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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Xen, again [Oct. 9th, 2005|11:22 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

I know I already wrote about this once today, but...

I've been having so much fun with Xen. It's so cool. It's just made my life easier, saner, and more productive, all in one.

Can't wait to install it on my desktop at work tomorrow, then I can transport around a full dev environment (potentially dozens of machines) between work/home, and never deal with ssh latency (which isn't that bad, but can get annoying).

Also it means less noise, less space, less power, less heat, less money. And all the while, tons more machines to play/test/dev with.

It's so incredibly empowering to be able to just "create" a new machine for fucking around with. For instance, installing that one piece of software that isn't packaged (too new) and you're too lazy to both read its Makefile to see what its make install does, and definitely too lazy to go clean up after it. Instead, just fork off a new whole operating system whenever you want to run a potentially-dangerous experiment.

So nice.

Need to force myself to get off the computer now.

From: jmason
2005-10-10 10:30 pm (UTC)


'just fork off a new whole operating system whenever you want to run a potentially-dangerous experiment.'

how trivial is it to do this? Is there a copy-on-write filesystem? Playing with VMWare and uml has been pretty painful, in my experience, mainly in terms of dealing with filesystems. That's the main thing I'd fear with Xen (which I haven't tried yet).

Feel free to post as much as you like about this subject, this reader is decidedly curious as to how well it plays out ;)

(...PS: erik - nice Gloomy Bear user icon!)
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From: photwenny
2005-10-12 12:14 am (UTC)

Re: filesystems

If you can live migrate a machine to another host (see one of brad's comments above), you could migrate it to the same host, with a different name/id or whatever, and just not stop the original. More likely the migration is written based on fork. ;)

Also check out this xen intro at ibm. The author sets up a "base" machine and a "test" machine. When he's ready to try the dangerous stuff, he shuts down the base machine, copies the disk image to the test machine, then starts it up. Its not live in that version, but still pretty cool.

Maybe to do it live, you could sync on the live machine, then copy the image file and start up a new machine from the copy.

If UPS ever gets here I'll give it a try.
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