[LinuxBIOS] Xen and LinuxBIOS

Ward Vandewege ward at gnu.org
Tue Sep 11 15:14:41 CEST 2007

Hi Joop,

On Tue, Sep 11, 2007 at 10:33:41AM +0200, Joop Boonen wrote:
> I'm thinking of buying a GA-M57SLI-S4 mainboard. As AMD-V isn't activated
> in the BIOS I probably want to use LinuxBIOS. 

You mean virtualization? What makes you think that it is disabled on the

> As i want to use
> virtualisation i would like to know if LinuxBIOS also supports Xen i.e. I
> use a Xen aware kernel in LinuxBIOS that works.

It does, but you have to either:

a) build LinuxBIOS with grub2 (which I have not tested yet, but is on my todo list)
b) start a kexec-enabled kernel from filo and then kexec into the Xen kernel
(which is how I've got some machines in production). You could boot the
kexec-enabled kernel from disk, or you could put it in the rom chip (which
would make the machine boot faster).

The problem is that filo - the current 'standard' linuxbios bootloader - does
not support ELF modules; xen requires that to start up.

I have a patch pending to buildrom that makes it really easy to build a
linux-as-a-bootloader (LAB) image with a kexec-enabled kernel in the rom chip
(you need a 1MB chip; the m57sli comes with a 512KB chip). Hopefully I'll be
able to apply it today or tomorrow (I'm a bit short on time right now), and
then I'll also update the m57sli howto on the wiki.

> I would like to use LinuxBIOS in combination with OpenSuSE.

That should not be a problem. Any modern distro should work.


Ward Vandewege <ward at fsf.org>
Free Software Foundation - Senior System Administrator

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