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post #191 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

Great news!
I am going to include some scripts in my next release, so I will try to make one to accomplish this too. It shouldn't be too hard.
In fact, I am going to run out to fry's to get a cheap SSD to do a fresh install. I don't want to mess up a good thing (my working VM setup thumb.gif )

I look forward to this!

Im back to W7 using XMing now, but I will watch out for this and I have a 30gb partition ready for when I want to mess around with Xen again wink.gif
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post #192 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killhouse View Post

I look forward to this!
Im back to W7 using XMing now, but I will watch out for this and I have a 30gb partition ready for when I want to mess around with Xen again wink.gif

Hello Killhouse: I know you gave it a try. Can you tell me/us where you got stuck? And which graphic card you are trying to pass-through (you probably mentioned it before)?

I sincerely hope the new hypervisor 4.2 will make things a little easier.
post #193 of 824
I needed to try a little harder with pciback. But I probably should have not passed through the graphics card immediately anyway. I needed to bring my pc back to functional for the weekend, so I'm back on W7 but will keep watching this thread as I plan to do hypervisor VMs soon.

Currently I am using W7 and running Ubuntu on VMware with the disc image on a RAMDisk. With OpenGL passthrough and Unity (VMware unity, not Ubuntu unity), its pretty sweet... biggrin.gif
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post #194 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killhouse View Post

I needed to try a little harder with pciback. But I probably should have not passed through the graphics card immediately anyway. I needed to bring my pc back to functional for the weekend, so I'm back on W7 but will keep watching this thread as I plan to do hypervisor VMs soon.
Currently I am using W7 and running Ubuntu on VMware with the disc image on a RAMDisk. With OpenGL passthrough and Unity (VMware unity, not Ubuntu unity), its pretty sweet... biggrin.gif

Sounds like a nice setup.

As I said before, a second graphics adapter helps a lot. With regard to Linux performance on "cheaper" graphics adapters, I've been running Linux Mint with compiz and all the graphical bells and whistles on a 5 year old passively cooled Nvidia card using the proprietary nvidia driver and never had any performance issues. If you run graphics intensive games under Windows in the domU (with VGA passthrough) using your power graphics card, a less powerful card could be more than good enough for Linux. Unfortunately the proprietary Nvidia drivers don't work under Xen, at least not 4.1.2. I read somewhere that it's possible to get them working, but it would probably require kernel compilation etc. I haven't given it a real trial, though.

There should be good AMD cards too. Just don't get the cheapo AMD 6450 - it really sucks!
post #195 of 824
I was wanting to try this, and I wanted some suggestions.
Should i get the
i5-2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074
or the
i5-3570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115233

and for motherboard, the
GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128542
or
ASRock Z77 Pro3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157297

Cpu wise i'd just like to save the money if i can, and motherboard wise not sure which is the better choice. I'll be buying a 7950 for passthru since my gtx 560 doesn't want to work with it. (already tried on my current system to see if it would work)
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post #196 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyxcharon View Post

I was wanting to try this, and I wanted some suggestions.
Should i get the
i5-2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074
or the
i5-3570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115233
and for motherboard, the
GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-D3H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128542
or
ASRock Z77 Pro3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157297
Cpu wise i'd just like to save the money if i can, and motherboard wise not sure which is the better choice. I'll be buying a 7950 for passthru since my gtx 560 doesn't want to work with it. (already tried on my current system to see if it would work)

Re CPU: I think both should do fine. Check also that the HD 2000 or HD 2500 onboard GPU are supported - I believe they are. See also http://intellinuxgraphics.org/.

Remark: You won't save much if anything buying the cheaper i5 2400 versus the i5 3570. The 2400 has a max TDP of 95W, the 3570 a max TDP of 77W. If you run your system 24/7, you pay the difference in your electricity bill probably within a year or two.

According to http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/VTd_HowTo both boards are supported, though the Gigabyte is only mentioned with rev1. Search for user reports on PCI / VGA passthrough with these boards to make sure they work (also, check which BIOS release is needed).

Sorry I can't help more, as I haven't used either of them. Perhaps someone here can be more specific.
post #197 of 824
For those still reading this thread, I did some "benchmarking" under both Linux dom0 and Windows domU. The results are posted on this thread: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=112013 - see post 12 at bottom.

To sum it up: When both dom0 and domU are under load, domU uses up to the maximum CPU resources (vpcu=10 for a 12 thread CPU) specified in its config file. Spare CPU time is used by dom0. In other words, when my Windows guest is idle or under partial load, dom0 Linux will use the available CPU time when needed.
Code:
sudo xm top
shows me the CPU time as % given to both dom0 and domU.

CPU usage under WIndows seems to have been limited by IO performance (reading 16-20MB files and writing back 200-300K files to the same virtual drive residing on normal HD drives/not SSD). domU (Windows) gave about the same performance under load, with or without putting CPU and IO load on the dom0. While running a CPU intensive application (ripping a DVD) under dom0, it would dynamically use whatever CPU resources were available at any given time, up to the full 12 vcpus when the Windows domU was idle.

The only bottleneck I still have is network throughput in both dom0 and domU, when copying files from a local drive to a remote PC using Samba. Also, VNC sometimes gets stuck when connecting from dom0 (or remote PC) to domU, in which case I have to reconnect. My PCs are connected via a Gigabit WiFi router that also offers 150Mb/s over wireless, so there should be no bottleneck. My Xen machine has only one Gigabit Ethernet port, and I use a virtual bridge for dom0 and domU networking.

