It’s a mistake to include Xen in a Linux distro

As the title show, it's a mistake to include Xen in a linux distro. Why?

Somebody would argue that Xen is a very useful technology. Xen does the virtualization work very well and many projects are using Xen which prove Xen is so great.

I'm not mean Xen is not good. However, just because Xen is a hypervisor that is based on another microkernel that is not Linux kernel itself. Linux distros that ship Xen today actually are running an entirely different Operating System kernel that most users even don't notice that. Xen should be a separate, purpose-built kernel, so it should never be a part of the Linux kernel. Isn't it strange that you think you are running a linux OS, but this 'linux' has a kernel that is not linux, which is another kernel. You take away the Linux kernel, how could you say the OS is Linux.

Just before the born of the Linux native virtualization KVM, the distros shipped Xen because there exist no other choices. Many Linux developers at that time know little about virtualization. Xen seemed a pretty easy and pretty good choise. So the Linux community made the hasty decision to ship Xen instend of investing in makeing Linux's own hypervisor. But now KVM has come for more than five years(since kernel 2.6.20 in Feb, 2007. KVM actually has a longer history. It was out there before being merged into mainline kernel code.) and KVM has proven itself to be completent to replace Xen. The most important thing is that KVM as a part of the linux kernel leverages the features of kernel like memory management, process scheduling and so on, making the kernel a perfect hypervisor. So, there is no reasons to ship Xen in Linux distros any more.


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