Programmers released version 3.0.2 of the Xen virtualization software Thursday, adding support for a hardware assist called AMD-V coming in . The feature makes it possible to run unmodified operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, even though Xen relies heavily on Linux.
Version 3.0.2, though only an update to the major changes that came when version 3 was released in December, is nevertheless something of a milestone. It's the version that will be the basis for the virtualization software that will ship with Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server, according to Novell.
Xen 3.0.2 is set up to work with the new 2.6.16 version of the Linux kernel, lead programmer Ian Pratt said in an announcement of the new version.
Virtualization today generally refers to software and hardware that let a single computer run multiple operating systems, which is useful for making servers more efficient and isolating desktop applications into noninterfering partitions called virtual machines. Xen, Microsoft and VMware all are working on software called a hypervisor that governs how those virtual machines get access to the hardware resources.
With assistance from Novell and its top competitor, Red Hat, Xen programmers are working to make their software an established part of Linux.