Libvirt with KVM/QEMU on Debian Linux



KVM requires that the processor has virtualization support, named VT-x for Intel, and AMD-V for AMD.

Check by issuing lscpu:

$ lscpu
Architecture:          x86_64
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                4
On-line CPU(s) list:   0-3
Thread(s) per core:    1
Core(s) per socket:    4
Socket(s):             1
NUMA node(s):          1
Vendor ID:             GenuineIntel
CPU family:            6
Model:                 15
Model name:            Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q6600  @ 2.40GHz
Stepping:              11
CPU MHz:               3604.054
BogoMIPS:              7208.10
Virtualization:        ___VT-x___
L1d cache:             32K
L1i cache:             32K
L2 cache:              4096K
NUMA node0 CPU(s):     0-3

Install libvirt, QEMU, and KVM:

apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin virtinst

Installing Windows 10

Create a Windows 10 VM with virt-install:

virt-install --name win10 --memory 1024 --cdrom /storage/software/Microsoft/windows/SW_DVD5_WIN_ENT_10_64BIT_English_MLF_X20-26061.ISO --disk /var/lib/libvirt/images/win10.qcow2,size=30 --network=bridge:bridge-lan --graphics vnc,listen=,password=test

Before starting the VM, we need to change the disk bus and network bus to VirtIO. This will give drastically better performance.

Edit the configuration:

virsh edit win10

In the disk section, change (remember to remove


<disk type='file' device='disk'>
  <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
  <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/win10.qcow2'/>
  <target dev='hda' bus='ide'/>
  <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x06' function='0x0'/>

<disk type='file' device='disk'>
  <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
  <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/win10.qcow2'/>
  <target dev='hda' bus='virtio'/>

In the network section:

<interface type='bridge'>
  <mac address='52:54:00:39:33:64'/>
  <source bridge='bridge-lan'/>
  <model type='rlt8888'/>
  <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x03' function='0x0'/>

<interface type='bridge'>
  <mac address='52:54:00:39:33:64'/>
  <source bridge='bridge-lan'/>
  <model type='virtio'/>

Before installing, we also needs to mount a floppy with VirtIO drivers. The drivers can be obtained here.

Edit the Virtual machine, and add the following below the CDrom:

<disk type='file' device='floppy'>
    <source file='/path/to/floppy'/>
    <target dev='fda'/>

The ISO with the QEMU guest agent and graphics drivers, can also be obtained from the Fedora Wiki. The ISO can be downloaded and mounted inside the Windows VM or mounted as a CDROM by changing the configuration.

Virsh usage

Get the VNC port:

virsh vncdisplay <VM>

Edit the configuration of a VM:

virsh edit <VM>


virsh start <VM>


virsh shutdown <VM>


virsh reboot <VM>

Set the VM to autostart:

virsh autostart win10

Configure for bridge

Install bridge-utils:

apt-get install bridge-utils

Configure bridge in /etc/network/interfaces:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet manual

auto bridge-lan
iface bridge-lan inet static
    bridge_ports    eth0
    bridge_stp      off
    bridge_fd       0
    bridge_maxwait  0