The Windows 7 Beta is out in the wild and what better way to try it out than running it as a virtual machine. While the latest version of XenServer shipped well before Windows 7 beta in this month’s first XenServer Tips and Tricks you can learn how to get it running on Citrix XenServer 5.

Let me start out by saying this is totally unsupported and experimental. You could blow-up your server, your server room, your building, your car, you know the drill. If you call support they would likely laugh and hang up the phone.

There are two ways to do this, the easy way and the hard way. Just do it the easy way unless you want to know the details.

The Easy Way

The easy way is to download the Windows 7 Beta x64 Experimental Template.

After downloading and unzipping the template follow the steps below.

Getting it onto your XenServer system:

1.       In XenCenter right-click on your server and select Import VM
2.       Browse to the file and select Exported Template as the Import Type

Building a Windows 7 Beta VM:

1.       Once the template is installed just click New VM button and the Windows 7 Template will show up at the top of the first screen
2.       The rest is business as usual just be sure to add a disk drive and a NIC as you are creating the VM

The Hard Way

The hard way is to create a new VM using the existing Windows Server 2008 x64 template. Create a new VM and point to your Windows 7 Beta install source. On the last page of the New VM wizard in XenCenter unclick the “Start VM Automatically” option. Also make a note of the VM name as you will need this in a second.

We run Windows 2008 enlightened on the XenServer 5 platform. Enlightened means the VM knows it’s running virtual and we can make it run faster! Microsoft is still working on the Windows 7 Beta so we just need to turn off the enlightenment support for now to get it working.

So to do this we need to use the XenServer CLI. Just click on your XenServer system in the left hand tree view of XenCenter and select the console tab and get ready to type a few command lines. Hit <enter> to get to the command prompt and then type xe vm-list name-label=<Your VM name Here>, just type the first few letters and hit the <tab> key to save having to type the whole name. Now you will get a display showing you the unique ID (uuid) of your virtual machine. Make a note of the UUID and then type xe vm-param-set uuid=<uuid of your VM> platform:viridian=false. Then you can go startup the VM and start installing Windows 7 Beta.