Xen Virtualization - Managing Xen : XenMan—Installing and Running

8/28/2012 1:01:06 AM
Console applications are not for everyone and some people prefer to click around in a GUI to perform tasks. In this section we are going to use XenMan, a graphical management application for Xen. It is an open-source application and provides a wide range of administrative capabilities.

Time for Action—Install and Run XenMan

XenMan is currently not available in Fedora's yum repositories. We will download it from the website ( and install it.

  1. Use yum to install the following dependencies:

    • python-paramiko: A Python module that implements the SSH2 protocol for secure connections to remote machines.

    • gmp: Provides the GNU MP library for arbitrary precision arithmetic, signed integer operations, rational numbers, and floating point numbers.

    • python-crypto: A cryptography library for Python that provides a collection of both secure hash functions and encryption algorithms.

      # yum install python-crypto python-paramiko

  2. Install the downloaded XenMan rpm. It will give information about the missing Fedora Core Xen package as we are not running the Fedora Core 6 version, but the version of Xen compiled from the Xensource mercurial repository. Override and install the rpm:

    # rpm i --nodeps xenman-0.6-1.fedora.noarch.rpm
  3. Start the application:

    $ xenman
  4. Here is the application on startup. The initial screen displays a summary. Select the localhostnode to see the summary for the local server

  5. XenMan provides a right-click context menu that enables you to perform various management actions.

  6. Select a domain and choose Show Console from the context menu to display the console for the chosen domain.

  7. Select the localhost in the tree view to get more options:

  8. Open the domain configuration file by selecting the Open VM Config File option from the context menu. This will work only with domain configuration generated by XenMan as it adds a special header to the file.

  9. Add a new Xen server to the application by selecting the Server Pool node in the tree view and selecting Add Server from the context menu.

    XenMan provides the ability to provision Virtual Machines. Provisioning allows you to create new virtual machines quickly using predefined parameters. 

What Just Happened?

XenMan is a fantastic open-source tool that makes managing your Xen servers a breeze. It is under active development and already has a lot of useful features. It is a great way to start getting familiar with using and managing Xen. The GUI interface is simple enough for novices while providing advanced options for more advanced users. The roadmap for XenMan details some of the things that are in the pipeline for future releases (

Some of the main advantages of using XenMan are:

  • Consolidated Management: You can manage all your Xen servers and the guest domains running on them remotely. It provides a dashboard that can give you a quick overview of your entire Xen environment at a glance.

  • Easy Administration: You can perform most of your common administrative, provisioning, and monitoring tasks directly from the graphical console.

  • Secure access: XenMan uses the highly secure SSH tunneling for communicating with the remote Xen servers.

  • Provisioning: It provides a powerful Image Store provisioning SDK so you can define and execute your own Virtual Machine images and provisioning schemes.

  • Domain Consoles: You can connect to the consoles of your local or remote domains easily with one click.

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