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30 November 2011, 10:10

Xen hypervisor ported to ARM processor

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Xen logo Several Xen developers who work for Citrix have ported the hypervisor to the ARM architecture. Xen runs on the Cortex-A15 and will boot a privileged Dom0 with Linux kernel version 3.0 up to a shell prompt; the hypervisor uses the ARM-v7 architecture's virtualisation extensions to do so. In a posting to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, the developers say that their next steps will include porting the Xen tools and implementing other unprivileged guest systems.

Unlike x86-based systems, the ARM-v7 port doesn't differentiate between paravirtualised and fully virtualised guests: guests are fully virtualised, but without Qemu hardware emulation – they require paravirtualised drivers to access network and mass storage. The developers are proposing that the code be incorporated into the current Xen unstable branch as soon as possible. Besides Citrix, Samsung is also working on porting Xen to the ARM architecture, although the Samsung port is designed to run on ARM processors without virtualisation support.


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