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Open Source Projects, Tools & Apps for Xen

Cloud Orchestration & Management

  • AppScale: An open-source research framework for execution of Google AppEngine applications and investigation of scalable cloud computing fabrics.

  • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is an open source on-premise Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud software platform that leverages existing compute, storage, and network resources to create scalable, secure enterprise-grade clouds.

  • Nimbus: Nimbus Platform is an integrated set of tools that deliver the power and versatility of infrastructure clouds to scientific users. Nimbus Platform allows you to combine Nimbus, OpenStack, Amazon, and other clouds. Nimbus Infrastructure is an open source EC2/S3-compatible Infrastructure-as-a-Service implementation specifically targeting features of interest to the scientific community such as support for proxy credentials, batch schedulers, best-effort allocations and others.

  • Cloudstack: CloudStack is open source software written in java that is designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines, as a highly available, scalable cloud computing platform. CloudStack current supports the most popular open source hypervisors VMware, Oracle VM, KVM, XenServer and Xen Cloud Platform. CloudStack offers three ways to manage cloud computing environments: a easy-to-use web interface, command line and a full-featured restful API.

  • OpenNebula is an open-source project aimed at building the industry standard open source cloud computing tool to manage the complexity and heterogeneity of

  • OpenStack: OpenStack is a collaborative software project designed to create freely available code, badly needed standards, and common ground for the benefit of both cloud providers and cloud customers.

Fault Tolerance

  • DRBD (also see Using Xen with DRBD): The Distributed Replicated Block Device (DRBD) is a software-based, shared-nothing, replicated storage solution mirroring the content of block devices (hard disks, partitions, logical volumes etc.) between hosts.

    When a DRBD resource is used as a replicated Virtual Block Device (VBD) for Xen, it serves to make the entire contents of a domU's virtual disk available on two servers, which can then be configured for automatic fail-over. That way, DRBD does not only provide redundancy for Linux servers (as in non-virtualized DRBD deployment scenarios), but also for any other operating system that can be virtualized under Xen - which, in essence, includes any operating system available on 32- or 64-bit Intel compatible architectures.

  • Ganeti: Ganeti is a cluster virtual server management software tool built on top of existing virtualization technologies such as Xen or KVM and other Open Source software. It offers very easy management of systems with multiple virtualization servers and deployment of instances on these. It includes user transparent setup of mirrored disks for these nodes with DRBD, running commands on all cluster nodes and distributing files on the whole cluster.

  • Remus (also see Remus Wiki): Transparent VM fault tolerance

  • SecondSite: The SecondSite project (now part of Remus) is exploring applications of virtualization in order to make existing computer software highly available and disaster tolerant. Using a highly optimized form of live migration, we continuously replicate the memory image of a running virtual machine onto a second physical computer. In the case of failure, this second computer can seamlessly continue execution so fast that open network connections remain functional. The major benefit of this approach is that applications and operating systems don't have to be modified in order to benefit from HA -- this sourse of complexity has been a major limitation in providing HA and DR in existing systems.


  • ConVirt Open Source: ConVirt Open Source is the leading open source product for managing Xen, enabling you to standardize and proactively manage your virtualized environment in a centralized fashion.

  • Virtual High Performance Computing Environment (VHPCE): The VHPCE core concept and component is virtual cluster, the management unit is virtual cluster or virtual node instead of physical node. Features includes customizing virtual cluster, monitor virtual cluster, cluster template and the amigo file system for CAS-style storage virtual cluster cross cluster.

  • Xen Orchestra: Simple management interface to Xen infrastructure.

  • xnCORE Software Suite: A suite of tools to manage and monitor Xen Dom0/DomUs.

  • Zentific: A graphical managemement system for Xen virtual environments.

We are not quite sure which state the following projects are in as no home pages appear to be avalable. Please contact the project owners:

  • Xengine (via Joshua West): A management console written in Python via the TurboGears framework. All communications with Xen dom0's is performed via the XenAPI.The dashboard is dynamically populated via AJAX, on a dom0 by dom0 case basis. Also see: screenshots


  • Isolated Execution: Isolated Execution is a software reference implementation of the security through isolation concept.

  • Vyatta Core Software (VC): The Vyatta open source network operating system is a scalable, integrated, enterprise-class networking solution that delivers advanced routing and network security functionality for physical, virtual and cloud networking environments. The Vyatta network OS includes dynamic routing, stateful firewall, VPN support, Intrusion prevention and more in a package that is optimized to take advantage of multicore x86 processing power, common virtualization platforms and emerging cloud architectures.

