KVM on Scientific Linux 5.2 in a glance

RedHat announced a few months ago that they’ll drop Xen and go on with KVM instead. Presumably, the Red Hat based distros will do the same. As far as I know, Fedora uses KVM as the default virtualisation technology.

Installing KVM in a glance:

Once KVM is installed, load the appropriate module depending on the processor:

For Intel-VT:

modprobe kvm_intel

For AMD-SVM

modprobe kvm_amd

The required module can be inserted in /etc/modules.conf to automate loading.

The Virtual Manager on RedHat based systems will need to run the qemu-kvm command instead of the qemu-system-* when is about to start a VM instance. RPM packages should provide the qemu-kvm, but when built from source this binary file is not created. Instead there’s a bunch of binary files used for the different supported (virtual) hardware architectures (ppc, sparc, mips, mipsel). The easy workaround is to create a symlink of /usr/bin/qemu-kvm to the desired binary file, but that will cause problem is you try to build a virtual machines other than the architecture the link points to. A script should work though. If you start a VM instance from the command line you can just use the appropriate binary that is available, without the need to worry about symlinks.

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