Virtualization With XenServer 5.5.0

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
Last edited 06/19/2009

This Howto covers the installation of XenServer 5.5.0 and the creation of virtual machines with the XenCenter administrator console. XenServer is a free virtualization platform from Citrix, the company behind the well known Xen virtualization engine. XenServer makes it easy to create, run and manage Xen virtual machines with the XenCenter administrator console. The XenServer installation CD contains a full Linux distribution which is customized to run XenServer.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

Take a look at the XenServer installation guide to find out if your system fulfills the minimum requirements. You must have a 64bit processor and at least 1GB RAM. Support for hardware virtualization in the CPU is not required if you want to run Linux guests, but a must if you want to run Windows guests.


2 Installing XenServer

Visit Follow the instructions and download the two ISO images FREE_XenServer-5.5.0-install-cd.iso (includes XenServer, XenCenter administration console installer) and FREE_XenServer-5.5.0-linux-cd.iso (includes templates and other tools required for support of Linux guests). Burn the ISO images on two CDs and boot from the FREE_XenServer-5.5.0-install-cd.iso CD (the installer will later on ask for the FREE_XenServer-5.5.0-linux-cd.iso CD).

Press ENTER:

Select your keyboard layout:

Select Install or upgrade XenServer Host:

Confirm that you wish to install XenServer (this is because all existing data on the hard drive will be erased by the installation):

Accept the XenServer license:

In case the server does not support the latest hardware virtualization techniques from Intel or AMD, you will get this screen. You will still be able to run various Linux distributions as virtual machines.

If you want to run virtualized versions of Linux only, this is fine. But Windows virtualization won't work without hardware virtualization support.

Select Local media as installation media:

If you get the error message "A base installation repository was not found at that location." now, this is probably because you have an SATA hard drive and an IDE DVD/CD drive, and the installer didn't load the IDE driver. To fix this, hit Alt+F2 to switch to another console window and run

modprobe ide-generic

in that console window. Then switch back to the install window by hitting Alt+F1 and select Local media again.

Now the installer asks you about the second CD you downloaded (the one with support for Linux guests). Select Yes to install support for Linux guests:

You can skip the media verification because it can take a long time:

Specify the root password. This password will also be used to connect to the XenServer host from the XenCenter later on:

Specify your network configuration. As this is a server, it's a good idea to specify a static IP address:

Next specify a hostname (you can as well leave the default one) and fill in up to three DNS servers (e.g. and

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15 Comment(s)

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From: Jay at: 2009-08-12 17:43:26

One of the best HOW TO defined for the xen setup. thanks for sharing.


From: Roger at: 2013-06-19 14:25:18

If you need some quick and more up-to-date info about configuring XenServer 6.1 via CLI, here is a good but short summary.

From: at: 2010-08-19 07:58:59

Hi All

 Can someone show me how to virtualize the HP Proliant DL180 G5.

 I just installed the citrix xenserver but i can't install centos 5.3.Can someone please assist as this is really urgent to me.



From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-27 17:10:46

Good article. It should be noted however that XenServer tools supports a very limited set of distributions and there is not much help getting it to work on other systems. Which is unfortunate because, even with the free feature set, I would dump vmware in a minute since it doesn't include a centralized client for free and doesn't support migration for free (like XenServer does)


From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-29 13:33:49

Nice writeup.  What I don't understand is why Citrix makes you go find a Windows box so that you can  manage your Linux Xenserver.  There are already some fine tools that run natively under the various Linux distros.  No need to involve The Beast.

From: nico at: 2009-07-02 19:42:10

i have one server with 4 stata disk, i want to install xenserver5.5 but with this tuturial i realise that maybe its not the better idea, since it will install on my first sata disk , it have not (in the installer at least) a way to config the linux raid for my local storage (4 sata disk of 500gb) and then install over there. Iam rigth? or thereis other way to doit?




From: ronald at: 2009-07-18 15:41:14

Good article. I thinks it is also useful to add an DVD/ISO install of (for example) CentOS 5.3. I do not get this working on my server. I get this install working quickly with VMware and VirtualBox work.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-07-30 03:21:07

Hello I followed this guide, it worked well except that iptables no longer works after intsalling xen tools

 mta:~# iptables -L
FATAL: Module ip_tables not found.
iptables v1.4.2: can't initialize iptables table `filter': iptables who? (do you need to insmod?) Perhaps iptables or your kernel needs to be upgraded.


 Any ideas? or will I just have to run it with out xentools installed?

From: Anonymous at: 2009-08-27 19:21:38

I'm having same problem.

"The issue of the missing modules in Lenny is known to Citrix, but it was decided to make it a post-5.5 enhancement. Refer to this thread:"

From: Anonymous at: 2009-08-18 01:46:23

Thanks for this excellent article. It will help me easily setup XEN.

I was stuck last night trying to install virtual machines. Followed some command line instructions but couldn't make it work. Thanks for the excellent graphical guide. Sure gonna have xen up and running soon.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-08 18:23:13

well, it doesn't work that way. After you click install XenServer tools nothing happens. I am sure you have to do something manual.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-09-24 18:24:17

Are there any Xen-specific sources I should have in sources.list to update my kernel and related things? I see new kernel versions coming from Debian, but they are a few revs behind my current Xen-provided kernel:


apt-get upgrade finds this:


 Where will the xs kernels be upgraded and how do I get them when available?

From: Anonymous2 at: 2009-10-01 19:55:48


 Check out this forum entry:

One can rebuild the modules they need inside the guest VM.  I ran into this same issue, and am planning on doing just that.


From: Jesse at: 2009-09-01 21:06:17

Hi Guys, Maybe i missed something but i can't configure a hardware Raid or a software Raid ! is this product like ESXi works with some hardware that is tooooo expensive ? I am new to XEN-Citrix product please give me a tip on this matter ! Best regards, Jesse

From: at: 2011-12-16 11:28:09

Really nice effort, it helps me a lot as I was searching for stable version of Xen and you know this is first time I am going to try this thing.


Best Regards