  • XenAccess: A user-space library providing introspection for Xen. Introspection allows a privileged domain to access memory and other data from domU domains at useful abstraction levels.


  • Domain Technologie Control (DTC): DTC can take care of the management of your VMs. It also does Network and CPU graphing for all your VMs and allow your users to connect to it's VMs physical consoles over ssh (LGPL)
  • Parallax: Conventional provisioning of virtual machines is hampered by the need to create and populate volumes of storage. A more flexible storage system is needed to support rapid virtual machine creation and state capture. Parallax works by taking a single, cluster-available volume of storage and accessing it though a block management layer. Our block management layer is organized as a radix tree that enables dynamic block remapping.
  • Snowflock : leverages virtual machine (VM) technology to enable high performance computing on cloud environments. Cloud computing has the potential to simplify the deployment of high performance applications by shifting the significant fixed costs of provisioning and operating the data center to a third party service provider, such as Amazon or Yahoo, who offers computation and storage for rent as a metered commodity. VM execution provides security, performance isolation, and the flexibility of running in a programmer customized environment.
  • XenDebugger: A source level kernel debugger on Xen virtualization
  • xen-shell: 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.
  • xen-tools: A set of tools to ease and automated installation of Xen guest domains
  • Xway: A module for point2point inter-domain TCP/IP networking having high-performance and low cpu-utilization(netfront - netfront)

Virtual Desktop Solutions

  • Qubes: Qubes is an open source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. Qubes is based on Xen, X Window System, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications and utilize most of the Linux drivers. In the future it might also run Windows apps.


  • ChromiumOS64: Chromioum OS64 Project is an unofficial port of the orginial Google's Chromium OS project (aka Google Chrome OS) to the x86_64 64 bit architecture. This project also involves the creation of a Xen DomU running this ported Chromium OS64.

  • EmbeddedXEN: EmbeddedXEN is an academic project and consists of a single multi-kernel ARM-target binary image. Proof-of-concepts and performance evaluation in the context of embedded virtualization are the primary objectives of this project.

  • Erlang on Xen: Erlang on Xen is a highly compatible Erlang VM capable of running as Xen guest OS. We have been running Erlang on the bare virtual iron since 2011.

    With Erlang on Xen, in less than 100 milliseconds after the launch a new node starts to run the application code. Its startup latency is thus 100-1000 times lower than that of a typical Linux + Erlang VM combo. The overall performance does not suffer - Erlang on Xen repeatedly scores better in Estone tests than the standard Erlang (Erlang/OTP 15B). Coupled with modest resource consumption - image sizes start with a nominal 1M - Erlang on Xen paves the way to zero footprint clouds, clouds that provision instances after the request for processing has been received

  • Mirage: Mirage is an exokernel for constructing secure, high-performance network applications across a variety of cloud computing and mobile platforms. Code can be developed on a normal OS such as Linux or MacOS X, and then compiled into a fully-standalone, specialised microkernel that runs under the Xen hypervisor. Since Xen powers most public cloud computing infrastructure such as Amazon EC2, this lets your servers run more cheaply, securely and finer control than with a full software stack.

  • The Haskell Lightweight Virtual Machine (HaLVM): The HaLVM allows you to run Haskell programs on bare (virtual) metal - inside a Xen domain, without a host operating system.

    To put it another way: the HaLVM allows you to run a web server, or key manager, or a pod of virtual machines comprising a IPSec network stack, or anything you can write in Haskell - without an operating system weighing you down. Because a HaLVM has a small footprint, it requires fewer resources and boots in milliseconds. And you can fit a lot more on them on your Xen host.

    Not only do HaLVMs boot faster than most virtual machines, they are also arguably safer. For one, they do not suffer from the complexity and inherent bugginess of the operating system layer and all of its associated vulnerabilities. And, most of the HaLVM is written in Haskell, a higher-order, pure functional language in which it is literally impossible to express many common bugs (such as NULL pointer dereference, or buffer overflow).

  • RT-XEN: The RT-XEN project extends Xen, the most widely used open-source virtual machine manager, to support real-time systems. RT-XEN uses hierarchical scheduling theory to bridge the gap between virtualization and real-time systems by introducing schedulers in Xen that are compatible with schedulers in guest operating systems. RT-XEN represents a promising step toward composable real-time systems by facilitating system integration for real-time applications and can serve as an open-source platform for evaluating hierarchical real-time scheduling algorithms in the future.

Projects on SourceForge

You can also find Xen projects by searching SourceForge (sorted by latest release). Note that an older list of projects and when they were started is available here.

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