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Bernardo Donadio

Infrastructure specialist, IT automation engineer and 3D printing enthusiast.

Easing the use of Xen's xe with xeh

At Propus, the company I work to, we’ve been using XenServer to virtualize most of our servers. This is great and practical, except for one little detail: the CLI administration tool, called xe, is a huge PITA to be used on a daily-basis. Also, there’s a GUI administration tool, called XenCenter, but only for Windows. Well, there are some GUIs to GNU/Linux, but those are either abandoned or are completely incapable of doing something useful.

So, I decided to write a simple script to ease some of the repetitive, mundane actions of administering Xen. It’s called xeh (as in XE Helper), and it’s publicly available at gitHub under GPLv2.

As it was written in BASH in a single day (TODO: learn Python), there’s a lot to improve. I plan to update it as the use in the company grows and new features are requested or bugs are found. Eventually, I might write it again in other (safer, faster, better, real) language, but for now it’s fulfilling my needs.

The main features are the following:

  • Remote administration
  • Automatic SSH tunnel and VNC session creation
  • Simplified object search interface
  • Ability to use a predefined list of servers and credentials
  • Good user input validation
  • Human readable memory value input
  • Consistent user interface
  • Just take care with maybe some loose ends!