Jaime Frutos Morales's blog


How to create virtual machines using KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine)

Filed under: Linux, SysAdmin, Virtualization — acidborg @ 14:24

Description: KVM is a virtualization infrastructure included in the Linux kernel since 2.6.20 . Although it supports some kinds of paravirtualization, I’m going to explain how to create virtual machines /also called guests) using its full virtualization support.


  1. Check if your processor supports full virtualization (if either vmx or svm appears as a flag, then your processor supports it): egrep '(vmx|svm)' --color=always /proc/cpuinfo
  2. Install the packages needed:
    • Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install kvm libvirt0 python-libvirt python-virtinst
    • Red Hat/Fedora: yum install kvm libvirt libvirt-python python-virtinst
  3. Configure a bridge (Debian/Ubuntu or Red Hat/Fedora) to use a single network interface for all your virtual machines.
  4. Create the virtual machine (a RHEL 5 virtual machine in this example): virt-install --name=guest_name --arch=x86_64 --vcpus=1 --ram=512 --os-type=linux --os-variant=rhel5 --hvm --connect=qemu:///system --network bridge:br0 --cdrom=/var/lib/libvirt/images/rhel5-x86_64.iso --disk path=/mnt/virtual_machines/guest_name.img,size=20 --accelerate --vnc --noautoconsole --keymap=es
    Explanation of the params:

    • name: name of the guest.
    • arch: architecture of the guest.
    • vcpus: number of CPUs assigned to the guest.
    • ram: MB of RAM assigned to the guest.
    • os-type and os-variant: available options can be checked using man virt-install.
    • hvm: use full virtualization.
    • connect: connect to the hypervisor.
    • network bridge: the bridge to use for the guest.
    • cdrom: the ISO of the operating system to install.
    • disk path=x,size=y: path and size of the image file for the guest.
    • accelerate: make use of the KVM acceleration capabilities if available.
    • vnc: export a virtual console over VNC to the guest.
    • noautoconsole: Don’t automatically try to connect to the guest console.
    • keymap: keyboard layout for the VNC console
  5. Use a VNC client to connect to the guest (port 5900 or 5901 if you already have a VNC server listening on port 5900) and install the operating system.

I’ll write another post soon explaining all the operations which can be done with KVM virtual machines using virsh.


1 Comment

  1. […] more: How to create virtual machines using KVM (Kernel-based Virtual … Posted in: Kernels, Virtualization ADD […]

    Pingback by How to create virtual machines using KVM (Kernel-based Virtual … | Linux Affinity — 18/02/2010 @ 15:34

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