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Xen 3.0 Virtualization User Guide
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1.4 Structure of a Xen-Based System

A Xen system has multiple layers, the lowest and most privileged of which is Xen itself.

Xen may host multiple guest operating systems, each of which is executed within a secure virtual machine. In Xen terminology, a domain. Domains are scheduled by Xen to make effective use of the available physical CPUs. Each guest OS manages its own applications. This management includes the responsibility of scheduling each application within the time allotted to the VM by Xen.

The first domain, domain 0, is created automatically when the system boots and has special management privileges. Domain 0 builds other domains and manages their virtual devices. It also performs administrative tasks such as suspending, resuming and migrating other virtual machines.

Within domain 0, a process called xend runs to manage the system. Xend is responsible for managing virtual machines and providing access to their consoles. Commands are issued to xend over an HTTP interface, via a command-line tool.

Xen 3.0 Virtualization User Guide
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