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Xen 4.1 Hypervisor Now Available

Virtualization

Published on 25 March 2011 05:23 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization
1 Comment

For those of you that prefer Xen virtualization under Linux rather than KVM/QEMU, VirtualBox, VMware, or any of the other virtualization solutions available, the Xen 4.1 Hypervisor has just been released with some major changes.

Xen 4.0.0 was released nearly one year ago (9 April 2010), but Xen 4.1.0 is now here to outdo that release.

Key features mentioned in the Xen 4.1 release notes include:

- A re-architected XL toolstack that is functionally nearly equivalent to XM/XEND
- Prototype credit2 scheduler designed for latency-sensitive workloads and very large systems
- CPU Pools for advanced partitioning
- Support for large systems (>255 processors and 1GB/2MB super page support)
- Support for x86 Advanced Vector eXtension (AVX)
- New Memory Access API enabling integration of 3rd party security solutions into Xen virtualized environments
- Even better stability through our new automated regression tests

The AVX support is welcome for those that are upgrading to Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs or AMD Bulldozers once released.

With Xen 4.1, the Xen dom0 and guest support is also available in most upstream Linux distributions to work unmodified. The dom0 support is with the vanilla Linux 2.6.38 kernel and then the rewritten Xen PV-on-HVM drivers were tacked on one release earlier, the Linux 2.6.37 kernel. There's also now upstream QEMU support for Xen.

It looks like a great release overall and may warrant some new Linux virtualization benchmarks. Xen 4.1 can be downloaded at Xen.org.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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