Compiling Xen From Source
The purpose of this document is to guide users through the process of installing Xen from source (either from the tarball releases or from a source code repository).
This document was written targeting the Xen 4.2 release, but an attempt will be made to point out differences from previous releases where relevant.
An assumption is made of some familiarity with the general concept of building software and with using your distributions package manager to install relevant build tools etc.
Why Build From Source?
Before embarking on the process of building Xen yourself it is worth considering whether this is even necessary. There are many distributions around these days which have excellent support for Xen available right from the package manager, a partial list is available at Dom0 Kernels for Xen. Where possible it is highly recommended that users consume Xen via their chosen distribution wherever possible. Using the distribution packaging will give you a much more integrated solution and allow you to take advantage of all the resources provided by your distribution (e.g. documentation, support etc). You can find articles on how to install Xen on various distributions in.
The remainder of this document assumes that you have considered this and really do want to build from source.
Obtaining the Xen Source Code
The two primary ways to obtain the Xen source code for a stable release are via the release tarballs or by cloning from the appropriate Mercurial source repository. For the development version of Xen (xen-unstable) Mercurial is the only source.
The latest Xen releases are linked to from The Xen.org download page
Each stable release has it's own branch xen-X.Y-testing.hg (e.g. xen-4.1-testing.hg where code intended for the next stable point release is added. The Xen development branch is known as xen-unstable and has its own repository xen-unstable.hg.
Each Xen stable and development branch is available in two forms either tested (the main branch) or untested (the staging branch). When commits are made to a Xen tree they are first added to the staging branch and only propagated to the main branch after automated testing has passed. For example all commits to the Xen development branch will initially appear in staging/xen-unstable.hg and then propagate to xen-unstable.hg after automated testing has completed. The automated test results are posted to the xen-devel mailing list.
Xen Repositories contains information on the various repositories for the stable and development branches.
To clone the source first install the mercurial tool using your distributions package manager. Then execute the following command:
$ hg clone URL
Where URL is the URL of the repository you wish to clone. e.g. to clone the latest tested xen-unstable tree:
$ hg clone http://xenbits.xen.org/hg/xen-unstable.hg
Or to clone the staging (e.g. not yet tested) xen-unstable tree:
The README at the top level of the Xen source code tree contains a quick-start guide to building Xen. This provides a quick overview of the process and requirements for building Xen and will generally contain the most up to date information specific to the particular Xen tree you are looking at. After obtaining the Xen source this is the first document you should read.
Building from Source
Configure and Build