The Perfect Xen 3.0.3 Setup For Debian Sarge - Page 4

4.4.2 Create And Start The First Virtual Machine

Now we create our first virtual machine, vm01, by making a copy of our template:

cp -pf /vserver/images/vm_base.img /vserver/images/vm01.img
cp -pf /vserver/images/vm_base-swap.img /vserver/images/vm01-swap.img

Then we create a Xen configuration file for vm01, /etc/xen/vm01-config.sxp:

vi /etc/xen/vm01-config.sxp

# network
vif=[ '' ]


In memory you specify the RAM you want to allocate to that virtual machine (here: 32 MB). In disk you specify which images to use and how to mount them (i.e., under which partition, e.g. hda1). This must correspond to the settings in the image's /etc/fstab file! In the network settings we tell vm01 that its IP address is (the main machine's (dom0) IP address is, and what hostname it has.

If you want vm01 to start automatically at the next boot of the system, then do this:

ln -s /etc/xen/vm01-config.sxp /etc/xen/auto

Now let's start vm01:

xm create -c /etc/xen/vm01-config.sxp

If nothing's wrong, vm01 should come up without problems, and you should be able to login. By running

iptables -L

you should see that iptables is available on vm01. To leave vm01's shell, type CTRL+] if you are at the console, or CTRL+5 if you're using PuTTY. From the outside you should be able to connect to via SSH.

Back on dom0's shell, you can shutdown vm01 by running

xm shutdown vm01

Here are some other Xen commands:

xm create -c /path/to/config - Start a virtual machine.
xm shutdown <name> - Stop a virtual machine.
xm destroy <name> - Stop a virtual machine immediately without shutting it down. It's as if you switch off the power button.
xm list - List all running systems.
xm console <name> - Login on a virtual machine.
xm help - List of all commands.

Now you can reboot the main system to see if vm01 comes up automatically (if you created the symlink in /etc/xen/auto):

shutdown -r now


4.4.3 Creating And Customizing Further Virtual Machines

You can create further virtual machines simply by copying the image template:

cp -pf /vserver/images/vm_base.img /vserver/images/vm02.img
cp -pf /vserver/images/vm_base-swap.img /vserver/images/vm02-swap.img

Then you have to create a Xen configuration file, e.g. /etc/xen/vm02-config.sxp:

vi /etc/xen/vm02-config.sxp

# network
vif=[ '' ]


Start the machine:

xm create -c /etc/xen/vm02-config.sxp

If you get an error like this:

Using config file "/etc/xen/vm02-config.sxp".
Error: Error creating domain: The privileged domain did not balloon!

then this means that the virtual machine tried to use more memory than is available. Edit the configuration file of the virtual machine and decrease the value of memory and try to start it again.

Create a symlink, if you want to start the virtual machine at boot time:

ln -s /etc/xen/vm02-config.sxp /etc/xen/auto 

Now you can log into each machine, e.g. via SSH, and configure it as if it was a normal system.

You can create as many virtual machines as you like. Your hardware's the limit!

Share this page:

Suggested articles

0 Comment(s)

Add comment


By: Falko Timme