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Chapter 2. System Requirements

XenServer requires at least two separate physical x86 computers: one to be the XenServer Host, and the other to run the XenCenter application. The XenServer Host machine is dedicated entirely to the task of hosting VMs and is not used for other applications. The computer that runs XenCenter can be any general-purpose Windows computer that satisfies the hardware requirements, and can be used to run other applications simultaneously.

2.1. XenServer Host system requirements

The XenServer Host is a 64-bit x86 server-class machine devoted to hosting multiple VMs. This machine runs a stripped-down Linux operating system with a Xen-enabled kernel which controls the interaction between the virtualized devices seen by VMs and the physical hardware.

The following are the system requirements for the XenServer Host:

CPUsOne or more 64-bit x86 CPU(s), 1.5 GHz minimum, 2 GHz or faster multicore CPU recommended

To support VMs running Windows, an Intel VT or AMD-V x86-based system with one or more (up to 32) CPUs is required.


To run Windows VMs, hardware support for virtualization must be enabled on the XenServer Host. This is an option in the BIOS. It is possible your BIOS might have virtualization support disabled. Consult your BIOS documentation for more details.

To support VMs running supported paravirtualized Linux, a standard x86-based system with one or more (up to 32) CPUs is required.

RAM 1 GB minimum, 2 GB or more recommended
Disk spaceLocally attached storage (PATA, SATA, SCSI) with 16 GB of disk space minimum, 60 GB of disk space recommended

General disk space requirements for VMs:

  • Product installation creates two 4GB partitions for the XenServer Host Control Domain; remaining space is available for VMs.
  • VMs based on the Debian templates are allocated a 1GB root device, and a 512MB swap device.
  • VMs made using the RHEL 4.1 or 4.4 vendor installers are allocated a root device of 8 GB.
Network100 Mbit/s or faster network interface card (NIC). A gigabit NIC is recommended for faster P2V and export/import data transfers and for live relocation of VMs.