[CentOS-virt] Question on best way of configuring this

Mon Mar 3 02:27:35 UTC 2008
Ross S. W. Walker <rwalker at medallion.com>

Stephen Harris wrote:
> I have a Windows XP machine that I don't use very often, but I leave it
> powered up because once in a blue moon I need to remotely access it (eg
> from work), and to keep the Antivirus software up to date.  When I do use
> it at the console I'm mostly doing basic video editting or transcoding
> (eg from transferred TiVo content).  I sometimes play older games on it
> (eg Carmaggedon or Worms 2; I'm not into Warcrack, or City Of Heros or
> anything that needs a super-duper gaming card).

Carmaggedon, damn that's old. I remember that, Ultima IV, Duke Nukem,
yeah good times...

> I also have an aging Linux machine.  This is my main workstation,
> although I primarily access it as a server (ssh into it, screen).  I do
> occaisionally use the console as an X display, eg when scanning stuff
> or previewing my nroff documents before sending them to the printer.
> This machine has all my email, runs leafnode etc etc.

Old PCs make good X-terminals.

> What I'd like to do is run them both as virtual instances on a new
> machine (quad core duo) I've ordered.  What I would really like to have
> is something like the dom0 being on tty0, map the Linux domU consoles
> to tty1->5, allow the Linux domU X server to run fullscreen on tty6,
> and have the windows GUI appear fullscreen on tty7.

I have been looking at ways to try and get the SDL of Xen to use either
the Linux framebuffer, or direct VGA, but the Xen implementation needs
X. I think the Xen framebuffer is none standard due to dom0 actually
being a VM and there is a hidden Xen console that actually has direct
control of the VGA adapter.

> I really don't want to remotely access the windows GUI (it makes video
> editting harder, and game playing almost impossible), and would want to
> avoid displaying it inside another X session.  Ideally it'd feel like a
> "real" machine.

Yes you'll need the SDL Window for Windows game playing or video editing,
but I think you can bring that SDL Window up on a remote X-terminal (if
you have a good local network, gigabit?) or a local X-terminal in dom0.

> Does this sound like a feasible option?

I suggest doing a dom0 X-terminal displaying a list of domU X servers to
handle it and have each domU have X servers running advertising
themselves with their VM names, then use the X-picker to pick which
domU to connect to (can use audio server for remote sound). You could
run 2 or more X-terminal virtual consoles to get more simultaneous
sessions. Still can use the old PC as yet another X-terminal.

If you create a special xen bridge on the loopback driver you can
keep all this traffic localhost and high-speed.

There still may be a way to get the SDL consoles to use a virtual
console framebuffer or the the VGA/XGA adapter directly. If you find
out how let me know.


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