Hello everyone,

I'm beginning to play with Freebsd and Xen, and I'm targeting a VPS provider 
who is giving me a large memory instance for a good price. However, he only 
supports "ops_pv" kernels, being primarily a linux house.

So, I'm trying to work out what the best approach is. Ideally I'd be running 
amd64, but he doesn't want to run an hvmloader. I guess that means that I need 
to be running an i386 kernel; hopefully PAE works so that I take advantage of 
the memory.

However, this appears to be an inflexible solution. Doesn't it mean that I will 
have no ability to tweak kernel variables, because effectively once it's setup 
he will control the boot process - I'll also not be able to upgrade the kernel 
easily. Also, no access to single user mode... Ideally I want a boot loader....

So, I was thinking. How do we make the boot loader appear to Xen to be a 
paravirtualized kernel? Currently it isn't even an elf object, but what it is 
was. How much work do you think that it might be to make a "loader kernel" that 
appears to be a kernel, but in fact is a boot strap. The idea being that it 
could be run as a "ops_pv" kernel on a Xen platform but otherwise behave 
exactly like our boot loader, processing loader.conf, and booting a kernel in 
the normal way.

Does anyone have any idea of whether that's a possibility? Or, is there 
something fundamental about the pv_ops model that would prevent this?

If this were possible we could boot the amd64 XENHVM kernel in a pv_ops manner, 
with full control of the kernel configuration.

Hmm...

Joe



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