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May 29 2011

After a relatively long road traveled with a few bumps along the way, as of yesterday, Linus's mainline tree (2.6.39+) contains literally every component needed for Linux to run both as a management domain kernel(Dom0) and a guest(DomU).
Linux mainline contains all the Xen code bits for Dom0 and DomU support (Wim Coekaerts Blog)
Tags: linux xen

November 22 2010

Migrating Xen virtual machines using LVM to KVM using disk images

Most of the computers in use by the Debian Edu/Skolelinux project are virtual machines. And they have been Xen machines running on a fairly old IBM eserver xseries 345 machine, and we wanted to migrate them to KVM on a newer Dell PowerEdge 2950 host machine. This was a bit harder that it could have been, because we set up the Xen virtual machines to get the virtual partitions from LVM, which as far as I know is not supported by KVM. So to migrate, we had to convert several LVM logical volumes to partitions on a virtual disk file.

I found a nice recipe to do this, and wrote the following script to do the migration. It uses qemu-img from the qemu package to make the disk image, parted to partition it, losetup and kpartx to present the disk image partions as devices, and dd to copy the data. I NFS mounted the new servers storage area on the old server to do the migration.


# Based on
# http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com.au/articles/35011-Six-steps-for-migrating-Xen-virtual-machines-to-KVM

set -e
set -x

if [ -z "$1" ] ; then
    echo "Usage: $0 <hostname>"
    exit 1

if [ ! -e /dev/vg_data/$host-disk ] ; then
    echo "error: unable to find LVM volume for $host"
    exit 1

# Partitions need to be a bit bigger than the LVM LVs.  not sure why.
disksize=$( lvs --units m | grep $host-disk | awk '{sum = sum + $4} END { print int(sum * 1.05) }')
swapsize=$( lvs --units m | grep $host-swap | awk '{sum = sum + $4} END { print int(sum * 1.05) }')
totalsize=$(( ( $disksize + $swapsize ) ))

#dd if=/dev/zero of=$img bs=1M count=$(( $disksize + $swapsize ))
qemu-img create $img ${totalsize}MMaking room on the Debian Edu/Sqeeze DVD

parted $img mklabel msdos
parted $img mkpart primary linux-swap 0 $disksize
parted $img mkpart primary ext2 $disksize $totalsize
parted $img set 1 boot on

modprobe dm-mod
losetup /dev/loop0 $img
kpartx -a /dev/loop0

dd if=/dev/vg_data/$host-disk of=/dev/mapper/loop0p1 bs=1M
fsck.ext3 -f /dev/mapper/loop0p1 || true
mkswap /dev/mapper/loop0p2

kpartx -d /dev/loop0
losetup -d /dev/loop0

The script is perhaps so simple that it is not copyrightable, but if it is, it is licenced using GPL v2 or later at your discretion.

After doing this, I booted a Debian CD in rescue mode in KVM with the new disk image attached, installed grub-pc and linux-image-686 and set up grub to boot from the disk image. After this, the KVM machines seem to work just fine.

April 13 2010

Ian C. Blenke :: Computer Engineer

The process for converting a VMWare VMDK disk image to Xen HVM is rather quite easy. However, there are "gotchas" that you need to consider when doing this conversion.

TechComparison - Linux Virtualization Wiki

This table compares the features and performance of the various virtualization technologies available for Linux. Hopefully this table also explains why many Linux distributions today ship Xen, even though UML,lguest and KVM are upstream.
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