Xen is a completely free and open source virtual machine monitor for x86 computer platforms that has been designed from the ground up to support execution of multiple guest operating systems in isolated environments on a single machine. It is one of the most powerful virtual machine solutions for Linux, UNIX and POSIX OSes.
Features at a glance
Key features include support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface), supports up to 4095 host CPUs on the 64-bit hardware platform, supports dom0 kernels compressed with the xz compression method, supports per-device interrupt remapping, as well as multiple PCI segments.
Among other supported architectures, Xen works well on X86-64, ARMv7 + Virtualization Extensions, as well as on the brand-new ARMv8 architecture. Xen also supports several Linux kernel-based operating systems, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE, Debian, OpenMandriva and many othes, as well as various BSD flavors.
Getting started with Xen
Xen can be found on the main software repositories of modern GNU/Linux distributions, which means that it can easily installed from your Software Center app. It is mainly distributed as a source package that can be optimized for a specific operating system/hardware architecture.
If you’re a hardcore Linux user and want to install Xen from sources, download the latest release from either Softpedia or the project’s official website (see the homepage link at the end of the article), save it on your Home directory, and use an archive manager tool to extract its contents.
The, open a terminal emulator app, navigate to the location where you have extracted the archive files (e.g. cd /home/softpedia/xen-4.5.0 - replace ‘softpedia’ with your username), run the ‘./configure && make’ command to configure and compile the program, followed by the ‘sudo make install’ command to install it system wide after a successful compilation process.