Xen 4.5 RC4 test instructions

From Xen

What needs to be tested

General things:

  • Making sure that Xen 4.5 compiles and installs properly on different software configurations; particularly on distros
  • Making sure that Xen 4.5, along with appropriately up-to-date kernels, work on different hardware.

For more ideas about what to test, please see Testing Xen.


Getting RC4

  • xen: with a recent enough git (>= just pull from the proper tag (4.5.0-rc4) from the main repo directly:
git clone -b 4.5.0-rc4 git://xenbits.xen.org/xen.git

With an older git version (and/or if that does not work, e.g., complaining with a message like this: Remote branch 4.5.0-rc4 not found in upstream origin, using HEAD instead), do the following:

git clone git://xenbits.xen.org/xen.git ; cd xen ; git checkout 4.5.0-rc4


Instructions are available for building Xen on Linux, NetBSD, and FreeBSD

Known issues

Building xen-source with bison 2.4.1 and 3.0.2 can fail

The work-around is to use ./configure BISON=/bin/true

xl built under Gentoo when doing PCI passthrough seg-failts

This is a Gentoo bug. See [app-emulation/xen-tools-4.4.1-r3 - xl: segmentation fault in execute_stack_op() at .../work/gcc-4.8.3/libgcc/unwind-dw2.c:516]

Test instructions


  • Remove any old versions of Xen toolstack and userspace binaries (including qemu).
  • Download and install the most recent Xen 4.5 RC, as described above. Make sure to check the README for changes in required development libraries and procedures. Some particular things to note:
    • Since Xen 4.4 the default installation path has changed from /usr to /usr/local. Take extra care when removing any old versions to allow for this.

Once you have Xen 4.5 RC installed check that you can install a guest etc and use it in the ways which you normally would, i.e. that your existing guest configurations, scripts etc still work.

In particular if you were using the (deprecated) xm/XEND toolstack it is now REMOVED- hence please do try your normal use cases with the XL toolstack. The XL page has some information on the differences between XEND and XL.

Specific RC4 things

Specific ARM Test Instructions

Follow Xen_ARM_with_Virtualization_Extensions

MMIO passthrough

To allow auto-translated domains to directly access specific hardware I/O memory pages pertaining a device that is not IOMMU-protected, use the iomem configuration option, whose usage is described in the following paragraph.


IOMEM_START is a physical page number. NUM_PAGES is the number of pages beginning with START_PAGE> to allow access to. GFN specifies the guest frame number where the mapping will start in the domU's address space. If GFN is not specified, the mapping will be performed using IOMEM_START as a start in the domU's address space, therefore performing an 1:1 mapping as default. All of these values must be given in hexadecimal.

Specific x86 Test Instructions


Xen 4.4 added support to run certain PV guests in PVH mode. This requires the operating system to support a subset of PV ABI, as such only two exist:

In Xen 4.5 we also added the support to run those guests as the initial domain (dom0). Unfortunately the work to make this work on AMD did not make, so it only works on Intel. To use this an extra parameter on Xen command line is required: dom0pvh=1.


Xen 4.3 and later can be built as EFI binaries. Xen 4.5 can be built as an EFI under ARM.

Instruction on how to build Xen as EFI and boot under it can be found here.


libvirt is usually shipped by the distro. You would need to use libvirt-daemon-driver-xen to manage your Xen instances. If you are building from scratch, follow Libvirt compiling HOWTO

For instructions on how to install guests, please visit: Guest install using libvirt

Reporting Bugs (& Issues)

  • Use Freenode IRC channel #xentest to discuss questions interactively
  • Report any bugs / missing functionality / unexpected results.
  • Please put [TestDay] into the subject line
  • Also make sure you specify the RC number you are using
  • Make sure to follow the guidelines on Reporting Bugs against Xen.

Reporting success

We would love it if you could report successes by e-mailing xen-devel@lists.xen.org, preferably including:

  • Hardware: Please at least include the processor manufacturer (Intel/AMD). Other helpful information might include specific processor models, amount of memory, number of cores, and so on
  • Software: If you're using a distro, the distro name and version would be the most helpful. Other helpful information might include the kernel that you're running, or other virtualization-related software you're using (e.g., libvirt, xen-tools, drbd, &c).
  • Guest operating systems: If running a Linux version, please specify whether you ran it in PV or HVM mode.
  • Functionality tested: High-level would include toolstacks, and major functionality (e.g., suspend/resume, migration, pass-through, stubdomains, &c)

The following template might be helpful: should you use Xen 4.5.0-RC4 for testing, please make sure you state that information!

Subject: [TESTDAY] Test report
* Hardware:
* Software:

* Guest operating systems:

* Functionality tested:

* Comments:

For example:

Subject: [TESTDAY] Test report
* Hardware: 
Dell 390's (Intel, dual-core) x15
HP (AMD, quad-core) x5
* Software: 
Ubuntu 10.10,11.10
Fedora 17

* Guest operating systems:
Windows 8
Ubuntu 12.10,11.10 (HVM)
Fedora 17 (PV)

* Functionality tested:

* Comments:
Window 8 booting seemed a little slower than normal.

Other than that, great work!