XenServer

What’s new

Our goal is to deliver new features and product updates to XenServer 8 customers as soon as they are ready. New releases provide more value, so there’s no reason to delay updates. Through the XenServer 8 release stream, we deliver updates incrementally in waves to help ensure product quality and maximize availability.

Note:

If you previously used XenServer 8 as a preview, apply the latest set of updates to move seamlessly to the production-supported version.

If you are using a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops license with XenServer, you must change to a XenServer Premium Edition license. For more information, see https://xenserver.com/buy. XenServer is now an entitlement of the Citrix for Private Cloud, Citrix Universal Hybrid Multi Cloud, and Citrix Platform License subscriptions for running your Citrix workloads. Read more.

XenServer is back

We are once again releasing our product under the XenServer brand. For more information, see the XenServer website.

As a part of this change, some of the other names and terms used in our product and our documentation are changing:

Old term New term Notes
Citrix Hypervisor XenServer  
XenServer version format major_version.minor_version XenServer version format major_version The XenServer version format has changed to only show the major version. Where previous releases were numbered “XenServer 7.6”, “Citrix Hypervisor 8.2”, and so on, this release and any future releases show only the major version, for example, “XenServer 8”. XenServer 8 is based on the same platform as Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 CU1 and so shares the same major version. However, XenServer 8 is the newer version of the product and contains the latest features and fixes.
XenCenter x.x.x XenCenter YYYY.x.x The XenCenter version format has changed to be independent of the XenServer version. The new version format for XenCenter is year.major_version.minor_version.
Citrix VM Tools (previously XenServer PV Tools) XenServer VM Tools  
Pool master Pool coordinator The main host in a pool is now referred to as the pool coordinator in the documentation and in XenCenter. The older term is still in use in some xe CLI commands and in the management API.
Pool slave Pool supporter The subordinate hosts in a pool are now referred to as the pool supporters or supporting hosts in the documentation and in XenCenter. The older term is still in use in some xe CLI commands and in the management API.
Master password Main password  
Express Edition Trial Edition  

Frequent and easy-to-apply updates

In XenServer 8, the way we release updates to you has changed. Frequent updates are made available, enabling you to benefit from a more efficient release process that delivers new features and bug fixes at a faster cadence than was previously possible. Use XenCenter or the xe CLI to apply these updates to your XenServer hosts and pools at a time that is convenient to you. For more information, see Update your XenServer hosts.

  1. We make frequent updates available for XenServer 8 in our secure CDN.
  2. In XenCenter, see when updates are available for your pool.
  3. Using XenCenter or the xe CLI, initiate the process of applying updates to your XenServer pool.

For more information, see Apply updates by using XenCenter or Apply updates by using the xe CLI.

For a list of the latest updates available for your Early Access or Normal pools, see the following pages:

These pages do not list all changes in the Early Access and Normal channels, just a subset. For the full set of changes available, see the information in the XenCenter Updates view.

Windows 11 and vTPM support

Windows 11 is now supported on XenServer.

This feature also includes support for vTPMs. You can create and attach a vTPM to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 VM. For more information, see Windows VMs.

The vTPM provides a TPM 2.0 compliant API to applications in the VM. TPM 1.2 is not supported.

Licensing changes

The licensing behavior in XenServer 8 is different to that in earlier versions of Citrix Hypervisor and XenServer. We’ve changed the requirements for Citrix customers, added a new edition, and made some features available to everyone.

For more information, see Licensing.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix DaaS

In XenServer 8, you must have a Premium Edition license to run your workloads on a XenServer pool or host. This is a change from previous versions of Citrix Hypervisor or XenServer, which enabled you to use your Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops or Citrix DaaS license directly with XenServer.

For more information about getting a XenServer license, see https://xenserver.com/buy.

XenServer is now an entitlement of the Citrix for Private Cloud, Citrix Universal Hybrid Multi Cloud, and Citrix Platform License subscriptions for running your Citrix workloads. Read more.

