major.io words of wisdom from a systems engineer

Installing Fedora 16 in XenServer

Getting Fedora 16 working in XenServer isn’t the easiest thing to do, but I’ve put together a repository on GitHub that should help. The repository contains a kickstart file along with some brief instructions to help with the installation. If you’re ready to get started right now, just clone the repository:

git clone git://github.com/rackerhacker/kickstarts.git kickstarts

There are some big issues with Fedora 16 which cause problems for installations within XenServer:

  • the installer sets up a console on something other than hvc0
  • anaconda won’t start without being in serial mode
  • anaconda tries to use GPT partitions by default
  • grub2 is now standard, but it causes problems for older XenServer versions

My kickstart works around the grub2 problem by throwing down an old-style grub configuration file and creating the proper symlinks. This config will still be updated when you upgrade kernels (at least in Fedora 16). It also sets up a very simple partitioning schema with one root and one swap partition. A DOS partition table is used in lieu of a GPT partition table.

When you start the installation, be sure to review the README.md in the git repository. It has some special instructions for boot options to meet the requirements of Fedora 16 and the kickstart file.