Silly things I decide to do…

I’m not sure what gets into my head at times but often I find something silly to work on to pass the time and this time around it was getting FreeBSD 9.0 installed running under Xen with full para-virtualization (PV). In the past (I think it was 8.0) I couldn’t even install FreeBSD as a HVM domU as there was some issue with the bootloader. I started seeing posts around the FreeBSD 8.2 release time frame with people getting FreeBSD running under a Linux Xen machine as domU both HVM and PV so I suppose this finally came up on my list of something to do? Anyway I sort of resolved this installation fix around FreeBSD 8.0 by creating a file based image on an existing FreeBSD system and compiling a FreeBSD XEN enabled kernel. Details for what I consider the old way can be found at the following location: HOWTO: Create a FreeBSD 8 i386 Xen PV domU

The new way I used today involves first installing FreeBSD as a HVM domU and transforming the domU from HVM to PV. The instructions were written for FreeBSD 8.2 and Xen 3.4 but I can confirm that they do work for FreeBSD 9.0 with a few small changes (mainly in block device name – it listed ad1s1a whereas I found I had to use ad1p2 as the main device) and using Xen 4.x. I’m going to read up on what’s new in 9.0 so perhaps devices are being renamed. The new instructions can be found at the following site: Xen FreeBSD 8.2 DomU (PV) — Step by Step Howto

Everything seems to be working and it’s nice to have something new to play around with, not sure how effective the installation will be as far as messing with ZFS goes. One thing I’m pretty sure I’ll run into issues with ZFS is the odd memory cap (850MB) the domU has. Last I heard things like dedup fail in low memory setups.

Until next time…

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