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Re: netbsd-5 on Citrix XenClient 2.1 (on an HP EliteBook 8460p)

At Mon, 06 Feb 2012 13:18:09 -0800, "Greg A. Woods" 
<> wrote:
Subject: Re: netbsd-5 on Citrix XenClient 2.1 (on an HP EliteBook 8460p)
> At Fri, 3 Feb 2012 08:29:02 +0000 (GMT), Stephen Borrill 
> <> wrote:
> Subject: Re: netbsd-5 on Citrix XenClient 2.1 (on an HP EliteBook 8460p)
> > 
> > After my 2.1 upgrade^Wreinstall, I've not had chance to put NetBSD
> > back on yet. However, my interest is mainly in getting it to run as a
> > PV guest rather than HVM. My work on generating .xva files for
> > XenServer and importing the relevant guest tools into pkgsrc has been
> > good. So it shouldn't be much of a leap to get it working under
> > XenClient too.
> That would be awesome!  NetBSD-5, running with one CPU and 2GB of RAM,
> and with source on one NFS server and build directories on another NFS
> server took over 25 hours to build release sets as opposed to less than
> 1/4 of that time when running on the bare metal (with 4 hyperthreaded
> CPUs and 4GB RAM).

Giving 4 CPUs to the NetBSD VM, and running it as the only other VM, but
running "top -s 1" and "systat -w 1 vm" in it on other wscons terminals,
while also running "xentop" in a terminal window on the XenClient dom0,
allowed me to reduce the build time from 25 hours to about 19 hours.
Not quite the improvement I was hoping to see, but perhaps to be
expected given that it is running under HVM instead of PV.

One non-scientific observation was that systat both seemed to show a
large portion of CPU time was spent in the kernel (system time), and a
relatively small amount of CPU went to user-level, except perhaps when
the final sets tar files were being compressed.  I.e. it looked to me
quite different than when I had run the same build on the bare hardware.

There also seemed to be a couple of odd pauses in activity where top
would report longer-running processes (such as the tar compressors or
signature generators) as not running and the NetBSD CPU use dropped
off.  I.e. top and systat still reported on their one-second intervals,
but the build activity came to a halt.  I think this was NFS hiccups,
but I can't be sure, though I don't remember such pauses when running on
the bare hardware.

I wish XenClient respected MBR partitions so that I could keep a NetBSD
install handy on the same disk for bare hardware tests again without
having to re-install both systems from scratch each time.  Perhaps I can
get an eSATA disk and use that for NetBSD, since there is an eSATA port
on this laptop -- dunno if I can boot from it yet though.

                                                Greg A. Woods
                                                Planix, Inc.

<>       +1 250 762-7675

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