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Xen 3.0 Virtualization User Guide
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6.1 Exporting Physical Devices as VBDs

One of the simplest configurations is to directly export individual partitions from domain 0 to other domains. To achieve this use the phy: specifier in your domain configuration file. For example a line like

disk = ['phy:hda3,sda1,w']
specifies that the partition /dev/hda3 in domain 0 should be exported read-write to the new domain as /dev/sda1; one could equally well export it as /dev/hda or /dev/sdb5 should one wish.

In addition to local disks and partitions, it is possible to export any device that Linux considers to be ``a disk'' in the same manner. For example, if you have iSCSI disks or GNBD volumes imported into domain 0 you can export these to other domains using the phy: disk syntax. E.g.:

disk = ['phy:vg/lvm1,sda2,w']

\framebox{\bf Warning: Block device sharing}
Block devices should typically only be shared between domains in a read-only fashion otherwise the Linux kernel's file systems will get very confused as the file system structure may change underneath them (having the same ext3 partition mounted rw twice is a sure fire way to cause irreparable damage)! Xend will attempt to prevent you from doing this by checking that the device is not mounted read-write in domain 0, and hasn't already been exported read-write to another domain. If you want read-write sharing, export the directory to other domains via NFS from domain 0 (or use a cluster file system such as GFS or ocfs2).

Xen 3.0 Virtualization User Guide
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