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Guide XenCenter


Guide XenCenter


The standard installation of XenCenter includes the client "XenCenter" for Windows users. With this client all virtual machines of a running host can be managed in a convenient way. In addition to the creation of virtual machines, the XenCenter provides more possibilities for the administration of a Xen host. This includes the creation of snapshots of the virtual machines as well as adding and manipulating the storage repositories that serve as memory for the virtual machines.

Installation and first steps

To use XenCenter, you should have XenServer 6.1 installed on your server. This can be done in the customer center. Select your server contract, choose "Re-Install" in the left menu and select the entry "Xenserver 6.1 - 64 Bit - standard" from the operating system list. Set the tick on "Bestätigung Reinstall". After approximately 30 minutes the installation should be finished and the server is available.

To install XenCenter on your computer, call up the main IP of your server in your browser. This site contains two links (one is the *.msi installer, the other is the ISO image for XenCenter). Click on the relevant link to run the installer directly. Please keep in mind that the .NET Framework 3.5 is required for the installation:

After the successful installation you can open the XenCenter over Start --> Program files --> Citrix --> Citrix XenCenter. In the main window you'll now have to add your server. This can be done with a click on ADD a server:

In the following window you have to enter the main IP of your server and the default password (you can find both data in the EUserv customer center). Please enter root as username. After clicking Add, the XenCenter tries to establish a connection to the server. Now your server should be displayed, together with the preinstalled storage repositories:

Creating a virtual machine

Since you are now connected with the server, you may create a virtual machine. In this example we create a VM, on which Ubuntu 12.04 will be installed. The installation process is similar to physical machines. But there are some important differences, because XenServer uses an own bootloader (pygrub). This must be considered during partitioning of the virtual hard drives.

Begin with a click on New VM in the menubar:

Choose the template Other install media from the available entries and confirm with Next. In the next steps you set the system specifications for the VM. This includes:

  • the name and a short description of the VM
  • the installation medium; here you can choose the Ubuntu image under Install from ISO library.
  • Place the VM on this server - Here you can choose your server.
  • CPU & Memory - Here you can assign the number of the virtual CPUs and the memory in MB. 1024 MB should be sufficient at first.
  • Storage - Choose the repository Local storage and set the size of the virtual hard drive. The default setting is 5 GB. This should be sufficient for our test.
  • Networking - If here is no virtual network adapter set, choose Add and the option Autogenerate MAC address.
  • In the last step a summary of the setup data is shown. With a click on Create Now the settings will be accepted and (with the tick being set under Start VM automatically) a new VM will be created and started.

Installation of the guest - Ubuntu 12.04

Since the VM has been created, the actual installation of the operating system can begin. Click Console in the right half of the window to see the graphical output of the VM via VNC:

Choose Install and confirm with Enter.

Next choose your desired language, country and the relevant keyboard layout.

A crucial step is the configuration of the network. For your VM to be reachable under an own IP like a physical server, you need a spare IP. The installer tries to configure the network over DHCP. Choose Cancel and configure network manually. If your server contract includes more than one IP, you can assign one to the VM. How to assign an additional IP is explained here:

Now enter the required data in the installer (IP, netmask, gateway). Use as the DNS server. Now the installer verifies the network. This may take some time. Finally you have to set the host and domain name. Here you can apply the presets.

Next choose the mirror server for the installation. Here you can use the presets, too. Now enter your username and password.

The partitioning of the virtual hard drive can be customized according to your wishes. Though you should notice that you use the /boot Partition as ext3 file system, because the pygrub bootloader of Xen can not boot the guest system otherwise.

After the sucessful partitioning the installation of the basic system takes place. Here you can choose, which software package is supposed to be installed. After the completed installation you must eject the ISO image. Click Eject and reboot the VM:

During the next start the login prompt appears. So your VM is installed and ready for use:

Cloning a VM

To keep the installation effort low and create identical virtual systems, you can clone an existing VM. So another virtual machine with the same specifications as the original will be created. The network configuration must be customized inside the cloned VM.

Verify that the VM is off. Right-click on the VM and choose Copy VM. The following window appears:

Choose Full Copy and the storage repository, on which you want to place the clone. Enter a significant name for the new VM. Click Copy and the cloning process begins and creates an exact copy of the original VM. The cloned VM will be displayed in the left menu.


Installation of the XenServer tools

With XenServer Tools Citrix provides a plugin for the performance monitoring of your virtual machines. Next to your VM the message XenServer Tools not installed should appear by default. Verify that your VM is powered off.

Choose the link XenServer Tools not installed. You have to insert the XenServer Tools image into the virtual DVD drive. Confirm this query and turn on the VM. If you are logged in, run the following commands (with root permissions):

mkdir /mnt/xs-tools
mount /dev/dvd /mnt/xs-tools && cd /mnt/xs-tools/Linux

After a successful installation you have to reboot the VM. This can be done with a right-click on the VM in the left menu and Reboot or with the command reboot inside the VM.

Under Performance you can see the capacity utilization graph for network, memory, CPU and the hard drives of the VM:

Activating the "Free License"

By installing XenServer a 30 day evaluation period begins. After this period you won't be able to run your virtual machines anymore. Citrix provides a "Free License" which is valid for one year and can be prolonged after that. The activation process is done within a few minutes:

Open XenCenter and choose Tools --> License Manager ... from the upper menu bar:

In the next window click the button Activate Free XenServer and after that Apply Activation Key:

Now navigate to the license.xslic file and select this. So your license will be activated and is valid for one year.