Xen 4.18 release

Xen Nov 21, 2023

At Vates, we're thrilled to share insights into the latest advancements of the Xen Project 4.18, the core engine driving our flagship product, XCP-ng. This release demonstrates that the Xen Project is well alive, and in fact growing on technological aspects, but also on its ecosystem and community, with a wider range of contributors. By the way, as a key player in this ecosystem, we're proud to contribute directly to the project's growth.

An interesting metric (which is only a good approximation via Git), demonstrates that Vates, via Oleksii, entered the Top 10 contributors for this release! Kudos to him, and we hope to continue that way, growing our participation inside the Xen Project.

The official announcement is available on this page:

Xen Project Releases Version 4.18 with New Security, Performance, and Architecture Enhancements for AI/ML Applications - Xen Project
The Xen Project, an open source hypervisor hosted at the Linux Foundation, today announced the release of Xen Project Hypervisor 4.18 with architecture enhancements for High Performance Computing (HPC) and…

In a nutshell, the 4.18 release of Xen Project marks significant strides in hardware support and feature enhancements:

  1. Enhanced ARM Support: the release includes the Scalable Vector Extension (SVE), Arm Firmware Framework (FF-A), and an improved memory subsystem, marking a notable advancement in ARM architecture support.
  2. x86 Architectural Improvements: there's extensive support for features in AMD Genoa and Intel Sapphire Rapids CPUs, alongside new capabilities like the Protection Key Supervisor (PKS) and bus-lock detection. This ensures better security and performance on Intel and AMD systems.
  3. Initial RISC-V and Power Ports: Demonstrating its commitment to broadening horizons, the Xen Project introduces initial ports for RISC-V and Power architectures, promising exciting future developments.
  4. New Hypercalls and MISRA-C Adoption: The release sees the introduction of new hypercalls and an increased adoption of MISRA-C rules, enhancing the project's robustness and versatility.

The Xen community is buzzing with ongoing projects and future plans:

  • ARM MPU and vPCI: Continuous improvements in ARM MPU support and PCI-passthrough highlight the project's dedication to ARM architecture.
  • RISC-V Development: The project is refining RISC-V support, laying the groundwork for more comprehensive capabilities in future releases.
  • Enhancements in POWER Architecture: The focus on the ppc64le architecture and Radix MMU page table initialization paves the way for broader PowerPC support.

Our involvement in the Xen Project extends beyond using it as the foundation for XCP-ng. We're actively contributing to the RISC-V port and have a seat at the Xen Board:

Vates joins the Xen Project
Vates, the European system management and virtualization stack company, announced today that the company has joined the Xen Project.

These roles underscore our commitment to shaping the future of open-source virtualization. You can catch-up on our RISC-V news in here:

New Xen updates on RISC-V
Explore our latest update to learn about recent advancements and challenges in RISC-V Xen’s development, including new implementations and promising progress in this new CPU architecture.

As XCP-ng continues to harness the power of Xen, we remain dedicated to contributing to and benefiting from this vibrant community.

Also, we're gearing up for an exciting announcement related to our participation in the Xen Project before the year's end. This development will mark a new chapter in our journey with Xen, reinforcing our vision of open, flexible, and powerful virtualization solutions. Stay tuned!


Olivier Lambert

Vates CEO & co-founder, Xen Orchestra and XCP-ng project creator. Enthusiast entrepreneur and Open Source advocate. A very happy Finnish Lapphund owner.