Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) – Add A Disk To The Default LVM Volume Group

If you initially install XCP using only one disk you can still add more drives later if you find you need more room. XCP uses LVM storage to manage the partitions created for new Virtual Machines which allows you to extend the default volume group at your leisure among other things.

In order to add a new disk to your default volume group perform the following steps.

Install the new drive into the computer

Partition it using fdisk

After you create the partition change it’s type to Linux LVM:

Enter the menu option T to change the partition type:

Enter the menu option 1 to choose the first partition:

Enter the menu item 8e to choose Linux LVM:

Enter the menu item p to print the partition output to verify that it is set to Linux LVM:

Enter the menu item w to save the partition information:

Enter the menu item q to quit:

Now we can add the partition to the volume group.

Set the partition as a physical volume:

Find out the name of the existing volume group:

This should output something like this:

We are interested in this line:

Add the new physical volume to the existing volume group

Now you can verify that it worked by typing:

This should list the volume group and display it’s current size, which should indicate the size of the old volume group + the size of the added disk.

Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) – Local ISO Storage Repositories

XCP supports local ISO storage on an internal hard drive. It is not available as an option in the xsconsole – Disk and Storage Repositories menu. However you can set one up with a little bit of command line magic.

The best way to do this is by using a second hard drive in the server. Once installed use fdisk to create the partition.

Proceed to follow the prompts and create a new partition using the ext3 file system.

Once the partition is created format it:

Now make the directory that will be the mount point for the volume.

Mount it.

Then add the following entry in /etc/fstab so that the partition is mounted at boot.

Now let Xen know it’s there.

That’s it. You can now place ISO images in /var/opt/xen/iso_import and they should automatically show up in XenCenter under local storage. You will also be able to use them to install new virtual machines via the drop down menu.

Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) – License Expired After 30 Days

If you do a clean install of XCP 1.0 or XCP 1.1 Beta you will find that after 30 days and a reboot none of your virtual machines will boot. If you are using XenCenter to manage your server you will see a notification that your license has expired. This is a bug in the current releases of XCP, and should be fixed in future releases. To fix the issue with a quick hack do the following:

Stop the XAPI service

Edit the file /var/xapi/state.db and search for 'expiry'. The field should look something like this:

Change it so that it reads 30 days or more into the future.

Restart the XAPI service

You should be able to start all of your virtual machines again. You will need to perform this task again in 30 days until this check is removed from later releases of XCP.

Here is a small script that can be setup in cron to automate the task.

Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) – Linux Templates Will Not Boot To CD/DVD

It seems that the Linux templates in XCP 1.0 & 1.1 are all bugged and will not boot to a CD/DVD drive upon first boot of the virtual machine. This makes it very difficult to start up your installation media. In order to work around this you can either use the “Other Installation Media” template and fill in the blanks, or you can do a little command line magic once you create your virtual machine from one of the Linux templates. The problem is that the boot order does not get set from the template upon VM creation, so once you have the VM created do the following:

List all of the Virtual Machines currently on the server:

You should see a list that contains all of your virtual machines in this format:

Next check the current boot order setting by issuing the following command:

You will see something like this:

Notice there is no boot order setting listed, add one by issuing the following command:

Now check the boot order setting again:

And we see that it is now set to “dc” a.k.a. CDROM/DISK

That’s it! You should now be able to start the virtual machine and have it boot to it’s installation media.