Hubs
727: uhub* at usb?
728: uhub* at uhub? port ? configuration ? interface ?
730: # USB Mass Storage
731: umass* at uhub? port ? configuration ? interface ?
732: wd* at umass?
733: # SCSI controllers
734: ahc* at pci? dev ? function ? # Adaptec 94x, aic78x0 SCSI
736: # SCSI bus support (for both ahc and umass)
737: scsibus* at scsi?
739: # SCSI devices
740: sd* at scsibus? target ? lun ? # SCSI disk drives
741: cd* at scsibus? target ? lun ? # SCSI CD-ROM drives
744: # Miscellaneous Information
746: ## Nesting under Linux KVM
748: It is possible to run a Xen and a NetBSD dom0 under Linux KVM. One
749: can enable virtio in the dom0 for greater speed.
751: ## Other nesting
753: In theory, any full emulation should be able to run Xen and a NetBSD
754: dom0. The HOWTO does not currently have information about Xen XVM
755: mode, nvmm, qemu, Virtualbox, etc.
757: ## NetBSD 5 as domU
759: [NetBSD 5 is known to panic.](http://mail-index.netbsd.org/port-xen/2018/04/17/msg009181.html)
760: (However, NetBSD 5 systems should be updated to a supported version.)
762: # NetBSD as a domU in a VPS
764: The bulk of the HOWTO is about using NetBSD as a dom0 on your own
765: hardware. This section explains how to deal with Xen in a domU as a
766: virtual private server where you do not control or have access to the
767: dom0. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of VPS providers;
768: only a few are mentioned that specifically support NetBSD.
770: VPS operators provide varying degrees of access and mechanisms for
771: configuration. The big issue is usually how one controls which kernel
772: is booted, because the kernel is nominally in the dom0 file system (to
773: which VPS users do not normally have access). A second issue is how
774: to install NetBSD.
775: A VPS user may want to compile a kernel for security updates, to run
776: npf, run IPsec, or any other reason why someone would want to change
777: their kernel.
779: One approach is to have an administrative interface to upload a kernel,
780: or to select from a prepopulated list. Other approaches are pygrub
781: (deprecated) and pvgrub, which are ways to have a bootloader obtain a
782: kernel from the domU file system. This is closer to a regular physical
783: computer, where someone who controls a machine can replace the kernel.
785: A second issue is multiple CPUs. With NetBSD 6, domUs support
786: multiple vcpus, and it is typical for VPS providers to enable multiple
787: CPUs for NetBSD domUs.
789: ## Complexities due to Xen changes
791: Xen has many security advisories and people running Xen systems make
792: different choices.
794: ### stub domains
796: Some (Linux only?) dom0 systems use something called "stub domains" to
797: isolate qemu from the dom0 system, as a security and reliabilty
798: mechanism when running HVM domUs. Somehow, NetBSD's GENERIC kernel
799: ends up using PIO for disks rather than DMA. Of course, all of this
800: is emulated, but emulated PIO is unusably slow. This problem is not
801: currently understood.
803: ### Grant tables
805: There are multiple versions of using grant tables, and some security
806: advisories have suggested disabling some versions. Some versions of
807: NetBSD apparently only use specific versions and this can lead to
808: "NetBSD current doesn't run on hosting provider X" situations.
810: \todo Explain better.
812: ## Boot methods
814: ### pvgrub
816: pvgrub is a version of grub that uses PV operations instead of BIOS
817: calls. It is booted from the dom0 as the domU kernel, and then reads
818: /grub/menu.lst and loads a kernel from the domU file system.
820: [Panix](http://www.panix.com/) lets users use pvgrub. Panix reports
821: that pvgrub works with FFsv2 with 16K/2K and 32K/4K block/frag sizes
822: (and hence with defaults from "newfs -O 2"). See [Panix's pvgrub
823: page](http://www.panix.com/v-colo/grub.html), which describes only
824: Linux but should be updated to cover NetBSD :-).
826: [prgmr.com](http://prgmr.com/) also lets users with pvgrub to boot
827: their own kernel. See then [prgmr.com NetBSD
829: (which is in need of updating).
831: It appears that [grub's FFS
833: does not support all aspects of modern FFS, but there are also reports
834: that FFSv2 works fine. At prgmr, typically one has an ext2 or FAT
835: partition for the kernel with the intent that grub can understand it,
836: which leads to /netbsd not being the actual kernel. One must remember
837: to update the special boot partition.
839: ### pygrub
841: pygrub runs in the dom0 and looks into the domU file system. This
842: implies that the domU must have a kernel in a file system in a format
843: known to pygrub.
845: pygrub doesn't seem to work to load Linux images under NetBSD dom0,
846: and is inherently less secure than pvgrub due to running inside dom0. For both these
847: reasons, pygrub should not be used, and is only still present so that
848: historical DomU images using it still work.
850: As of 2014, pygrub seems to be of mostly historical
851: interest. New DomUs should use pvgrub.
853: ## Specific Providers
855: ### Amazon
857: See the [Amazon EC2 page](/amazon_ec2/).
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