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VM Lifecycle

The following diagram shows the states that a VM can be in and the API calls that can be used to move the VM between these states.

VM lifecycle

VM boot parameters

The VM class contains a number of fields that control the way in which the VM is booted. With reference to the fields defined in the VM class (see later in this document), this section outlines the boot options available and the mechanisms provided for controlling them.

VM booting is controlled by setting one of the two mutually exclusive groups: "PV" and "HVM". If HVM.boot_policy is an empty string, then paravirtual domain building and booting will be used; otherwise the VM will be loaded as a HVM domain, and booted using an emulated BIOS.

When paravirtual booting is in use, the PV_bootloader field indicates the bootloader to use. It may be "pygrub", in which case the platform's default installation of pygrub will be used, or a full path within the control domain to some other bootloader. The other fields, PV_kernel, PV_ramdisk, PV_args, and PV_bootloader_args will be passed to the bootloader unmodified, and interpretation of those fields is then specific to the bootloader itself, including the possibility that the bootloader will ignore some or all of those given values. Finally the paths of all bootable disks are added to the bootloader commandline (a disk is bootable if its VBD has the bootable flag set). There may be zero, one, or many bootable disks; the bootloader decides which disk (if any) to boot from.

If the bootloader is pygrub, then the menu.lst is parsed, if present in the guest's filesystem, otherwise the specified kernel and ramdisk are used, or an autodetected kernel is used if nothing is specified and autodetection is possible. PV_args is appended to the kernel command line, no matter which mechanism is used for finding the kernel.

If PV_bootloader is empty but PV_kernel is specified, then the kernel and ramdisk values will be treated as paths within the control domain. If both PV_bootloader and PV_kernel are empty, then the behaviour is as if PV_bootloader were specified as "pygrub".

When using HVM booting, HVM_boot_policy and HVM_boot_params specify the boot handling. Only one policy is currently defined, "BIOS order". In this case, HVM_boot_params should contain one key-value pair "order" = "N" where N is the string that will be passed to QEMU. Optionally HVM_boot_params can contain another key-value pair "firmware" with values "bios" or "uefi" (default is "bios" if absent). By default Secure Boot is not enabled, it can be enabled when "uefi" is enabled by setting VM.platform["secureboot"] to true.

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