KVM and VirtManager on CentOS 7
KVM is a kernel-based hypervisor which grows quickly in maturity and popularity in the Linux server market. Red Hat officially dropped Xen in favor of KVM since RHEL. With KVM being officially supported by Red Hat, installing KVM on RedHat-based systems should be a breeze.
In this tutorial, I will describe how to install and configure KVM and VirtManager on CentOS. To use this tutorial, it is not required to have CentOS desktop environment. This tutorial was in fact tested on CentOS 7 server.
Check Hardware Virtualization Supoort
KVM requires hardware virtualization support such as Intel VT or AMD’s AMD-V, which are instruction set extensions for hardware-assisted virtualization. Check if hardware virtualization support is available on CentOS host machine:
egrep -i 'vmx|svm' --color=always /proc/cpuinfo
If CPU flags contain „vmx“ or „svm“, it means hardware virtualization support is available.
Before installing KVM, be aware that there are several SELinux booleans that can affect the behavior of KVM and libvirt. In this tutorial, I’m going to set SELinux to „disable“ for demonstration purpose. If you do not wish to change SELinux mode, refer to the documentation on KVM SELinux booleans.
To disable SELinux on CentOS:
Edit this line
Reboot the machine for the change to take effect.
Install KVM, QEMU and user-space tools
Install KVM and virtinst (a tool to create VMs) as follows:
yum install kvm libvirt python-virtinst qemu-kvm dejavu-lgc-sans-fonts
Start libvirtd daemon, and set it to auto-start:
service libvirtd start chkconfig libvirtd on
Check if KVM has successfully been installed. You should see no error as follows.
virsh -c qemu:///system list Id Name State ----------------------------------------------------
Configure Linux Bridge for VM Networking
Installing KVM alone does not allow VMs to communicate with each other or access external networks. You need to configure VM networking separately. In this tutorial, I am going to set up „bridged networking“ via Linux bridge.
Install a package needed to create and manage bridge devices:
yum install bridge-utils
Disable Network Manager service if it’s enabled, and switch to default net manager as follows.
service NetworkManager stop chkconfig NetworkManager off chkconfig network on service network start
To configure a new bridge, you have to pick an active network interface (e.g., eth0), and enslave it to the bridge. Depending on whether the network interface is assigned an IP address via DHCP or statically, there are two different ways to configure a new bridge.
To configure bridge br0 with a static IP address:
DEVICE=eth0 TYPE=Ethernet ONBOOT=yes BRIDGE=br0
DEVICE=br0 NM_CONTROLLED=yes ONBOOT=yes TYPE=Bridge NM_CONTROLLED=yes BOOTPROTO=none IPADDR=192.168.1.44 NETMASK=255.255.255.0 GATEWAY=192.168.1.1 DNS1=192.168.1.1 DNS2=22.214.171.124
Note that the configuration for the enslaved interface (eth0) does not have „BOOTPROTO“ field, but „BRIDGE“ field added.
Once configuration files are generated accordingly, run the following to activate the change.
service network restart
You should now see br0 bridge interface with a proper IP address as follows.
mtu 1500 inet 192.168.1.44 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.1.255 inet6 fe80::230:48ff:fef9:9f38 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20 ether 00:00:00:00:00:00 txqueuelen 0 (Ethernet) RX packets 419447 bytes 689986593 (658.0 MiB) RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 385147 bytes 495758281 (472.7 MiB) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0 eth0: flags=4163 mtu 1500 ether 00:00:00:00:00:00 txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet) RX packets 675144 bytes 737692473 (703.5 MiB) RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 573506 bytes 510598440 (486.9 MiB) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0 device interrupt 16 memory 0xd0200000-d0220000 lo: flags=73 mtu 65536 inet 127.0.0.1 netmask 255.0.0.0 inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 scopeid 0x10 loop txqueuelen 0 (Local Loopback) RX packets 375733 bytes 550545800 (525.0 MiB) RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 375733 bytes 550545800 (525.0 MiB) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0 virbr0: flags=4099 mtu 1500 inet 192.168.122.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.122.255 ether 7a:99:87:6b:8b:aa txqueuelen 0 (Ethernet) RX packets 0 bytes 0 (0.0 B) RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 1 bytes 90 (90.0 B) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0 vnet0: flags=4163 mtu 1500 inet6 fe80::fc54:ff:feb7:889b prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20 ether fe:54:00:b7:88:9b txqueuelen 500 (Ethernet) RX packets 268 bytes 20742 (20.2 KiB) RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0 TX packets 800 bytes 549088 (536.2 KiB) TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0
The final step is to install a desktop UI called VirtManager for managing virtual machines (VMs) through libvirt.
To install VirtManager:
yum install virt-manager libvirt qemu
If you are using CentOS desktop, you should be able to launch VirtManager locally at this point, by simply running:
However, if you are using CentOS server without desktop UI, follow these steps to launch VirtManager.
Enable X11 forwarding on SSH server:
yum install xauth nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config X11Forwarding yes service sshd restart
Next list xauth
xauth list legolas.smrad.eu/unix:10 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 7a8b4e69f4de0c5b3da1913f44f15b15
and finally add the result
xauth add legolas.smrad.eu/unix:10 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 7a8b4e69f4de0c5b3da1913f44f15b15
Then connect to your CentOS server from a separate desktop machine, and run the wrapper script vm to launch VirtManager remotely.
ssh -X firstname.lastname@example.org
In the end it is necessary to add the following rule :
echo “-I FORWARD -m physdev --physdev-is-bridged -j ACCEPT” > /etc/sysconfig/iptables-forward-bridged
yum install virt-top -y