VM Template and BIOS Options

A number of different VM templates are supplied with XenServer, and these can be used in different ways to create new VMs. Each template contains installation metadata—the setup information needed to create a new VM with a specific guest operating system, and with the optimum storage, CPU, memory and virtual network configuration.

For a full list of guest operating systems supported at each XenServer release, see the XenServer Virtual Machine User’s Guide.

You can also create your own customized templates configured with the appropriate guest operating system, memory, CPU, storage and network settings, and use them to create new VMs; see Creating new templates.

Select a BIOS option

A XenServer VM can be BIOS-generic or BIOS-specific:

  • BIOS-generic: the VM has generic XenServer BIOS strings;
  • BIOS-customized: the VM has a copy of the BIOS strings of a particular server in the pool;
  • Without BIOS strings: if a VM does not have BIOS strings set when it is first started, the standard XenServer BIOS strings will be inserted into it, and the VM will become BIOS-generic.

When you create a new VM using the New VM wizard, you can copy the BIOS strings from an OEM server in the same pool into the new VM. This will enable you to install Reseller Option Kit (BIOS-locked) OEM versions of Windows on the VM later, if needed. The OEM server from which you copy the BIOS strings will be nominated as the home server for the new VM.

BIOS-customized VMs can be migrated, imported and exported to servers with the same BIOS strings and to servers with different BIOS strings.


It is your responsibility to comply with any EULAs governing the use of any BIOS-locked operating systems that you install.

VM Template and BIOS Options