FreeBSD 11.1 xen trying to create linux domU instance

James E. Pace james at
Fri Aug 18 22:34:48 UTC 2017


I have a couple questions about running xen with FreeBSD 11.1 (amd64) as
Dom0.  I am pretty new to this whole concept, so it is very likely I am not
understanding something.

First, each time I boot the (physical) system, I have to tell the FreeBSD
boot loader to turn on xen.  (That is, hit 6 to set options, then 7 to
enable xen, then 1 to return to the main menu, then 1 to boot).  Is there a
way to make this the default behavior?

Second, I want to create a Linux domU instance.  I have been successful in
getting a FreeBSD 11.1 domU running, but changing that config file to use a
Linux CD doesn't boot (or crashes on boot?).

Here's my xen config file:

builder = "hvm"
name = "xen-ubuntu"
memory = 1024
vcpus = 1
vif = [ 'bridge=bridge0' ]
disk = [
vnc = 1
vnclisten = ""
serial = "pty"

I created the backing filesystem with:
zfs create -V20G -o volmode=dev pool/xen-ubuntu

"xl create foo.cfg" returns fine, and "xl list" shows the instance, but the
running instance (in vncviewer) eventually spits out:

4.130084] vbd vbd-5632: 19 xenbus_dev_probe on device/vbd/5632
4.130956] vbd vbd-5632: failed to write error node for device
device/vbd/5632 (19 xenbus_dev_probe on device/vbd/5632)

I suspect the linux kernel isn't booting because it can't figure out
something about the zfs volume.  But I'm not sure, and I don't know how to
work around it.

Google has been pretty unhelpful...

Thanks for help, tips, or pointers to info!


James E. Pace

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