Debian Lenny aka 5.0 was released last month and you can try it out on XenServer 5 with only a few basic steps. The process is to create a Debian Etch VM which is included with XenServer 5 and upgrade it to Lenny.

I’ll give my usual disclaimer and say 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.

That said here is the process to create a Debian Lenny VM on XenServer 5. Debian experts will likely have done this many times and marvel at the power of the Debian packging system.

  1. Create a Debian Etch VM in XenServer 5 via the New VM Wizard
  2. Boot up the Etch VM and configure the passwords and hostname as prompted
  3. Login and edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file and change all the etch references in the file to lenny
  4. Type apt-get update at the command prompt, this should only take a few minutes to run
  5. After the update has finished running then type apt-get dist-upgrade at the command prompt
    1.  Follow any onscreen instructions that pop-up going with the defaults
    2. This process will take a little while depending on your download speed
  6. Reboot your system

At this point you will be up and running on Debian Lenny aka Debian 5.0.0.