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xen-tools back in Debian Unstable //at 13:54 //by abe

from the RM-ITP-NEW dept.

After xen-tools had been removed from Debian Unstable by the upstream developer last December due to no more upstream development, I took over upstream development as well as Debian package maintainership in January.

Since then a lot happened:

  • Development moved from Mercurial to a set of git repositories at gitorious.org.
  • Dmitry Nedospasov joined my effort to revive xen-tools.
  • Via gitorious’ clone tracking we noticed that there were useful patches in clones of xen-tools and incorporated most of them back into our master branch.
  • We created a second mailing list xen-tools-dev which is mainly thought for communication between the xen-tools developers.
  • The xen-tools.org website and the xen-tools mailing lists moved from Steve’s to my server. The website has been slightly overhauled and the mailing lists now use Mailman.
  • Support for all recent Debian and Ubuntu releases including Squeeze and Lucid.
  • Full support for pygrub and DomU distribution kernels installed in the DomU. Now you easily can install DomUs whose udev doesn’t fit to your Dom0 kernel.
  • Full support for cdebootstrap in addition to debootstrap.
  • Tons of bugs fixed
  • I’m on the quest to find the holy grail of bug tracking systems. ;-) More on this in another blog posting.

But despite all the things which were to fix after Steve discontinued the xen-tools developement, Steve Kemp did a great job to bring xen-tools so far initially. I’m really happy that this software exists and that’s the reason why I won’t let it die so fast. :-)

xen-tools 4.2 beta 1 released

Last weekend I released xen-tools 4.2 beta 1 which I also uploaded to Debian Unstable. And thanks to the active ftp-master team, xen-tools went through the NEW queue in less than 12 hours and is now available again in Debian Unstable.

4.2 beta 1 still has some known bugs, the worst ones are in xen-delete-image. But no fear, it doesn’t delete more than wanted, just not enough or things which don’t exist anyway. :-) There are also some smaller issues to fix for a final 4.2 release.

We may also create an PPA for Ubuntu Lucid in the future to work around the lack of xen-tools in Ubuntu Lucid.

What about Fedora/RedHat/CentOS support?

Since rinse is out of date with regards to current Fedora releases, rpmstrap seems to be out of date for even longer (it has been removed from Debian before the Lenny release) and febootstrap neither seems to work out of the box nor seems to support bootstrapping to mount points (because it wants to delete them first and fails), bootstrapping Fedora ist currently not supported. The “copy” installation method should work though.

rinse still is able to bootstrap CentOS 4 and 5, but the installation seems incomplete. We’ll try to work around these issues for the final 4.2 release.

We haven’t looked at mach and mock so far, but according to Lucas, both are out of date, too.

Sure, implementing Lucas’ howto in form of a script would be a possible way, but we think it would just create yet another not so well supported clone of rinse, rpmstrap, mach, mock or febootstrap.

Because of that, Dmitry works on support for the installation of Xen DomUs via kickstart.

Fate of xen-shell?

Xen-shell has also been removed from Debian Unstable last December because Steve stopped its developement, too.

But in comparison to xen-tools itself, we didn’t resurrect xen-shell since none of us currently has use for it.

So if you are currently using xen-shell and intend to continue to do so, you should hurry up if you want to see it in Debian Squeeze. We can also help you, but we surely can’t and won’t do it alone nor will we take the majority of the necessary workload.

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Debian GNU/Linux is my favourite Linux distribution, being stable, flexible, consistent and having a great community. Although I'm not the biggest bug report writer, I try to contribute by staffing the Debian booth at events, carrying the necessary hardware there or even organising the whole booth.

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