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Re: arch/xen is a bad idea

From:  Andrew Morton <>
To:  Andi Kleen <>
Subject:  Re: arch/xen is a bad idea
Date:  Fri, 25 Feb 2005 03:43:16 -0800
Archive-link:  Article, Thread

Andi Kleen <> wrote:
> In my opinion it's still an extremly bad idea to have arch/xen
>  an own architecture.

Guys, I'd like to kick this a bit further down the road.  Things still seem
to be somewhat deadlocked.

To summarise my understanding:

The Xen team still believe that it's best to keep arch/xen, arch/xen/i386,
arch/xen/x86_64, etc.  And I believe that Andi (who is the world expert on
maintaining an i386 derivative) thinks that this is will be a long-term
maintenance problem.

I tend to agree with Andi, and I'm not sure that the Xen team fully
appreciate the downside of haveing an own-architecture in the
kernel and the upside of having their code integrated with the
most-maintained architecture.  It could be that the potential problems
haven't been sufficiently well communicated.

Christian has mentioned that Xen would need to hook into the i386 code in
~60 places, which is somewhat more than Ian's 37-bullet-point list.

I get the impression that the Xen team are overly reluctant to make changes
to the arch/i386 code and to arch-neutral kernel code.  Don't do that - new
abstractions, refactoring and generally moving things about is generally a
safe thing to do, and can often make things better anyway.

So.  Has anyone changed position or otherwise converged?  How do we get
this resolved?

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