XCP-ng Footprint Size

  • Hello All,

    I have been researching Type-1 hypervisors ranging from XCP-ng, SmartOS, Proxmox, Hyper-V, etc. for a project that I starting up.

    For my project (really more of a prototype), I need to find the most lightweight Type-1 Hypervisor that I can, preferably open source, that needs to have an extremely small foortprint as it will probably load via iPXE and I am considering it to be ram-based for the hypervisor while keeping the VM's on hard disk, and network drives.

    In any case, I am trying to find out what the footprint size of XCP-ng is and what it would take to make it a small as possible since quick loading would be important.

    Any suggestions or information would be very helpful during this "design" stage.

  • XCP-ng Team

    If you search something close to the embed world, I would suggest Xen hypervisor on a lightweight distro available (Alpine Linux?)

    XCP-ng contains tools for general purpose virt platform, with XAPI, OpenvSwitch and other "large" tools useful outside embed world.

  • Xen and QEMU / KVM may be lightweight, but may lack functionality and easy tooling compare to XCP-ng. It depends what's your needs.

    And if you need something running in RAM, you need to look on VMware ESXi or SmartOS (which use KVM as hypervisor for VMs)

  • @ruskofd It reminds me of a Xen flavour that was booting up from PXE, virtualiron. I think it was acquired by Oracle.

  • I only know the Oracle VM product that is also based on Xen and seems a kind of XenServer, but it doesn't seems very widespread at all (and it's Oracle behind hum 😒) . Didn't know about Virtual Iron.

  • Thanks all for the information.

    I actually have investigated SmartOS a bit and think that it is a really nice hypervisor and has huge potential, but seems to have some limitations for what I am seeking. SmartOS supports ZFS by default and dealing with VM's is really easy, but it does not yet support PCI Passthrough or various filesystems like ext3/4, ntfs, etc... but does run ram-based and is very stable from that standpoint. Also, SmartOS now supports Bhyve as well as KVM for the VM's

    In general, I was going to try to use that one for the project (prototype) that I am working on until I realized that I wanted to have a bit more features that Xen (XCP-ng) seems to offer although I guess that the trade off is the footprint size being bigger.

    This made me start wondering if it might be possible to trim down XCP-ng a bit so that it could be reasonably small and work along the PXE-boot idea like SmartOS, perhaps. Didn't really want to go along the VMware path for the project.

  • If you want features, you can't trim down software indefinitely. XCP-ng is not that heavy compare to some concurrents. The regular ISO size is around 600 MiB, but you can also use the netinstall iso which is slimmed down to 100 MiB.

  • Yea, I actually agree in that it is really not that heavy compared to other hypervisors and I really want the features included that it offers.

    Thanks to all for answering this for me.
    Have a good weekend

  • XCP-ng Team

    Keep us posted if you managed to do something you like (or not) with it 🙂

  • Thanks. I sure will. Hopefully the project design will go well. 😀

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