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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to install XenServer on VMware Workstation in Windows

How to install XenServer 6.2 on VMware Workstation 8

Note: 17 May 2014:
The installation was fine. The XenServer boots fine in the VM. Unfortunately it hangs once in a while constantly. Couldn't find out what causes it. I've installed XenServer on hw instead here.

It is possible to install Type 1 hypervisor like XenServer within a virtualized environment like VMware Workstation by using nested virtualization technology. It may be shocking at first look because this is the software stack we are going to create:
  • Regular operating system, I'm using Windows 7
  • Install in Windows (Type 2) hypervisor VMware Workstation
  • Create a VM within VMware 
  • Install XenServer with in VM
  • Boot VM and run (Type 1) hypervisor XenServer
Installation steps
  • Create a new VM and chose guest: OS VMware ESX and version: VMware ESXi 5 (my config for the VM can be found here: vmware-workstation-xenserver.conf)
  • Download the XenServer-6.2.0-install-cd.iso 
  • For the VM chose to boot from the iso above
  • Boot the VM and follow the installation instruction
  • Installer at the end will reboot the VM
  • Before new boots power off VM and deselect the ISO file
  • Boot the VM and enjoy your XenServer 
  • You may want to install XenServer-6.2.0-XenCenter.msi to graphically manged your XenServer or use CLI over SSH
 XenServer 6.2 doesn't boot after installation on VMware Workstation 8

You may run into the following issues when attempting the installation procedure above

  • Wrong VM guest type. I've seen this initially when I try to use the type: Other, version: Other 64-bit.
BUG: recent printk recursion!
clocksource/1: Time went backwards
PCI: Bar 13: no parent found for of bridge

  • You can boot the VM and from the Xen boot loader select 'safe'. Unfortunately the XenServer will report this time I/O error.
ata2.01: qc timeout (cmd 0xa0)
ata2.01: TEST_UNIT_READY failed (err_mask=0x4)
Unhanded error code
Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_TIMEOUT
end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 0
buffer I/O error on device sda, logical block 0


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