Installing Fedora 14 for use as a Xen Host

You can use any method you like to get Fedora on your intended Xen host. All of the setup can be done post-install, though some stuff (like partitioning) is easier if you do it at install time. I get Fedora 14 on my host using the LXDE Live CD spin. The install process is mostly the same irregardless of what method you use.

F14 LXDE Live CD at the desktop

F14 LXDE Live CD at the desktop

In general, follow the install procedures as listed in the Fedora 14 Install Guide.

However, you should create a custom partition layout for your Xen host.

Select Custom Layout when you're asked to select the type of install

Select Custom Layout when you’re asked to select the type of install

Drive partition scheme

Sample drive partition scheme

You might ask “Why can’t I use the defaults?” Well, let’s cover that quickly.

  1. Having a large /boot partition allows you to keep an older revision of your kernel when you upgrade, so you have something to revert to if something goes wrong.
    • In this case I gave /boot 2GB of space. Considering the default is 250MB-500MB, 2GB is more than enough space.
    • By default it will be formatted as ext4. I changed it to ext3 out of habit – in the past, the boot loader didn’t support ext4, so ext3 had to be used.
  2. Creating 2 volume groups allows you to make changes to your domUs without having to mess with the volume group for the dom0. I’ve managed to do nifty tricks like move all my domUs from 1 drive to a RAID array with no interruption thanks to LVM. (Also, I think it just looks better with the operations logically separated.)
    • Technically, your dom0 doesn’t have to be in a volume group though. Having domUs in a volume group is highly recommended. Unless you want to mess around with partitions, and possibly hit the partition limit on hard drives if you create enough VMs.


Once you’ve setup the drive layout to your satisfaction, continue the install as normal.

Install normally

Install normally

Let it reboot, and set it up to install Xen.

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