Saturday, October 06, 2007

Xen and Fedora 7, Pt 2

There is another issue with Fedora 7. If you elect an interactive install via virt-manager, you do no have the option of a text based install. It must be graphical. Occasionally, however, these have failed.

The problem is one of memory allocation. Under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, you must specify more than 512M for an installation. Anything less results in a "not supported" error. On Fedora 7, virt-manager defaults to 500M. If you choose a lesser value, you are threading on thin ice.

There seems to be a sweet spot between 396M and 431M. With memory set to less than 448M, the installation warns that there is not much physical memory, and asks if it can eneable the swap partition for use by the installer. At 256M the system will freeze and the install fails. At 431M, the installation proceeds. Several attempts as 293M resulted in about 50% freezes.

Sorry to say I didn't bang away at it long enough to isolate the exact break point, but there is really no need. If you are critical on memory, and must do an interactive install (as opposed to kickstart), install at 448M, and bump down for production.

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