NetBSD Problem Report #39189

From  Tue Jul 22 04:02:44 2008
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Subject: Xen3 network I/O performance enhancement
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>Number:         39189
>Category:       pkg
>Synopsis:       Xen3 network I/O performance enhancement
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       non-critical
>Priority:       low
>Responsible:    bouyer
>State:          closed
>Class:          change-request
>Submitter-Id:   net
>Arrival-Date:   Tue Jul 22 04:05:00 +0000 2008
>Closed-Date:    Sat Feb 02 21:16:26 +0000 2013
>Last-Modified:  Sat Feb 02 21:16:26 +0000 2013
>Originator:     Randolf Richardson
>Release:        NetBSD v4.99.70
Inter-Corporate Computer & Network Services, Inc.
NetBSD 4.99.70 NetBSD 4.99.70 (XEN3_DOM0) #0: Mon Jul 21 04:34:08 PDT 2008  builds@wb38:/home/builds/ab/HEAD/i386/200807210002Z-obj/home/builds/ab/HEAD/src/sys/arch/i386/compile/XEN3_DOM0 i386

Suggestion for additional package to enhance Xen3's network I/O when Microsoft's Windows is a DomU:  Add this package to the pkgsrc system:  XenWindowsGplPv


Having Windows work faster in NetBSD means more people will consider it for their solutions.  Windows XP Professional already runs very well in a DomU on NetBSD v4.99.70, and every extra little bit of enhanced performance will make a big difference (now if only the disk I/O could be improved when a file is used for the virtual disk).

...details from the aforementioned web page...

These drivers allow Windows to make use of the network and block backend drivers in Dom0, instead of the virtual PCI devices provided by QEMU. This gives Windows (in theory) a substantial performance boost, and most of the testing that has been done confirms that. This document refers to the new WDM version of the drivers, not the previous WDF version. Some information may apply though. 

Supported Xen versions

I am using Xen 3.1.x and 3.2.x from Debian for my testing. I tested with 3.0.x by mistake once and it crashed my Dom0 hard, so don't expect these drivers to work under anything lower than 3.1.x 

Supported Windows versions

In theory the drivers should work on any version of Windows supported by Xen. I have tested on XP, 2003x32, 2003x64, and 2008x32. I have heard of reports of successfully running on 2008x64 and Vista. Someone reported that they kind of had it working on 2000 after tweaking the ini file. 


The latest source is available from the xen hg repository (make sure you check out the wdm branch). In addition you will need the Microsoft DDK, version 6001 is what is being used at this time. See here for more info. 


Recent binaries are available from





Responsible-Changed-From-To: pkg-manager->bouyer
Responsible-Changed-When: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 16:00:17 +0000
Assigned to a Xen pkgsrc maintainer.
Usually we just add the suggestions to doc/TODO.
I didn't see a pkgsrc entry in this PR, so this could be closed.

State-Changed-From-To: open->feedback
State-Changed-When: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 07:07:33 +0000
Is this still relevant? :-/

From: Manuel Bouyer <>
Subject: Re: pkg/39189 (Xen3 network I/O performance enhancement)
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 09:42:36 +0100

 On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 07:07:36AM +0000, wrote:
 > Synopsis: Xen3 network I/O performance enhancement
 > State-Changed-From-To: open->feedback
 > State-Changed-By:
 > State-Changed-When: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 07:07:33 +0000
 > State-Changed-Why:
 > Is this still relevant? :-/

 It is. I've never been able to get the windows GPL drivers to work with
 a NetBSD dom0. someone with some windows drivers programming/debugging
 clues could help ...

 Manuel Bouyer <>
      NetBSD: 26 ans d'experience feront toujours la difference

State-Changed-From-To: feedback->open
State-Changed-When: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:44:24 +0000
yes, still relevant

State-Changed-From-To: open->closed
State-Changed-When: Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:16:26 +0000
The drivers have to be installed on the windows side, so it's not pkgsrc's job.
I've funally been able to get them working with a NetBSD dom0:\
- the driver fails on a stock win XP or 2003; even installing only the Xen PCI
  driver gives a blue screen on reboot.    
- After installing the service pack 2 *and* .net framework 2.0 I could
  install the drivers.                          
- the first installation of the drivers hang: Xen PCI is installed, the
  block and network devices are found, but no drivers are installed for
  them and the MSI seems to stall here. reboot the domU, restart the driver
  install, and this time the installation will complete. After a second reboot,
  you'll have working PV drivers.                     


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