Installing the Xen Cloud Platform

What is this tutorial about?

This little tutorial shows the reader how to install the Xen Cloud Platform on a blank machine.

What is this Xen Cloud Platform?

What is Xen?

Xen is a virtualization solution, a complete and very good description can be found here: http://www.xen.org/files/Marketing/WhatisXen.pdf

Now tell me something about this Xen Cloud Platform (XCP)!

The Xen Cloud Platform is completely based on the open Xen hypervisor and is xen.org’s attempt to provide the industry with a stable and feature-rich cloud software solution.

The XCP comes along with the latest Linux kernel and Xen versions, an API, storage management, secure communication via SSL, real time performance monitoring, a vswitch and many more very useful features.

Preparations for the installation

First of all you should make sure that you got a machine with a disk and the iso-file. If you don’t have access to a physical server you could also use a virtualisation software like VMWARE and create a virtual machine with a blank disk.

You can download the file here: http://www.xen.org/products/cloud_source.html

Now start your machine and boot from the CD.

Installing the Xen Cloud Platform

After booting from the CD, you are asked to select an installation method. If you do nothing, the default wizard will be started. I think this is a good way to start.

Now provide the wizard with your prefered keymap:

Xen Cloud setup - select keymap

Follow the steps and press “ok” when being told that all your data will be lost if you choose to continue the Xen Cloud Platform installation.

Accept the EULA, choose “local media”, press “yes” when being asked if you want to use additional packages, skip the verification and provide the wizard with a secure root password.

Afterwards you will be asked to configure the network device, so just select DHCP or enter vaild network information.

Now select your location (e.g. for me it’s Europe and Berlin) and use NTP if being ask how your local time should be determined. Configure NTP and confirm again that you want to continue the installation process.

Ok, now it is time to grab a beer or cookies (I prefer ice tea) and watch the bar move:

Xen Cloud setup - watch the bar!

You may press “cancel” if being asked for the additional packages. Afterwards the installation profess is completed and you may reboot into your new system!

Xen Cloud - first boot

Since I decided to use a VMWARE VM to test the Xen Cloud Platform, the loading time can be quite long. Just be patient and wait until the config menu pops up:

Xen Cloud - settings menu

If you want to you can quit this screen and enter the regular shell, you can use the common commands like “top” or “nano” here and even access the XCP (Xen Cloud Platform) shell by typing in “xe help” or “xe help –all”.

You can find a short documentation about this shell here:

http://foss-boss.blogspot.com/2010/01/taming-xen-cloud-platform-consoles.html

E.g. “xe console-list” shows a list of all active VMs.

Now go back to the config menu by typing in “xsconsole” and enable SSH (you can do this by viewing the menu item “remote service configuration”).

After being logged in via SSH, you can either use the shell or the XCP config menu. Now I suggest you play around a little bit and get used to the distribution if you are not used to access RedHat based servers. You can find out the exact version by typing in “cat /proc/version”.

I personally love htop so I just show you how to install it on this system.

You can find a list of binary htop packages here: http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/packages/htop/

[root@localhost log]# cd /home

[root@localhost data]# wget http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/packages/htop/htop-0.7-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm

[root@localhost data]# yum localinstall htop-0.7-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm

If you receive an error message regarding invalid Citrix repository data just navigate to “/etc/yum.repos.d” and rename the Citrix repository file into .Citrix…. .

If your yum says that no public key for the package htop is available, you may just have a look here:

http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/FAQ.php#B2

For me this worked very well:


[root@localhost home]# rpm -Uhv http://apt.sw.be/redhat/9/en/i386/rpmforge/RPMS/rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.rh9.rf.i386.rpm

Now type in “htop” and have a look:

Xen Cloud - HTOP

What now?

The next steps are knowing how to create VM templates and start new virtual machines. You can either inform yourselves or wait until I extend my tutorial 🙂

3 thoughts on “Installing the Xen Cloud Platform

  1. Hi,
    can the xen cloud platform be installed in ubuntu 10.04? I dont have access to a server and so i want to set up at least 3 pvt. clouds in my laptop, so that individual nodes can access these clouds for whatever material they store. Is creating pvt clouds really tricky in here?? can new virtual machines be created using virtual box in the same setting? Will all this work together?? Help please!!!

    Thanks & Regards

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