The MLN Project

Complex virtual machine management made easy


MLN is a perl script which will take a example.mln file and convert it into several Xen or UML instances, which implement the configuration outlines in the mln file. To build a Xen, VMware Server or UML virtual host, the MLN program will use file system templates.

Latest CVS version

You may actually have a better experience using the latest CVS version of mln. Downloading the latest version is fairly easy:

wget "*checkout*/mln/mln-cvs/mln"

chmod +x mln

The CVS snapshots are updated daily.

The official tarball

Inside the MLN tarball, you will find:
  • The mln perl-script
  • An examples folder with sample virtual networks
  • The mln-manual, quickstart guide and README


All files and templates can be found at the projects files section on

Installing Xen

Matt Disney has written a script called that automates Xen installs on ubuntu/Debian hosts. It attempts to create an appropriate initrd image with the needed modules in case you boot from a SATA or SCSI disk and it also modifies grub/menu.lst to correctly point to the Xen kernel. It can save you alot of time if it works for you, but be aware that it is offered as help and we do not guarantee it to work.

Ubuntu Dapper MLN/Xen Installer CD

Follow this link.

VMware Server

MLN assumes that VMware Server is allready installed and working on your system. See here for more info.

User Mode Linux

A default compiled 2.6.11 and below user-mode-linux kernel will not work optimally with MLN because of a limited number of characters read from the command line. MLN can therefore pass less information to the VM during the build phase. It does not have any effect on the size of projects, but rather on the speed of the build process, so it is not fatal as long as you do on of the suggestions below. Note, that a vanilla 2.6.12 and above will work

In case you want to learn more about how to compile your own kernel, we have a howt for you here

A precompiled kernel is available here: uml-2.6.12-rc2-mm3.tar.gz