Michael David Crawford wrote:
Prgmr.com, Inc. (http://prgmr.com/) is a Xen-based Virtual Private Server hosting service. We presently offer Linux and NetBSD DomUs, and would like to offer FreeBSD as well.

I've been asked to help get FreeBSD to work under Xen. My understanding is that FreeBSD can be gotten to boot as a DomU, but doesn't work reliably.

I just thought I should let you all know that I haven't just disappeared, and we are still as committed as we ever were to help with Xen on FreeBSD.

However, I've had some trouble getting Xen to work at all on my own personal box.

Largely this is because it has a 3ware 9690SA RAID, which is only supported in recent Linux kernels, while the production versions of Xen all use older kernels.

I'm an experienced programmer, but not at all with FreeBSD. The closest I've come to FreeBSD work is the Mac OS X kernel, which is in part based on FreeBSD. I also used to work with the old BSD-based SunOS, many years ago.

I hadn't done much Linux kernel programming either, so I figured a good way to learn would be to backport the 3ware driver. Such backporting is necessary because the Linux kernel's internal API changes with the phase of the moon.

O'Reilly's Understanding the Linux Kernel and Linux Device Drivers were invaluable, but in the end what I have done is to install the latest unstable Xen sources, which work with the latest unstable Linux kernel - which includes the (hopefully) stable 3ware driver.

Other than being eager to help, I don't even know where to start. Of course I will need to learn FreeBSD kernel programming, but I don't even know where to start with that.

Soon I'll start reading The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System. I expect that once I've read just a few chapters I can start helping with Xen on FreeBSD in a meaningful way.

I also have a box that boots 8.0-CURRENT natively (not under Xen), so that I can learn about FreeBSD kernel and device driver programming without the added complexity of running under Xen.

I won't have time to deal with it for a long, long time, but lately I've also been toying with the idea of paravirtualizing Haiku. It's a binary-compatible Open Source clone of the BeOS: http://www.haiku-os.org/

So in summary, I don't have any working code for you, and probably won't anytime soon, but I am determined to have some eventually.

Michael David Crawford

   prgmr.com - We Don't Assume You Are Stupid.

      Xen-Powered Virtual Private Servers: http://prgmr.com/xen
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