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xenSmart - £22.00/Year 256MB Xen VPS in UK

xenSmart Chris from xenSmart has informed me a few days ago their promotion coupons on their Xen PV and Xen HVM plans. Use coupon code PV50 to get 50% off recurring discount on Xen PV VPS hosting plans (starting from £2.50/month for 128MB memory), and use coupon code HVM30 to get 30% off recurring discount on Xen HVM VPS hosting plans (starting from £3.50/month for 128MB memory). Moreover, they are also running this December special on the following VPS for £22/year (~USD$34.31).

  • 256MB memory/256MB swap
  • 25GB storage
  • 350GB/month data transfer
  • Xen PV/SolusVM

Direct link for signup. You can pay by either Google Checkout, PayPal or credit card. Their servers are in Spectrum House in Maidenhead UK (test IP:, see Chris’ comment), and xenSmart has been trading as PCSmart Hosting since 2006. They have in fact been on LowEndBox for more than 2 years. Just quoting Pascal’s comment here:

Been with them for 10 months now, service has been excellent! Not the cheapest indeed, but it pays back in reliability.

Latest posts by LEA (see all)


  1. rchurch:

    It should be state whether prices include VAT or not, especially with European providers

    December 3, 2011 @ 12:28 pm | Reply
  2. Pascal:

    That quote is mine. Now, about 6 months later I’m still very happy with XenSmart. It’s the most stable VPS I’ve got, friendly support and very well performing.

    So keep up the good work Chris!

    Nice offers btw :)

    December 3, 2011 @ 12:44 pm | Reply
  3. FM:

    I had a Xen HVM VPS (@ RapidSwitch DC) with them for over a year. Apart the planned downtime to move the servers to another dc room the uptime was 100%. Highly recommended.

    December 3, 2011 @ 1:02 pm | Reply
  4. A friend just signed up for this plan and I’m thinking about it due to the professionalism conveyed by their website and marketing ;)

    December 3, 2011 @ 1:16 pm | Reply
  5. Matthew:

    Do you provide any IPv6? Is the use of this VPS as a VPN allowed?

    PS. Is this with or without VAT?

    December 3, 2011 @ 4:30 pm | Reply
  6. Chris:

    No IPv6 at the moment sorry.

    You may use your VPS for a VPN as long as its legal within the UK e.g. no Bittorrent etc.

    We do not charge VAT.


    December 3, 2011 @ 4:32 pm | Reply
    • Dudeist:

      Nice offer. Do you know, or can you check, whether bbc iplayer can be used with this vps? They are known to block IPs from hosting providers, so just wan to be sure. I don’t really need another vps, but if the iplayer works I might consider it.

      December 3, 2011 @ 4:52 pm | Reply
  7. marrco:

    Ordered one. Also because of their TOS (no irc, no p2p, no warez or other illegal activities) and not huge data transfer. Hope i won’t get on a node infested with gameservers.

    Now i’m waiting to be activated and test. Vps are hosted in the same datacenter as Xenvz and Linode uk, with very good peerings.

    December 3, 2011 @ 5:02 pm | Reply
    • FM:

      You can’t take for grant you get the same level of services and connectivity just because one provider is using the same facility than other.

      December 3, 2011 @ 5:45 pm | Reply
  8. marrco:

    activation was really fast, less than 30 minutes. I just reinstalled the default template with Debian 6 , and run a test:

    CPU model : AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 6128
    Number of cores : 4
    CPU frequency : 2000.000 MHz
    Total amount of ram : 247 MB
    Total amount of swap : 255 MB
    System uptime : 8 min,
    Download speed from CacheFly: 10.6MB/s
    I/O speed : 105 MB/s

    still have to install and configure everything, but at least you have an idea.

    December 3, 2011 @ 5:16 pm | Reply
  9. Chris:

    @Dudeist – We have a few clients with more than 15 VPS used for streaming iplayer etc so shouldnt have any issues there.

    @Marrco – We don’t overload, overcrowd or oversell any our Xen nodes and they are all monitored. I’m sure you won’t be dissapointed, especially at these prices! Thanks for the order.


    December 3, 2011 @ 5:23 pm | Reply
    • marrco:

      @Chris, i do think that overselling is useful, and can be good to keep prices low. But since you explicit say that you don’t oversell, can you please explain why i got this in my logs:

      xen_balloon: Initialising balloon driver.

      and i got this output on an almost empty VPS

      free -m
                   total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
      Mem:           247        234         13          0         10        197
      -/+ buffers/cache:         25        221
      Swap:          255          0        255

      again, nothing against overselling, i expect a fast VPS, the best service my money can buy, not a host wasting unused resources on his nodes.

      December 3, 2011 @ 6:44 pm | Reply
      • marrco:

        It’s xen PV, sorry, discard the free -m part. Still i don’t get why the message about xen_balloon if you don’t oversell. I think ballooning is used for that

        December 3, 2011 @ 7:13 pm | Reply
        • Tom:

          Ballooning is not overselling? I think someone got owned right now.
          I would never buy anything from a provider that inflates vps memory.

