XenServer Tools provides high performance Windows drivers and a management agent, enhancing disk and network performance for XenServer VMs. For more information, see XenServer PV drivers – XenServer Tools.
XenServer Tools must be installed for each virtual machine (Windows and Linux) in order to be able to use the xe CLI or XenCenter, and VM performance will be significantly lowered unless the tools are installed. Without the tools installed, you will not be able to do any the following:
- Cleanly shut down, reboot or suspend a VM.
- View VM performance data in XenCenter.
- Migrate a running VM (via XenMotion).
- Create quiesced snapshots or snapshots with memory (checkpoints), or revert to snapshots.
- Adjust the number of vCPUs on a running Linux VM (Windows VMs require a reboot for this to take effect).
Important: Running a VM without installing the XenServer Tools is not a supported configuration.
Finding out if a VM has XenServer Tools installed
You can find out if XenServer Tools are installed on a VM by looking at the Virtualization state reported on the VM’s General tab.
- Optimized (version n.n installed) – the most up-to-date version of XenServer Tools is installed.
- Tools not installed – XenServer Tools is not currently installed on the VM. You can click on this status message to install the latest version from the XenServer Tools ISO.
- Tools out of date (version x.y installed) – the VM has an old version of XenServer Tools installed, from an earlier XenServer release. For a Windows VM, you can click on this status message to switch to the VM console, load the Tools ISO, and launch the Tools installation wizard; for Linux VMs, clicking the status text switches to the VM console and loads the Tools ISO, and you can then mount the ISO and manually run the installation, as described below.
Installing XenServer Tools on Windows VMs
Important: Note that installing XenServer Tools will cause any media in the virtual machine’s CD/DVD-drive to be ejected. Do not attempt to install XenServer Tools if the virtual machine’s CD/DVD-drive is in use, for example, during OS install from CD.
- Select the VM in the Resources pane, right-click, and then click Install XenServer Tools on the shortcut menu. Alternatively, on the VM menu, click Install XenServer Tools.
- Click Install XenServer Tools on the message dialog to go to the VM’s console and begin the installation.
- If Autoplay is enabled for the VM’s CD drive, installation will be started automatically after a few moments. If Autoplay is not enabled, double-click on the CD drive to begin installing XenServer Tools.
- Follow the on-screen instructions, and reboot the VM when prompted.
Installing XenServer Tools on Linux VMs
Select the VM in the Resources pane, right-click, and then click Install XenServer Tools on the shortcut menu. Alternatively, on the VM menu, click Install XenServer Tools.
Click Install XenServer Tools on the message dialog to go to the VM’s console.
As the root user, mount the image into the VM:
mount /dev/xvdd /mnt
Execute the installation script as the root user:
If the kernel has been upgraded, or the VM was upgraded from a previous version, reboot the VM now.
Note that CD-ROM drives and ISOs attached to Linux VMs appear as /dev/xvdd rather than /dev/cdrom. This is because they are not true CD-ROM devices, but normal devices. When the CD is ejected by XenCenter, it hot-unplugs the device from the VM and the device disappears. This is different from Windows VMs, where the CD remains in the VM in an empty state.
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