If someone has an idea on how to improve network speed (currently 4.2MB/s for file transfer between Samba shares), I'd appreciate your advise!
post #198 of 824
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

For those still reading this thread, I did some "benchmarking" under both Linux dom0 and Windows domU. The results are posted on this thread: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=112013 - see post 12 at bottom.
To sum it up: When both dom0 and domU are under load, domU uses up to the maximum CPU resources (vpcu=10 for a 12 thread CPU) specified in its config file. Spare CPU time is used by dom0. In other words, when my Windows guest is idle or under partial load, dom0 Linux will use the available CPU time when needed.
Code:
sudo xm top
shows me the CPU time as % given to both dom0 and domU.
CPU usage under WIndows seems to have been limited by IO performance (reading 16-20MB files and writing back 200-300K files to the same virtual drive residing on normal HD drives/not SSD). domU (Windows) gave about the same performance under load, with or without putting CPU and IO load on the dom0. While running a CPU intensive application (ripping a DVD) under dom0, it would dynamically use whatever CPU resources were available at any given time, up to the full 12 vcpus when the Windows domU was idle.
The only bottleneck I still have is network throughput in both dom0 and domU, when copying files from a local drive to a remote PC using Samba. Also, VNC sometimes gets stuck when connecting from dom0 (or remote PC) to domU, in which case I have to reconnect. My PCs are connected via a Gigabit WiFi router that also offers 150Mb/s over wireless, so there should be no bottleneck. My Xen machine has only one Gigabit Ethernet port, and I use a virtual bridge for dom0 and domU networking.
If someone has an idea on how to improve network speed (currently 4.2MB/s for file transfer between Samba shares), I'd appreciate your advise!

Nice results! The issues I was encountering were when 2 domUs were booted that share physical resources. Ideally with Xen you don't want dom0 to do anything except manage the domUs it is hosting. I have kept dom0 as a pretty bloated OS because it is how I got it to work. I am working on getting something like centOS stable. From there it should be possible to boot a PV or HVM domU for windows and one for Linux. Essentially the resources would be split between them all, but in your case you could assign 5 cores to each domU while letting the dom0 have 2 (or even one if you wanted).

As for the networking -- I had some issues too. Originally I had each virtual interface connected to a NAT, but that limited ports or forced a lot of translation. It was really inefficient, so I used brctl to manage my network and disabled network manager. Basically each vif gets assigned its own address on the network directly. It seemed to work well for me and essentially turned dom0 into a switch. My performance seems very fast, but I don't do a lot of samba or other network transfers. Internet speeds are not compromised in any way, and I have seen my speeds hit 3 MB/s download. (24 mbit). I would be happy to do some more testing once I get it stable again. It also gives me another issue to monitor.

Thanks as always!
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post #199 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

Sounds like a nice setup.

You could say that!

Untitled_zps2186bc28.png
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post #200 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

Nice results! The issues I was encountering were when 2 domUs were booted that share physical resources. Ideally with Xen you don't want dom0 to do anything except manage the domUs it is hosting. I have kept dom0 as a pretty bloated OS because it is how I got it to work. I am working on getting something like centOS stable. From there it should be possible to boot a PV or HVM domU for windows and one for Linux. Essentially the resources would be split between them all, but in your case you could assign 5 cores to each domU while letting the dom0 have 2 (or even one if you wanted).
As for the networking -- I had some issues too. Originally I had each virtual interface connected to a NAT, but that limited ports or forced a lot of translation. It was really inefficient, so I used brctl to manage my network and disabled network manager. Basically each vif gets assigned its own address on the network directly. It seemed to work well for me and essentially turned dom0 into a switch. My performance seems very fast, but I don't do a lot of samba or other network transfers. Internet speeds are not compromised in any way, and I have seen my speeds hit 3 MB/s download. (24 mbit). I would be happy to do some more testing once I get it stable again. It also gives me another issue to monitor.
Thanks as always!

Hello dizzy4: Thanks for the reply and suggestions.

Originally I was thinking along the same lines as you with regard to a thin hypervisor / dom0 (without desktop), and Linux and Windows in PV respectively HVM domUs. But like you I wound up with a working system using only dom0 Linux and domU.

Given the results of my tests and the performance I get, there is little I would want to change. Essentially I need all my CPU etc. resources under Windows, or as much as I can give it without creating a bottleneck in dom0. Occasionally my Linux Mint dom0 needs extra CPU resources, like when ripping DVDs or CDs for my media center. I use handbrake for DVD ripping (conversion/encoding) and it works real nice. It can also use all the CPU resources it can get.

In my setup with dom0 Linux and domU Windows, dom0 is able to grab free CPU time while my Windows guest isn't too busy. I wonder how that would work with a slim dom0 and two domU, where both fight about CPU time? I'm not sure one can "over-provision" vcpus to both domU, like giving each one 10 vcpus and let them fight it out. Perhaps it works in conjunction with dom0 vcpu pinning, where I would reserve 2 vcpus for dom0?

With regard to network speed, I also use brctl (actually the /etc/network/interfaces file). Internet speed in both dom0 and domU are perfect - couldn't complain. Only file transfers between Samba shares are slow, as well as the occasional (or frequent) VNC/RDP issue. I haven't tested file transfers between domU and dom0 via Samba shares, but I expect to get similar results. I uninstalled network-manager as it gave me troubles, and configured a /etc/resolve.conf file with the DNS entries.

Here is my /etc/network/interfaces configuration:
Code:
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto xenbr0

# I use a static IP for my NIC; you can also use DHCP:
iface xenbr0 inet static
bridge_ports eth0
address 192.168.0.120
broadcast 192.168.0.255
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.0.1
bridge_stp off   # disable Spanning Tree Protocol
bridge_waitport 0       # no delay before a port becomes available
bridge_fd 0      # no forwarding delay

# There are no IP configurations for eth0, it’s all defined under xenbr0:
auto eth0
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