Open Source Subnet An independent Open Source community View more

Red Hat: Fedora project has no plans to support Xen again

At least one project exists that could add Xen support back to Fedora but Rat Hat says it's based on forked Linux.

Red Hat has officially gone on record to say that it is not involved in any projects that add Xen support back to Fedora and has no plans to be. Indeed, the spokesperson said that one such "experimental" project was based on a forked Linux kernal "with no support from Fedora."

I presume this was in response to some information sent to me from Rahul Sundaram at Fedoraproject.org. Sundaram mentioned that "Xen dom0 support is available via http://myoung.fedorapeople.org/dom0/."

Here is the statement a Red Hat spokesperson sent me, in full:

"The Fedora Project and the engineers and developers that are part of it always keep tabs on technology trends in open source. We included KVM early in Fedora distributions because its developers did the work necessary to have it included in the Linux kernel. We predicted KVM's inclusion in the kernel would make it the best virtualization solution going forward, and we've been proved right. Over time we deprecated Xen hypervisor support in Fedora, while KVM has continued to flourish and grow in features and adoption.

"We continue to keep tabs on virtualization solutions in open source as part of our mission of leading the advancement of free and open source software and content. There is an experimental project by a community member, for example, that adds Xen dom0 support to Fedora, but this is based on a forked Linux kernel with no support from upstream or Fedora. We have no plans to include this or other Xen support in Fedora 13 or future releases."

(I need to point out that Red Hat has a vested financial interest in the success of KVM, so statements about it being "the best virtualization solution going forward" are to be taken with that in mind. However, that KVM is included in the kernel bodes well for it.)

Earlier this week, a Red Hat spokesperson told me:

Fedora logo
"We still support Xen guests, but we dropped the original hypervisor kernels several releases ago. There is experimental support for the newer Xen hypervisor under evaluation, but it's not part of Fedora 13 at this time."

And Ian Pratt, founder and chairman of Xen.org told me: "Fedora 13 is still supported as a guest on Xen and work is underway in Xen.org to add platform support to Fedora 13 post-release for anyone wishing to leverage Fedora 13 as their production platform."

When Red Hat contacted me to distance itself from the Fedora Dom0 project, I asked Red Hat two questions:

While you say you aren't supporting this experimental project, is it also accurate to say that the Fedora team "has no plans to support" Xen Dom0? Without Xen Dom0, doesn't that make usage of the included Xen hypervisor in Fedora 13 useless ... or maybe to rephrase, what tool is available to manage any Xen guests on Fedora 13?

And the answer is:

"Fedora has no plans to support Xen Dom0, and does not include the Xen hypervisor. We do still include the Xen libraries and userspace tools so virt-manager, our virtual machine management software, can administer remote Xen hosts, along with KVM hosts."

As a reader pointed out, since this is open source, if you want better support for Xen on Fedora, you are free to built it yourself. But here's hoping that Xen.org, or the users at Fedorapeople.org are willing to lend a hand.

Editors' Picks
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies