Virtualization With KVM On A Fedora 11 Server

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This guide explains how you can install and use KVM for creating and running virtual machines on a Fedora 11 server. I will show how to create image-based virtual machines and also virtual machines that use a logical volume (LVM). KVM is short for Kernel-based Virtual Machine and makes use of hardware virtualization, i.e., you need a CPU that supports hardware virtualization, e.g. Intel VT or AMD-V.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I'm using a Fedora 11 server with the hostname and the IP address here as my KVM host.

We also need a desktop system where we install virt-manager so that we can connect to the graphical console of the virtual machines that we install. I'm using a Fedora 11 desktop here.


2 Installing KVM

Fedora 11 KVM Host:

First check if your CPU supports hardware virtualization - if this is the case, the command

egrep '(vmx|svm)' --color=always /proc/cpuinfo

should display something, e.g. like this:

[root@server1 ~]# egrep '(vmx|svm)' --color=always /proc/cpuinfo
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall
 nx mmxext fxsr_opt rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow rep_good nopl pni cx16 lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy 3dnowprefetch
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall
 nx mmxext fxsr_opt rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow rep_good nopl pni cx16 lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy 3dnowprefetch
[root@server1 ~]#

If nothing is displayed, then your processor doesn't support hardware virtualization, and you must stop here.

To install KVM and virtinst (a tool to create virtual machines), we run

yum install kvm qemu libvirt python-virtinst

Then start the libvirt daemon:

/etc/init.d/libvirtd start

To check if KVM has successfully been installed, run

virsh -c qemu:///system list

It should display something like this:

[root@server1 ~]# virsh -c qemu:///system list
 Id Name                 State

[root@server1 ~]#

If it displays an error instead, then something went wrong.

Next we need to set up a network bridge on our server so that our virtual machines can be accessed from other hosts as if they were physical systems in the network.

To do this, we install the package bridge-utils...

yum install bridge-utils

... and configure a bridge.

I disable Fedora's NetworkManager and enable "normal" networking. NetworkManager is good for desktops where network connections can change (e.g. LAN vs. WLAN), but on a server you usually don't change network connections:

chkconfig NetworkManager off
chkconfig --levels 35 network on
/etc/init.d/network restart

Check your /etc/resolv.conf if it lists all nameservers that you've previously configured:

cat /etc/resolv.conf

If nameservers are missing, run


and add the missing nameservers again.

To configure the bridge, create the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-br0 (please use the BOOTPROTO, DNS1 (plus any other DNS settings, if any), GATEWAY, IPADDR, NETMASK and SEARCH values from the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 file):

vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-br0


Modify /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 as follows (comment out BOOTPROTO, DNS1 (and all other DNS servers, if any), GATEWAY, IPADDR, NETMASK, and SEARCH and add BRIDGE=br0):

vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

# Networking Interface

Then reboot the system:


After the reboot, run


It should now show the network bridge (br0):

[root@server1 ~]# ifconfig
br0       Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1E:90:F3:F0:02
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::21e:90ff:fef3:f002/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:113 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:91 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:16520 (16.1 KiB)  TX bytes:11889 (11.6 KiB)

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:1E:90:F3:F0:02
          inet6 addr: fe80::21e:90ff:fef3:f002/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:136 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:98 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:22152 (21.6 KiB)  TX bytes:14147 (13.8 KiB)
          Interrupt:28 Base address:0x2000

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:10 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:10 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:746 (746.0 b)  TX bytes:746 (746.0 b)

virbr0    Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr E2:54:14:EA:7A:01
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::e054:14ff:feea:7a01/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:29 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:5156 (5.0 KiB)

[root@server1 ~]#


3 Installing virt-manager On Your Fedora 11 Desktop

Fedora 11 Desktop:

We need a means of connecting to the graphical console of our guests - we can use virt-manager for this. I'm assuming that you're using a Fedora 11 desktop.

Become root...


... and run...

yum install virt-manager

... to install virt-manager.

(If you're using an Ubuntu 9.04 desktop, you can install virt-manager as follows:

sudo aptitude install virt-manager



4 Creating A Debian Lenny Guest (Image-Based)

Fedora 11 KVM Host:

Now let's go back to our Fedora 11 KVM host.

Take a look at

man virt-install

to learn how to use it.

To create a Debian Lenny guest (in bridging mode) with the name vm10, 512MB of RAM, two virtual CPUs, and the disk image ~/vm10.qcow2 (with a size of 12GB), insert the Debian Lenny Netinstall CD into the CD drive and run

virt-install --connect qemu:///system -n vm10 -r 512 --vcpus=2 -f ~/vm10.qcow2 -s 12 -c /dev/cdrom --vnc --noautoconsole --os-type linux --os-variant debianlenny --accelerate --network=bridge:br0 --hvm

Of course, you can also create an ISO image of the Debian Lenny Netinstall CD...

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=~/debian-500-amd64-netinst.iso

... and use the ISO image in the virt-install command:

virt-install --connect qemu:///system -n vm10 -r 512 --vcpus=2 -f ~/vm10.qcow2 -s 12 -c ~/debian-500-amd64-netinst.iso --vnc --noautoconsole --os-type linux --os-variant debianlenny --accelerate --network=bridge:br0 --hvm

The output is as follows:

[root@server1 ~]# virt-install --connect qemu:///system -n vm10 -r 512 --vcpus=2 -f ~/vm10.qcow2 -s 12 -c ~/debian-500-amd64-netinst.iso --vnc --noautoconsole --os-type linux --os-variant debianlenny --accelerate --network=bridge:br0 --hvm

Starting install...
Creating storage file...                             
                                                                                  |  12 GB     00:00
Creating domain...                               
                                                                                      |    0 B     00:00
Domain installation still in progress. You can reconnect to
the console to complete the installation process.
[root@server1 ~]#

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3 Comment(s)

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From: Adam

For the bridge you can also do that:

dont create the br0 and edit your ifcfg-eth0 as follows:


And when you install virtual machines with virt-manager use  select network as default and it will create the vnet0,vnet1 etc for you.

 (I use that on my fedora 11 workstation because I couldn't bridge eth0 for my vms. I run win xp and centos.)



From: jiri

Why are you creating network bridge when you already have one created by libvirtd? See virbr0 in ifconfig output.

From: Anonymous

I think it should be 

 egrep -w '(vmx|svm)' --color=always /proc/cpuinfo