To learn which versions of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (MCS) and Citrix Provisioning (PVS) are supported with XenServer 8, see Supported Hypervisors for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (MCS) and Citrix Provisioning (PVS).

Trial Edition

You can now try XenServer 8 for free with Trial Edition. The Trial Edition lets you try Premium Edition features, but in a restricted size pool of up to 3 hosts. For more information about the different editions of XenServer, see XenServer editions.

Feature changes

The following features, which in previous versions were restricted to Premium Edition customers, are now also available with Standard Edition:

  • Automated updates to the Windows VM drivers
  • Automated updates to the Management Agent
  • Live patching
  • XenServer Conversion Manager

Monitor host and dom0 resources with NRPE

Note:

The NRPE feature is available for XenServer Premium or Trial Edition customers. For more information about XenServer licensing, see Licensing. To upgrade, or to buy a XenServer license, visit the XenServer website.

In XenServer 8, you can use any third-party monitoring tool that supports Nagios Remote Plugin Executor (NRPE) to monitor host and dom0 resources, such as Nagios Core. XenServer integrates NRPE into dom0, enabling you to capture various host and dom0 metrics. For more information, see Monitor host and dom0 resources with NRPE.

Monitor host and dom0 resources with SNMP

Note:

The SNMP feature is available for XenServer Premium or Trial Edition customers. For more information about XenServer licensing, see Licensing. To upgrade, or to buy a XenServer license, visit the XenServer website.

You can now use SNMP and any NMS of your choosing to remotely monitor resources consumed by XenServer. With this feature, you can also configure traps to monitor your XenServer hosts, which are agent-initiated messages that alert the NMS that a specific event has occurred in XenServer. For more information, see Monitoring host and dom0 resources with SNMP.

Local XFS

You can now use local storage devices with 4 KB physical blocks without needing a logical block size of 512 bytes by using the new thin-provisioned local SR type: XFS. For more information, see Local XFS.

Changes to guest operating system support

For the full list of supported guest operating systems in XenServer 8, see Guest operating system support.

Added

XenServer 8 now supports the following new guests:

  • Debian Bullseye 11 (64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 22.04 (64-bit)
  • Windows 11 (64-bit)

Removed

XenServer 8 no longer supports the following guests:

  • Debian Jessie 8 (32-bit)
  • Debian Jessie 8 (64-bit)
  • Debian Stretch 9 (32-bit)
  • Debian Stretch 9 (64-bit)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 (32-bit)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit)
  • CoreOS
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 SP3, 12 SP4 (64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 SP3 (64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3 (64-bit)
  • CentOS 8 (64-bit)
  • Windows 10 (32-bit)

Deprecated

The following guests are deprecated in XenServer 8:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 (64-bit)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 SP4 (64-bit)

XenServer Conversion Manager 8.3.1

XenServer Conversion Manager 8.3.1 - the latest version of the XenServer Conversion Manager virtual appliance - allows you to convert VMs in parallel, enabling you to migrate your entire VMware environment to XenServer quickly and efficiently. You can convert up to 10 VMware ESXi/vCenter VMs at the same time.

For more information on how to use the XenServer Conversion Manager, see XenServer Conversion Manager.

Improvements to GFS2

Some restrictions on using GFS2 SRs with Citrix Machine Creation Services have been removed.

  • You can now use MCS full clone VMs with GFS2 SRs.
  • You can now use multiple GFS2 SRs in the same MCS catalog.

For more information about using GFS2 SRs, see Thin-provisioned shared GFS2 block storage.

Certificate verification

The certificate verification feature ensures that all TLS communication endpoints on the management network verify the certificates used to identity their peers before transmitting confidential data.

Certificate verification is enabled by default on fresh installations of XenServer 8 and later. If you upgrade from an earlier version of XenServer or Citrix Hypervisor, certificate verification is not enabled automatically and you must enable it. XenCenter prompts you to enable certificate verification the next time you connect to the upgraded pool.

For more information, see Certificate verification.

Restrict use of port 80

To improve security, XenServer 8 now allows you to close TCP port 80 on the management interface and exclusively use HTTPS over port 443 to communicate with XenServer. However, before closing port 80, check whether all your API clients (Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops in particular) can use HTTPS over port 443.

