Other Alternatives for XenServer Management
XenServer is very easily managed through graphical applications as well as the command line. Management of hosts is even easier once the hosts are pooled as the pool master will manage many of the configurations of the other pool members for the administrator.
For those administrators who use Linux systems, sometimes booting a Windows machine is excessive for the purposes of connecting to a running guest.
As mentioned in the XenServer guest creation article, XenServer does have the ability for administrators to connect to the running guests via an SSH tunnel.
The author takes advantage of this functionality quite often and has written a script to help automate this process so there is no need for a Windows virtual machine for XenCenter.
This script allows an administrator to connect to a XenServer host, obtain a list of guests on the host, and then sets up a SSH tunnel and VNC connection to that running guest.
The script helps to alleviate any issue that may occur should the guest loose network connectivity and thus the ability to be managed remotely. Since the VNC session is done through the XenServer host itself, as long as the administrator’s machine can reach the XenServer, a console session to the guest will be available.
The script has been tested for a couple of months but any suggestions, optimizations, or issue reports would be greatly appreciated should a reader locate any issues.
The administrator can launch this BASH script in one of two ways (the following instructions assume that the script is in the current directory).
$ wget https://www.tecmint.com/wp-content/scripts/XenVNC - BASH script download $ chmod u+x XenVNC; ./XenVNC – Method 1 $ bash XenVNC – Method 2
Upon launching the script, the script will prompt for the necessary information for the XenServer(s) to connect to in order to obtain a list of virtual guests.
Once a guest is selected, a SSH tunnel will be created to the proper XenServer host and a console session to the guest will be created through xvncviewer.
The management of XenServer hosts and virtual guests is made much easier through the use of available tools. The Citrix approved XenCenter utility works wonderfully but for those administrators not running Windows, Xen Orchestra provides a clean web based method for managing XenServer hosts and XenServer guests.
For those simply looking to quickly connect to the console session of a running guest, the included BASH script will quickly setup a connection to the guest through an SSH tunnel to the XenServer host actually running the virtual guest.
Best of luck in the adventures of graphical XenServer management. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.