[virt-tools-list] Re: [et-mgmt-tools] Running virt-install without X

Cole Robinson crobinso at redhat.com
Sat Jul 18 18:04:09 UTC 2009

(cc'ing virt-tools-list, since et-mgmt-tools is being discontinued)

Keith Edmunds wrote:
> New to list. I couldn't find a searchable archive of this ML, so
> apologies if this has been asked before (feel free to flame me, but
> please include a pointer to where I can find the answer).
> I've been looking at KVM virtualisation recently. I want to use it on a
> hosted server without X installed, and I want to be able to create new
> (Linux) guests from the command line.
> virt-install lets me kick off an installation, but everything I've tried
> so far needs a graphical terminal of some sort to carry out the
> text-based (Debian Lenny) installation. Once the installation is
> complete, I can use 'virsh' to connect to the serial console and that
> works fine.
> I suspect the key is in virt-install's '--nographics' option, but I
> can't seem to connect to the console to carry out the installation
> after using that option. Can anyone shed some light?

You need to set up the install to go over serial console. The easiest way to
do this is to install from URL (or mount an install dvd and point to the
directory) with --location. You can then use the --extra-args parameter to
pass arguments to the boot kernel: something like console=ttyS0 should set up
a text console.

Not sure if the debian installer needs extra args to force it into text mode,
might want to check out:


> (Just to be clear: I want to do everything via an ssh session, so no
> VNC, etc).

Well, you can do ssh with X forwarding, but my guess is that's not what you meant.

- Cole

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