XCP-XAPI, XCP, Xen Mangement via API

Xen Management

Follow my story about how to control Xen Dom0 with console, web interface or api.


In 2013 and 2014 I thought it could be possible to have a Xen installation on Debian/CentOS/Whatever Linux.
This is easy manageable via web interface, management console (like XenCenter) or API.

Well, XenCenter+XenServer is the best, but feels like abusing software licenses.
A license key is still (XenServer 6.2 in 2015) needed to make it work. Xen / XenServer is opensource, why license key??

I think it is because XenCenter is not opensourced.


2013/2014 I had a go with XCP (distribution ISO and custom install on Debian Wheezy) and it felt like a good effort to replace the commercial XenServer (< version 6.1 ; which is now open source, already mentioned).

I do really enjoy hacking. But XCP/XAPI is not has unfortunately never become stable.

It is outdated, not under development, no efforts. Forget about it.

At least there might be XAPI that has been used in XCP and worked pretty well since it is compatible to what is built in XenServer.


There might be a way to make use of XAPI…
Feels good reading this: http://xenproject.org/developers/teams/xapi.html


Crawling docs – short excerpt

  1. Browsing XCP docs at projectxen.org it says:XCP is amazing, we are developing, but this site is outdated.
    Last edit october 2014 – maybe modified not long time ago because apache project takeover.
    Follow link to XenServer doc.
  2. Looking at XenServer doc:[..] previously released as Xen Cloud Platform and may no longer be relevant. [..] and XAPI toolstack being maintained as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project at xenproject.org. [..]
  3. Ok, XAPI has something in common with XCP, XCP is not in development anymore because XenServer and API has become open source.
    Where find the docs how to install and use it on a Debian or CentOS installation?
  4. Further look: http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/XAPI and http://wiki.xen.org/wiki/XAPI_Management_Tools
  5. Ok seems like endless loop. XAPI has greeaat improvements and possibilities, is easy to use and so on. Yes and it integrates perfectly in XenCenter Management. But HOW TO use it on a custom linux setup? No way. Give up.

Conclusion: Yes, XAPI is nice, and works well with several management tools (especially amazing with XenCenter). But it is and was only implemented in XenServer. Since all features of XenServer are now available (great!!) without payment, it’s getting really hot with its management capabilities and security concept.

XenServer is not comparable to VMware ESXi. Its only advantage is to support latest Windows versions better than Xen. Management is a mess in my opinion.

Webinterface (XenServer only, but using XAPI)

Have a look at Xen Orchestra or for demonstration try XAC.
No choice for me, but there might be more coming since XenServer joined the Linux Foundation.

Well, I know

  • XCP has become unnecessary since XenServer is open source.
  • XenServer can be used with management tool called Citrix XenCenter which makes use of XenServers XAPI toolstack implementation
  • XenCenter feels like abusing the license terms, because it complains about XenServer without a license key (quick registration and go)
  • Why is a license key needed in the world of open source software?

Well, I decided to stick to Xen xl management (successor of xm).
XenServer really has amazing features, but there are some issues with Hetzner network interfaces (tested version 6.1; manual firmware replacement needed, depends on hardware).


I really don’t understand all these outdated wiki xenproject pages. They should be removed since it is not possible to run a XCP in production environment or to use XAPI on debian/ubuntu/whatever. In 2013 I was already misled to wrong, outdated doc sites, installation guides and explainations. Now they do have another website layout, some modifications made, but same old, outdated content.

I just want to

  • Easy install my Debian
  • Setup as Xen hypervisor
  • Remote control via X-API with these amazing features that XenServer offers (cluster, moving virtual machines without interruptions to another cluster)
  • Create new DomU
  • Configure additional IP address for the DomU
  • Start working

For the XenServer 6.5 disciple: Install XenServer 6.5.

Start with base installation instructions for Xen standalone on dedicated Debian server.

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