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Upgrading to v3.2

From the v3.2 release onwards the handling of the installation type has changed. The following options are no longer supported:

  • --debootstrap
  • --copy
  • --rpmstrap
  • --tar

Instead of these methods two new command line flags have been added:


This flag will now specify the installation type. Valid options are:

"--install-method = copy" This installs by copying a source directory recursively.

"--install-method = debootstrap" This installs with debootstrap.

"--install-method = rpmstrap" This installs with rpmstrap.

"--install-method = tar" This installs by untarring a file.


For the two installation methods which require a source (copy & tar) this option will be used to specify that source.

For example to install a guest by unpacking a tarfile the following is not vaid:

xen-create-image --tar=/tmp/tar.tar ...

Instead you should use:

xen-create-image --install-source=tar \
  --install-source=/tmp/tar.tar ...
Upgrading from v1.x -> v2.x

During the course of development several earlier mistakes were corrected, to make the software easier to develop, maintain, and extend.

This is mostly gone unnoticed, but several things have changed under the hood. This page contains a list of such changes.

Command Line Changes

The most obvious change to the xen-create-image script is the way in which command line arguments are handled. This is because this script is now mostly a wrapper around several other tools (see below for details).

There are two significant changes:

  • The --volume argument has been renamed to --lvm.
  • The --debug argument has been replaced by --verbose.

The other difference in the 2.x release is that multiple static IP addresses are allowd. Simple repeast --ip xx.xx.xx.xx for each static IP address you wish to allocate.

(When specifying multiple IP addresses the first one specified is the primary one; the remainder are added as aliases.)

Script Changes

In previous releases the xen-create-image script was a large monolithic script which was hard to modify, and hard to extend.

This has changed to make the code easier to manage, and make extending it easier. This is one reason why the new installation methods specified by --copy and --tar were so easy to add.

The new system removes 95% of the creation logic from the xen-create-image script. Instead it parses options, performs sanity checking, and invokes some helper applications to do the work:

  • xt-install-image - This script installs Linux, by several available methods.
  • xt-customize-image - This script invokes the hook scripts to actually customize the installation, to setup networking etc.
  • xt-create-xen-config - This small script creates the Xen configuration file in /etc/xen.

(The xt- prefix is shorthand for xen-tools.)