Mar 7 2011

Hypervisor in a Hypervisor. Yes you can, but not with Xen.

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Google Query: Install Xen on VMware

A colleague of mine recently asked me if it was possible to install the Xen Hypervisor on the VMware Hypervisor. The answer, of course is yes you can install it. However, don’t expect to run any virtual machines on the Xen hypervisor instance. The reason this is not possible is that Xen requires Intel-VT or AMD-V hardware assisted virtualization to function.

This functionality is reserved for the actual Hypervisor that is installed on the physical hardware. The Virtual Machines themselves do not see these advanced processor features. No Virtualized Intel-VT, no Xen VM’s running.

So, technically you can install Xen. However, you will not be able to run any virtual machines on it once you do. What would be the point? Happy Virtualizing.

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1 Comments on this post


  1. Pandu E Poluan said:

    One correction: You *can* create VMs on Xen *without* VT-x/AMD-V. But only PV (Paravirtualized) Linux VMs. You need VT-x/AMD-V to run Windows VMs or non-PV Linux VMs.

    I know this because at my company, I have two Pentium 4 boxes (Nocona) running XenServer with PV Linux VMs.

    To run PV Linux VMs, you need at least kernel 2.6.27. Of course, the newer the kernel is, the better PV-Linux’s performance will be.

    August 14th, 2011 at 10:41 am


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