XEN: Passing command line arguments to Netware DomU's

  • 7000703
  • 19-Jun-2008
  • 27-Apr-2012


Novell Open Enterprise Server (NetWare based)
Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES)
Novell Netware 6.5 Support Pack 7
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 1
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 2


For troubleshooting purposes, or at the behest of Novell, a para-virtualized Netware DomU requires to be booted with a command line argument.


Para-virtualized Netware DomU's are not loaded using the DOS boot loader. Rather, they are booted using a special boot loader called xnloader.sys. While a user is presented with a screen allowing a user to select boot loader options, selecting an option will have no effect.

The steps described in this TID will help you boot a Netware DomU to enable troubleshooting in a Xen virtual environment.

supported flags:
  • -nl: boot with out the logo screen
  • -ns: boot with out statup.ncf
  • -na: boot with out autoexec.ncf
  • -u X: user space size = X

legacy xen configuration files

If you have not done any modifications to the virtual machine by using "Virt-Manager," YaST or "xm" commands where the hard disk configuration has been changes you then you can use the legacy file.
  1. Make sure the DomU is shutdown
  2. Load up the DomU with the switch
    xm create DOMU_NAME extra=FLAG
  3. The DomU is now started using the flags. You may access it as normal. When you are done, shut down the DomU.
  4. Start the DomU normally.
export managed configuration

This method is only recommended for advanced users and in situations where the configuration has been changed via "virt-manager", YaST, or "xm" commands that have altered hard disks and networking configurations.
  1. Make sure the DomU is shutdown
  2. Export the configuration for the DomU. Replace DOMU and domU with the name of your DomU
    xm list -l DOMU > domU.py
  3. Backup the domU.py file. This file contains the orginial configuration and will be re-imported.
  4. Open domU.py for editing
  5. Locate the the following line. It should be blank
    (args )
  6. Change it to inclue the flags. The following example disables startup.ncf
    (args -ns)
  7. Save and close the file
  8. Import the altered configuration file
  9. Start the DomU normally
  10. You should now be booted using the boot flag. Perform the required maintance tasks.
  11. After the maintenance tasks, shutdown the DomU
  12. Reimport the configuration file that was backed up
    xm new -f domU.py
  13. The DomU is now ready to boot normally