          December 3, 2011 @ 7:42 pm | Reply
      • Chris:

        @marrco – What would I gain by lying on our website, forum advertisments and on LEB? We do not oversell and we do not use Xen Balooning to overcomitt memory under any circumstances.

        The driver is available in the kernel you are running hence the message, but is is not used. Your host machine XN4 (You can check this in SolusVM) is actually running Xen 3.1.2, and Balooning was not added until 3.3.0 which you can check on xen.org

        [root@xn4 ~]# rpm -qa | grep xen-3
        [root@xn4 ~]# hostname


        December 3, 2011 @ 7:56 pm | Reply
  10. marrco:

    apt-get update && apt-get upgrade leaves me stuck with this error. Suggestions ?

    Setting up linux-image-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem (2.6.32-39) ...
    Running depmod.
    Running update-initramfs.
    update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem
    Examining /etc/kernel/postinst.d.
    run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/initramfs-tools 2.6.32-5-686-bigmem /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem
    run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub 2.6.32-5-686-bigmem /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem
    Searching for GRUB installation directory ... found: /boot/grub
    Searching for default file ... Generating /boot/grub/default file and setting the default boot entry to 0
    entry not specified.
    run-parts: /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub exited with return code 1
    Failed to process /etc/kernel/postinst.d at /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem.postinst line 799,  line 2.
    dpkg: error processing linux-image-2.6.32-5-686-bigmem (--configure):
     subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
    configured to not write apport reports
                                          Errors were encountered while processing:
    E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
    December 3, 2011 @ 5:27 pm | Reply
  11. Chris:

    @marcco Please drop in a ticket at https://support.pcsmartgroup.com and I’ll fix this quickly for you, will need your root password.


    December 3, 2011 @ 5:39 pm | Reply
    • marrco:

      Thanks Chris, ticket sent.

      Can you please tell what’s the problem, so i learn something?

      (and i guess other guys will install squeeze and run in the same problem, so they can benefit from your suggestion too)

      December 3, 2011 @ 5:49 pm | Reply
      • circus:

        A known trouble for squeeze in xen -> http://www.sysadmintalk.net/forums/thread-1211.html

        December 4, 2011 @ 4:12 am | Reply
        • marrco:

          Thx Circus, that’s exactely what their support did (from my bash history)

          echo '(hd0) /dev/xvda' > /boot/grub/device.map
          mknod /dev/xvda b 202 0
          nano /usr/sbin/update-grub
          df -h
          update-grub 0
          sed -i "s/xvda/xvda1/g" /boot/grub/menu.lst
          cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
          apt-get upgrade
          cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
          December 4, 2011 @ 7:34 am | Reply
  12. Can load customer provided ISO in Xen HVM? Thank you.

    December 3, 2011 @ 5:42 pm | Reply
  13. Chris:

    @Wing You can load any OS you like on our Xen HVM plans. If the ISO you want is not in the list, send us a download link or I will give you an FTP account to upload it to. We can then add it to the list, or make it available to you only if its a customized ISO.


    December 3, 2011 @ 5:45 pm | Reply
  14. Chris:

    @marcco Your VPS is now fixed. The problem is that the /usr/sbin/update-grub script can’t detect a MBR/Where grub is installed on a Pygrub system.

    To fix this you need to edit /usr/sbin/update-grub and find the line which starts with “grub-probe –device-map..” and remove/comment it out, instead just use “echo /dev/xvda”

    You shouldn’t have a problem again, but you could always chattr +i /usr/sbin/update-grub to ensure it doesn’t get modified in a future grub update.

    December 3, 2011 @ 5:54 pm | Reply
  15. corpus:

    I want to ask for the £22/year plan the price is recurring ? When the year pass same price ?

    December 3, 2011 @ 6:42 pm | Reply
    • Chris:

      The price should not increase but if in the unlikely event it does, it will be minimal. We have not increased prices since we opened in 2006.


      December 3, 2011 @ 10:00 pm | Reply
  16. Matthew:

    Are additional IPv4 available? If so for how much?

    December 3, 2011 @ 7:02 pm | Reply
  17. Chris:

    Just to clarify again, we absolutly do not oversell, do not overcomitt or use Xen’s Balooning features. I am quite happy to post excerpts from configuration files on all of our systems to prove this. We have nothing to hide.

    I can offer these prices because we have been in business since 2006 and have a number of free slots on various host machines. There is no catch.

    @Matthew – Additional IPv4 is available at £0.50/Month per IP subject to justification. Realisticly we won’t do more than 4 IP’s on a VPS less than 256MB RAM though.


    December 3, 2011 @ 8:01 pm | Reply
  18. zaheer:

    can you use trixbox iso on the xen pv plan? I can only see this on the hvm plan?

    December 3, 2011 @ 10:57 pm | Reply
  19. Paul:

    Have been with these a good two years.

    2 x xen servers
    1 x openvz server

    I run a cluster type setup with distributed things, and a monitoring node.

    Rarely any downtime, plenty of network to use and Chris is always around if I need anything and as also helped me with non related services with them.

    I would highly recommend and can tell you now they do not oversell, not from what I see anyway.

    It is not so ‘cheap’ but it is worth paying a decent price for a quality service!

