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Trivial management of 64 bit virtual machines with qemu
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# qvm
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Trivial management of 64 bit virtual machines with qemu.
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## Table of contents
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- [qvm](#qvm)
- [Table of contents](#table-of-contents)
- [What this script will do](#what-this-script-will-do)
- [Prerequisites](#prerequisites)
- [Version](#version)
- [Dependencies](#dependencies)
- [Installation](#installation)
- [Arch Linux based distros](#arch-linux-based-distros)
- [Help](#help)
- [Setup information and usage](#setup-information-and-usage)
- [Actions and parameters](#actions-and-parameters)
- [Actions](#actions)
- [Places](#places)
- [Setup](#setup)
- [Connection to the machine](#connection-to-the-machine)
- [VNC options](#vnc-options)
- [Setup](#setup-1)
- [Examples](#examples)
- [Automatic remote startup](#automatic-remote-startup)
- [Interesting applications](#interesting-applications)
- [Virtual machine hard disk over a network protocol](#virtual-machine-hard-disk-over-a-network-protocol)
- [License](#license)
## Reasons
## Version
See all [qvm releases](
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## What this script will do
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It can handle:
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- Virtual hard disk creation, backup and deletion.
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- Basic network management: three ports are exposed to the host
machine (but you can add as many as you want). One of these two ports is
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- Shared directory between host and guest.
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- Running the virtual machine with a combination of the previous options.
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## Prerequisites
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- You need a 64 bit machine with virtualization technology and at least 4 GB
of RAM.
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- Modify `configvmrc` based on your needs.
Variables are self-explanatory and I have kept mine
as an example.
## Dependencies
You need to install the following packages and the ones listed for
| Package | Executable | Version command | Package version |
| [QEMU]( | `/bin/qemu-system-x86_64` | `$ qemu-system-x86_64 --version` | `QEMU emulator version 3.1.0` |
| [TigerVNC]( | `/bin/vncviewer` | `$ vncviewer --help` | `TigerVNC Viewer 64-bit v1.9.0` |
| [OpenSSH]( | `/bin/ssh` | `$ ssh -V` | `OpenSSH_7.9p1, OpenSSL 1.1.1a 20 Nov 2018`
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| [GNU coreutils]( | `/bin/mkdir`, `/bin/sleep`, `/bin/rm` | `$ ${Executable} --version` | `(GNU coreutils) 8.30` |
## Installation
### Arch Linux based distros
# pacman -S coreutils openssh tigervnc qemu
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## Help
## Setup information and usage
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### Actions and parameters
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You can make some combinations between actions and places. Both of these
elements are parameters.
#### Actions
- attach
- backup
- create
- delete
- install
- mkdir-shared
- run
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#### Places
- nox
- origin
- remote
- vnc
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### Setup
1. Create a new virtual hard disk and complete the OS installation which
can also be done via SSH.
$ ./qvm --create && ./qvm --install
2. Optionally enable the SSH daemon on the guest machine.
3. Optionally create a new backup VHD:
$ ./qvm --backup
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4. Now you can run the virtual machine either using the original or the backup
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virtual hard disk. If you run `./qvm --run` the virtual machine will run in
graphics mode using the backup hard disk.
5. Optionally add the following in the guest machine fstab file (`/etc/fstab`),
to enable the shared directory automatically. This avoids entering mount
commands by hand.
host_share /home/vm/shared 9p noauto,x-systemd.automount,trans=virtio,version=9p2000.L 0 0
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## Connection to the machine
- You can also access the virtual machine through SSH:
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$ ./qvm --attach
or, if you are working on another computer,
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$ ./qvm --attach --remote
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## VNC options
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The VNC options in this script allow you to connect to a remote instance of
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QEMU. This is particularly useful if, for example, your local machine
does not support virtualization.
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### Setup
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For this to work, you must add the following lines in the SSH daemon
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configuration of the host computer:
AllowTcpForwarding yes
AllowAgentForwarding yes
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### Examples
You must run QVM with one of the VNC options on the server side.
On the client side you must simply edit the `HOST_IP_ADDRESS` and
`HOST_USERNAME` variables in the configuration file.
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To intall a virtual machine remotely, on the server side you must run:
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$ ./qvm --install --vnc
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and on the client side:
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$ ./qvm --attach --remote --vnc
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At this point you should see your virtual machine running in a TigerVNC window.
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*Note: the VNC traffic goes through SSH TCP forwarding, so it is encrypted.*
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## Automatic remote startup
To automatically start the virtual machine from a non-host computer you can
use the `--remote` option. Make sure that both the local
(non-host) and the remote host computer have a copy of the QVM repository with
the variables correctly set in the `configrc` file.
This script will start the virtual machine if on the host computer no other
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virtual machine is running. You can use either a VNC or headless
connection. Both of them require that SSH is configured correctly on the
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computers, i.e. the host must be reachable from the client via SSH.
This can be verified by using the `--attach --remote` options while the
virtual machine is already running.
Once you have checked that everyting works, you can add a command alias in
your shell configuration file (e.g: `~/.bashrc`), something like:
alias vm='/home/user/scripts/qvm/qvm --run --remote --vnc'
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because `--remote` implies `--nox` by default. If you don't need VNC:
alias vm='/home/user/scripts/qvm/qvm --run --remote'
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## Interesting applications
### Virtual machine hard disk over a network protocol
If you happen to use a form of network filesystem, such as
you can keep the machine hard disk off the host and put it on another computer.
There might be a some form of lag depending on the hardware, protocol and
network connections.
An example with GlusterFS might be:
This will work provided that you install the QEMU GlusterFS block module
package (if it's not already present in the QEMU package itself).
You should consult the QEMU's manual to learn about all possible compatible
network filesystems.
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## License
Creative Commons Zero (CC0).