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SLES11sp2 Convirt Xen KVM

Published by Willem Meens
Based on SLES 11 SP2 64-bit x86
  • ReReleased version with the updated 3.x kernel

So what does this appliance do?

This appliance is offered as SLES 11.2 GNOME liveCD and includes a base installation of Convirt 2.1.1 that should be fully functional on boot.
This appliance also contains packages for OpenJDK and Icedtea as also packages for many common server services that can be configured at your convenience using the YaST administration tool.

What is Convirt you ask?

Convirt is an excellent open source web management tool that can manage standalone or clusters of Xen / KVM hypervisors.

The included Convirt 2.1.1 version makes it possible to manage Xen and KVM hosts and running guests from any supported browser (FireFox or IE browsers that have Java support enabled – at this time IE 9 must be run in compatibility mode) making it possible to manage from Windows, Mac or Linux systems.

  • Some adjustments made

This appliance has some small adjustments that make it more suitable for the SLES 11 environments I’m in.
One important one could be that I have adjusted the vm config path to point to /etc/xen/vm instead of /var/cache/convirt/vm_configs.
See /opt/convirt/changed-files-VMCONFDIR.txt for details.

So how do you go about testing this?

Download the LiveCD iso and burn it to CD and/or load it up in a VM and boot it.

After the live CD has booted, login as root (no password , you should set your own):

Open the bundled FireFox browser which should present the Convirt login screen.
Both user name and password for the Convirt weblogin are the default admin, change this right after logging in.
(Default webpage is at http://server:8081, additionally a redirect is done from standard 80 to 8081, so both should work)

You can start managing with Convirt by adding Xen or KVM host(s) and importing the guest configurations by right-clicking on the added host and choosing to import.

Some extra configuration will be needed on each Xen host to allow Convirt to import and control the Xen hosts as also to make it possible to initiate live migrations between Xen hosts that have been configured using shared storage.

Generally, adding these lines in /etc/xen/xend-config.sxp will do to get you started;
(xend-tcp-xmlrpc-server yes)
(xend-tcp-xmlrpc-server-address ’’)
(xend-tcp-xmlrpc-server-port 8006)

And for live migration the xend-reallocation entries should be adjusted accordingly.

To start, stop and check the status of the Convirt service: “service convirt [start|stop|status]

Both a mixture of Xen servers and KVM servers can be added, also running on different Linux vendor flavors. For this no added packages are needed on the Xen host, other than making sure the required Xend configuration is present and Convirt is allowed to access the needed ports.

KVM should work out of the box.


Finally, this LiveCD can be deployed to disk using the YaST Live Installer.

If you would like to comment and/or give some feed back : willem DOT meens AT neteyes DOT n l

Enjoy :-)

This appliance includes SLES 11 SP2 JeOS plus selective packages needed for the open source Convirt management tool as also other useful services to make your Convirt server into a one-stop management system.

For more information on Convirt, see the Convirture website page.


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Null Media

ISO image

Burn this ISO file to a DVD (or CD, if the space allows), and you'll be able to boot directly from the disc.

Release notes

This release has no release notes.

Technical Details

Appliance configuration

Basic settings

Keyboard: english-us
Time zone: Europe/Amsterdam
Language: en_US.UTF-8
Network: dhcp
Firewall: disabled


3 patterns, 753 packages
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Security summary


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Everyone's comments



I’m new to convirture but I think this is great because my company primarily runs a SLES/OES environment. I was wondering if you could explain how to get the templates working. Did you supply the drive image?


Willem MeensWillem Meens,

Hi Jim,

Good to hear. Hope this LiveCD method made setting Convirt up easy enough! :)

The templates in the appliance are meant as example (and for my convenience as I use those to deploy servers with that have been setup as template). What those template use are a zipped dd dump of a disk (LVM volume in my case) used where the template got installed on.

You can go about this is different ways, but I like having the OS system disk on a LVM volume as it gives options like snapshots and is faster than using file based disks.

To create the image, this is an example of the command I use to “dump” the template OS disk to an image file:
dd if=[/dev/VGname/VolumeName] bs=512k iflag=sync,noatime | gzip -2 -c > [/xentempl/file.img.gz]

The /xentempl folder is a folder that I make available on each of the Xen hosts so deployment can run from any host that has it.

Before dumping the template OS disk, all the preparations needed to generalize the OS portion (like sysprep for Windows and cleaning up configs and keys for Linux systems) were done before shutting down the template VM to make de dd zip.

Hope that makes it a little clearer.


Willem MeensWillem Meens,

One more thing of importance: as Convirt keeps a copy of the VM config and also places/maintains the text file for a VM, at least in the case of Xen, take care not to mixup VM configurations.

When using virt-manager the Xen store is used (each Xen host has it’s own little world and is oblivious – at this time – of what’s happening on another Xen hosts store). When clustering with Xen (multiple hosts using shared storage for the VMs), it’s already a best practice to not use the Xen store and stick to the text config files.
Convirt also works best with this strategy as it will force changes made in Convirt down to the Xen host running the VM at that current time.
When you migrate a VM/domU to another Xen host using Convirt, the latest text based config known to Convirt is also pushed to the receiving Xen host (at least from what I’ve seen).

So in my setups I remove the .xml based configs, make sure there are no definitions (for VM’s that have been powerd off) within virt-manager and either use Convirt or the “xm create [vm config name]” on the Xen host to start VM’s.

Added to it rsync syncs the latest vm config files between Xen hosts, as to keep configurations consistent across the Xen cluster.


Willem MeensWillem Meens,

This might be a clearer sum-up :

[not set],

this sucks mario’s ass

Willem MeensWillem Meens,

Hey Jessey,

Great constructive comment there!

What’s sucking Mario’s ass? The appliance, you don’t like Convirt or is it not clear to you what’s needed to get the thing working?
If you’re serious about it, would be good to know what’s bugging.


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