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New PC

It has been a long time since I had a stationary PC.

The idea is to build a single physical machine, capable of running several operating systems simultaneously, each of them having direct access to its hardware. This task is achievable with Xen hypervisor, using PCI passthroug.

3 VMs are planned:

  • Dom0 Linux - Host OS, having direct access to all hardware, used as primary Linux machine. Should use MB onboard VGA, one of USB controllers for keyboard/mouse, and one of gigabit Ethernet controllers. Debian Wheezy.
  • DomU HVM Win7 - HVM (fully virtualised) guest, with VT-d PCI pass-throug for secondary VGA, second USB controller for keyboard/mouse, and second gigabit Ethernet controller. Microsoft Windows 7.
  • DomU PV Linux - Paravirtualised Linux guest, running headless (no pass-through and access to phisical VGA or keyboard/mouse), acting as server. Debian Wheezy.

Both VGA adapters and USB controllers connected to KVM, to share single monitor,keyboard and mouse.

Hardware requirements: Intel VT-d / IOMMU support in CPU, Motherboard, BIOS and GPU.

Parts (list was influenced heavily by local availability):

  • MB: ASRock Z87 EXTREME6 (link)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4570, Quad Core, up to 3.60GHz, 6MB cache, LGA1150, 84W (link)
  • RAM: DDR3 Kingston HyperX Black 16GB (2x8GB) (link)
  • CASE: Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl (link)
  • PSU: Fractal Design Integra R2 750W (link)
  • CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo (link)
  • SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 120GB SATA3, 540/410MBs, 7mm (link)
  • HDD: 2x WD Red WD20EFRX 3.5" 2TB SATA3 64MB IntelliPower (link)
  • GPU: Asus AMD Radeon HD6450 EAH6450 SILENT/DI/1GD3(LP) (link)
  • KVM: Edimax EK-UAK2 2 Ports USB KVM Switch (link)


  • some high-end GPU to play with math/crypto