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Choosing an OS for Domain0

With hardware support for virtualization, there are few limitations on what operating systems can run in a regular guest domain (without hardware support, operating systems must be ported to run in a guest domain). Even with hardware support for virtualization, there are some special requirements for Domain0, primarily to support sharing of devices among guest domains. Linux and NetBSD have both been fitted with the necessary hooks and tools. Work is in progress for OpenSolaris, and more operating systems are likely to follow suit.

When choosing an OS for Domain0, it is best to stick with an OS with which you are already comfortable. If you currently run NetBSD, using NetBSD as Domain0 would be a natural first step. If you have no particular preference for an OS, we recommend that you start with Linux as Domain0 initially. Currently, selecting Linux as the choice of Domain0 provides the system operator with the most documentation, driver support, and information about possible problems. Linux is the default and most widely used choice for Domain0.

Guest virtual machines run equally well on any type of Domain0. Thus, experimenting with a new Domain0 installation can be as simple as installing the new Domain0 on a second machine and moving over copies of your existing guest domains.

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