By default, port 80 is still open. However, all internal connections for VM migration now use HTTPS over port 443 by default.

For more information about how to close port 80, see Restrict use of port 80.

Migration stream compression

The migration stream compression feature enables you to speed up the memory transfer on slow networks when live migrating a VM by compressing the data stream between the hosts. Enable it from XenCenter or the xe CLI. For more information, see Pool Properties - Advanced and Pool parameters.

Winbind replaces PBIS

Winbind has replaced PBIS for authenticating Active Directory (AD) users with the AD server and encrypting communications with the AD server. This replacement happens automatically when you upgrade. In the unlikely case that external authentication does not work after you upgrade to XenServer 8, leave the AD domain and rejoin it.

There are some minor differences in behavior as a result of this change:

  • When using the command xe pool-enable-external-auth to join a domain, the parameter config:disable_modules is now ignored. This parameter is specific to PBIS.

  • For the command xe pool-enable-external-auth, the parameter config:ou now supports either of the following formats when specifying a multiple layer OU: config:ou=a/b/c or config:ou=c,ou=b,ou=a.

  • Winbind automatically updates the machine account password every 14 days or as specified by the configuration option winbind_machine_pwd_timeout.

  • Winbind does not support the following scenarios:

    • Space at the beginning or end of a domain user or domain group name.
    • Domain user names that contain 64 characters or more.
    • Domain user names that include any of the special characters +<>”=/%@:,;`
    • Domain group names that include any of the special characters ,;`

For more information, see Winbind.

Integrated PVS-Accelerator

In previous releases of XenServer or Citrix Hypervisor, the PVS-Accelerator was provided as a supplemental pack. The PVS-Accelerator is now included in the base XenServer installation. The behavior of the PVS-Accelerator is otherwise unchanged and you must configure it before use.

For more information about the PVS-Accelerator, see PVS-Accelerator.

Network boot a VM over IPv6

You can now network boot a VM over an IPv6 network. This feature is only supported for UEFI VMs, not BIOS VMs.

Removed features

The following features are no longer supported in XenServer:

  • Legacy partition layout
  • Health Check
  • Measured Boot Supplemental Pack
  • Demo Linux virtual appliance

Note:

Logs for the Health Check service are retained by Windows for troubleshooting purposes. To remove these logs, delete them manually from %SystemRoot%\System32\Winevt\Logs on the Windows machine running XenCenter.

Changes to third-party components

PuTTY is no longer bundled with XenCenter. To launch an SSH console to a XenServer host by using XenCenter, you must install an external SSH console tool and ensure that XenCenter is configured to use it. For more information, see Configure XenCenter to use an external SSH console.

The following Broadcom binaries are no longer included in the XenServer installation:

  • elxocmcore
  • elxocmcorelibs
  • hbaapiwrapper

To download these binaries from the Broadcom Emulex download page, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the Management Software & Tools section.
  2. Download the Emulex HBA Manager Core Application Kit (CLI) for Citrix XenServer.

The following Marvell command-line binaries are no longer included in the XenServer installation:

  • QConvergeConsole CLI for Citrix (QCC)
  • QCS

To download QCC from the Marvell QLogic download page, complete the following steps:

  1. Select the Adapters tab.
  2. In the left panel, choose the type of adapter.
  3. In the middle panel, choose the model of your adapter.
  4. In the right panel, choose Citrix Hypervisor.
  5. Click Go. You are redirected to a page with the available downloads.
  6. Download the QConvergeConsole CLI for Citrix (QCC).

To install this application, follow the instructions in the QConvergeConsole Command Line Utility User’s Guide.

Compatibility notes

XenServer 8 is compatible with the following components:

  • The latest version of the XenServer VM Tools for Windows
  • The latest version of the XenServer VM Tools for Linux
  • The latest version of the Workload Balancing virtual appliance
  • The latest version of the XenServer Conversion Manager virtual appliance

These components are available on the XenServer Downloads page.