If you’ve been testing XenServer or have been working with the free version for a while, you’ll soon realise that it is little limited in places due to the commercial licences required from Citrix to use some of the features that I would class as fairly basic features, things such as VLANs, automatic updates, SR-IOV and GPU virtualisation to name just a few of the feature limitations. Thankfully Citrix handed XenServer to the open source world which is where XCP-NG Server comes in, this is the open source full featured version of the Xen technology. Awesome.
So below talks you through how to upgrade your XenServer setup to XCP-NG Server.
Download XCP-NG Server
Firstly download the ISO for the latest XCP-NG Server from here, https://xcp-ng.org/#easy-to-install
Create a Bootable USB Containing the ISO
If you are unsure how to do this, follow our guide on how to create a bootable USB using Rufus.
It kind of goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyhow. Make sure you take a full backup of your XenServer via Xen Centre to ensure you can recover if the upgrade fails for whatever reason.
Boot Server from USB containing XCP-NG ISO
Plug the bootable USB drive into your physical server and make sure your BIOS settings are configured so you can boot from the device. Then you can start the upgrade process which it outlined below.
Upgrade XCP-NG Server via Installer
Install XCP-NG Centre
You can continue to use Xen Centre if you prefer, but personally I’d always make sure you’re keeping Xen Server paired with Xen Centre and XCP-NG Server paired with XCP-NG Centre to avoid any compatibility issues as XCP-NG Centre will always be ahead in terms of features and functionality when working with XCP-NG Server. The team supporting XCP-NG Centre are making upstream commits to the Xen Centre software project, but these aren’t guaranteed to be accepted by Citrix and released as a new version.
You can download the latest version of XCP-NG Centre from here, https://github.com/xcp-ng/xenadmin/releases/tag/v20.04.00.32 (at the time of writing), you can see the .msi Windows installer at the bottom of the page.
If in doubt, download this one, then if there is an update waiting you should see a notification in the Notifications part of XCP-NG Centre once you open it up. They don’t make it easy to find these download links and it’s made more confusing when XCP-NG Centre is also referred to as xenadmin on GitHub.