    December 3, 2011 @ 11:02 pm | Reply
  20. Sonic:

    Chris, any discount for 512 plan :D

    December 4, 2011 @ 2:38 am | Reply
    • Matthew:

      “Use coupon code PV50 to get 50% off recurring discount on Xen PV VPS hosting plans”

      December 4, 2011 @ 3:09 am | Reply
  21. buy:

    no IRC support ?
    duhh..might go to alienvps as i need to use psyBNC bot..

    December 4, 2011 @ 8:19 am | Reply
  22. It’s low

    December 4, 2011 @ 9:16 am | Reply
  23. Test IP?

    December 4, 2011 @ 11:36 am | Reply
  24. Chris:

    Thanks for the orders, have just processed the next batch. Only a few specials left now!

    @buy – No IRC on our network sorry

    @Asim – Test IP / . All host machines are on dedicated 100Mbit uplink.


    December 4, 2011 @ 1:00 pm | Reply
  25. No doubt on the company but still if someone wants to know here are a few simple tests

    root@xen:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=iotest bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync && rm -fr iotest
    16384+0 records in
    16384+0 records out
    1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 9.11004 s, 118 MB/s
    root@xen:~# wget cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test -O 100mb.test
    --2011-12-04 08:04:34--  http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test
    Resolving cachefly.cachefly.net...
    Connecting to cachefly.cachefly.net||:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
    Saving to: `100mb.test'
    100%[======================================>] 104,857,600 11.2M/s   in 9.0s
    2011-12-04 08:04:43 (11.1 MB/s) - `100mb.test' saved [104857600/104857600]

    Thanks Chris for the LEB offer :)

    December 4, 2011 @ 1:05 pm | Reply
  26. I haven’t seen the test ip yet.

    December 4, 2011 @ 3:05 pm | Reply
    • That’s Fine. I have find it out in the comments;p

      December 4, 2011 @ 3:08 pm | Reply
  27. zaheer:

    HELLO? can you use trixbox iso on the £22/year xen pv plan? I can only see this on the hvm plan?

    December 4, 2011 @ 5:20 pm | Reply
    • You cannot load ISOs on XEN PV, unless you have a prebuilt template to request Chris to load

      December 4, 2011 @ 5:23 pm | Reply
  28. Matthew:

    Just ordered, thank you for replying to questions. :)

    December 4, 2011 @ 6:05 pm | Reply
  29. I’m eying these folks myself. I do have a question though.

    actually running Xen 3.1.2, and Balooning was not added until 3.3.0

    Is there a reason why you’re a few versions behind on Xen?

    Seriously asking. Got me curious.


    December 4, 2011 @ 8:51 pm | Reply
    • Chris:

      That particular Xen node is the only one we have running Xen 3.1.2 which is a stable version included with CentOS5/RHEL5. We couldn’t overcome some reliability issues with a newer version of Xen with that particular CPU/Motherboard, hence its the only AMD server we have. On 3.1.2 however its been rock solid and its last reboot was well over 200 days ago, that last reboot was due to a RAID issue too.

      As for the other nodes the version depends on when the node was deployed. Most are 3.4.2 / 3.4.3 while new nodes will be 4.01 / 4.11.

      ** Please note we are now sold out of our December special plans, so many thanks to all who ordered. We ran out much faster than I expected! We still have a few GB of PV and HVM space for use with the coupons though. **


      December 4, 2011 @ 10:31 pm | Reply
      • Will you restock for £22/year?

        December 5, 2011 @ 6:33 am | Reply
        • Jamie:

          I believe they mentioned that they were clearing out left-over stock on their current nodes. I imagine that once they’re sold, they’re sold. ;)

          December 5, 2011 @ 6:53 am | Reply
  30. Roro Qiu:

    OK. They’re out of stock now.

    December 5, 2011 @ 7:10 am | Reply
  31. axionmak:

    IMHO Best host so far, great ping, great disk speed, great network

    December 5, 2011 @ 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Chris:

      Thanks for the kind words. We may do another simular LEB yearly offer in Jan/Feb depending on how things go.

      December 5, 2011 @ 11:00 pm | Reply
  32. Victor:


    I am new to using virtual private servers. I want to ask some details regarding the PV50 coupon code. Since It is my first time, I would like to try out first your cheapest plan. A month or so later though, once I’m pretty comfortable with managing vps’s, I would probably want to upgrade to a higher plan to suit my needs. My question are:

    *By recurring discount, do you mean it remains valid throughout the months/years? That is, will 50% still be discounted from my bill(like forever?).
    *Can I upgrade my plan instead of signing up for a new one instead? If yes, does the PV50 50% discount carry-over?
    *When will the PV50 coupon code expire(if it does)?

    Based on the reviews, I would probably pick xenSmart. I’d appreciate it a lot if someone(preferably from xenSmart)could answer my questions immediately so I can finally decide on which plan to subscribe to.


    December 21, 2011 @ 6:04 am | Reply
  33. DG:

    Chris do you plan to do this offer again?

    December 28, 2011 @ 5:01 pm | Reply
  34. jgalvez:

    out of stock for year offer

    January 24, 2012 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

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