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Frequently Asked Questsion

This page answers to both frequently asked questions and frequently anticipated questions.

1. Software Requirements

To be installed upon your Xen host system you will need the following:

  • Perl
  • The Term::Readline::GNU module.
  • GNU Screen
  • sudo

There shouldn't be any other requirements, although the code will only be useful when running upon a Xen dom0 machine. Note however that several features will be disabled if commands are not detected upon the host machine.

2. I keep getting errors "User doesn't have a Xen guest"

The intention of the Xen shell is that it will allow a user to fully control one or more xen guests.

Xen configuration files are located beneath the directory /etc/xen and may have any name. (Generally the configuration files are named after the hostname the instance would have once booted.)

To specify which local user can control a particular Xen guest you have two options:

  • Add to the configuration file "name = 'login'". This will allow the user with the login name "login" to control this instance.
  • Add "xen_shell = 'steve,bob,chris,paul'" this will allow the four local users steve, bob, chris & paul to control the specified instance.

So to allow the local user skx to control a Xen instance you could either ensure that the configuration file contains:

name = "skx"

Or you could give it an appropriate name and add the following:

name = ""

xen_shell = "skx"
3. Immediate Disconnection on Login

The xen-shell script will only work for users who "own" a Xen isntance, as discussed above, and for users who have sane usernames - which consist of characters "a-z", "0-9", and "_".

If either of these two tests fail then the connection will be closed, and if you're using a client such as PuTTY you might find the window closing before you can read the error message.

One solution in the case of problems is to login as root to the Xen host and run:

sudo su - USERNAME -s /bin/sh

(Where "USERNAME" is the user who is getting rejected, or kicked out upon connection).

Once logged in as the releveant user try running "xen-login-shell", and "xen-shell" - any errors should then be visible.

Any remaining questsion? contact the author.