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The Xen shell is a simple console application which allows you to easily allow a user to control multiple Xen instances, without the overhead of a web-based control panel.

Using this shell users may:

  • Boot/Shutdown their Xen guest.
  • Reboot their Xen guest.
  • Connect to the serial console of their runing Xen guest.
  • Reimage their system to a pristine state, via xen-tools.
  • Manipulate their reverse DNS information
  • Change their login password.

The shell features command history, command completion, and integrated help.

It is ideal for a hosting company which wishes to offer Xen-based "virtual machine" to clients. By using the xen-shell clients can maintain their own instance, without needing to ask for support staff to reboot/shutdown, or otherwise maintain the runnings system.

Security is improved since the client cannot gain access to the host system, and can only control their instance, and not those belonging to other clients.

Reimaging Support

If your users get into a muddle, or wish to otherwise "scrap" their Xen instance you can take advantage of the built-in reimaging support to allow them to reset their Xen instance to a pristine/new state.

This support relies upon a working installation of xen-tools.

Reverse DNS

The xen-shell has integrated support for allowing users to manipulate their reverse DNS.

This support isn't tied to a particular DNS server, since it only manipulates simple text files, but it does allow a lot of flexability.