Jump to contentJump to page navigation: previous page [access key p]/next page [access key n]
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4

1 KVM Installation and Requirements

KVM is a full virtualization solution supporting hardware virtualization. It consists of two main components: A set of Kernel modules providing the core virtualization infrastructure and processor specific drivers and a userspace program (qemu-kvm) that provides emulation for virtual devices and control mechanisms to manage VM Guests (virtual machines). The term KVM more properly refers to the Kernel level virtualization functionality, but is in practice more commonly used to reference the userspace component.

VM Guests (virtual machines), virtual storage and networks can be managed with libvirt-based and QEMU tools. libvirt is a library that provides an API to manage VM Guests based on different virtualization solutions, among them KVM and Xen. It offers a graphical user interface as well as a command line program. The QEMU tools are KVM/QEMU specific and are only available for the command line.

1.1 Supported Guest Operating Systems

KVM on SUSE Linux Enterprise for IBM System z only supports SLES 11 SP3 as a guest operating system.

1.2 The kvm package

The kvm package provides qemu-kvm, the program that performs the I/O emulation for the VM Guest. In addition to the qemu-kvm program, the kvm package also comes with a debug level monitoring utility (kvm_stat), firmware components, key-mapping files, and scripts.

Originally, the kvm package also provided the KVM Kernel modules. Now, these modules are included with the Kernel and only userspace components are included in the current kvm package.

Using the libvirt-based tools is the recommended way of managing VM Guests. Interoperability with other virtualization tools has been tested and is an essential part of SUSE's support stance. All tools are provided by packages carrying the tool's name.

  • libvirt: A toolkit that provides management of VM Guests, virtual networks, and storage. libvirt provides an API, a daemon, and a shell (virsh).

  • virt-manager (Virtual Machine Manager): A graphical management tool for VM Guests.

  • vm-install: Define a VM Guest and install its operating system.

  • virt-viewer: An X viewer client for VM Guests which supports TLS/SSL encryption of x509 certificate authentication and SASL authentication.

Support for creating and manipulating file-based virtual disk images is provided by qemu-img. qemu-img is provided by the package virt-utils.

1.3 Installing KVM

KVM is not installed by default. To install KVM and all virtualization tools, proceed as follows:

  1. Start YaST and choose Virtualization › Installing Hypervisor and Tools.

  2. Select KVM and confirm with Accept.

  3. Confirm the list of packages that is to be installed with Install.

  4. Agree to set up a network bridge by clicking Yes. It is recommended using a bridge on a VM Host Server (virtual machine host). If you prefer to manually configure a different network setup, you can safely skip this step by clicking No.

  5. After the setup has been finished, reboot the machine as YaST suggests. Alternatively load the required kernel modules manually and start libvirtd to avoid a reboot:

    modprobe kvm
    rclibvirtd start
Print this page