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Xen distribution for Zynq-7000
#1
Hello,

I was wandering if there is a Xen Distribution for the Zynq-7000 device family.

If anyone one knows about a project for Zynq-7000, please let me know.

regards,

Alex
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#2
Alex,

The quick answer is "no, not that we're aware of".

The longer answer is that the Zynq-7000 runs a pair of ARM Cortex-A9 processors, which are ARMv7 *without* virtualization extensions. Xen is supported on ARMv7 cores with virtualization extensions (like the A15), or on ARMv8 processors (like the A53's found on the ZUS+ family). Xen could be made to run on an ARM A9, but the effort would not be trivial and you wouldn't get the same level of performance because you would have to rely on the software to trap and emulate many for features instead of being able to rely on the HW to do it auto-magically.

Regards,

-Jarvis
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#3
The long version of "no, not that we're aware of":

There was a Xen ARM PV port which worked with ARMv5-7 processors (like the Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9), but the maintainers of the port just stopped responding several years ago.  The link below contains some information about it if you wanted to look into it more.

http://www-archive.xenproject.org/products/xen_arm.html

There also was an "EmbeddedXen" project which was partially based on this Xen port, but it hasn't been updated in quite some time, so I'm guessing it may be dead as well.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/embeddedxen/

So there are some options out there, if you're really committed to using that part and Xen.  However before they "died" we did do work with both, and it's not something that we would recommend if you have a choice to use a newer ARM SoC:
  1. The performance is quite bad due to the PV overhead.
  2. It's not as secure as upstream Xen.  (Some memory access security was sacrificed for performance.)
  3. Both are based on old and heavily edited forks of Xen and Linux, and you'll unlikely be able to get any community support if you run into trouble.
     Nate
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