QEMU/Windows guest

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This article describes the setup of a Windows guest using QEMU.

Configuration

Host

To create a disk image for the virtual machine, run:

user $qemu-img create -f qcow2 WindowsVM.img 25G

Download a Windows driver image from this location.

Since QEMU requires a lot of options, it would be a good idea to put them into a shell script, e.g.:

FILE WindowsVM.sh
#!/bin/sh
exec qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm \
        -cpu host \
        -drive file=WindowsVM.img,if=virtio \
        -net nic -net user,hostname=windowsvm \
        -m 1G \
        -monitor stdio \
        -name "Windows" \
        "$@"

Change the path to the disk image WindowsVM.img in the script. Additional options can be used when calling the script. To boot the disk image, run:

user $./WindowsVM.sh -boot d -drive file=WINDOWS.iso,media=cdrom -drive file=DRIVER.iso,media=cdrom

Install the Windows guest. See the guest section for optimum support. After the installation start the script without the additional options.

Note
When upgrading to QEMU 1.3 the -enable-kvm must be added to keep the guest responsive. Also change -net nic to -net nic,model=rtl8139 to have a network interface in your guest.
Note
When upgrading to QEMU 1.5.3 you have to add -display sdl,frame=off,window_close=off" to keep your full screen session full screen. Without this option I got a (new) menu bar at the top of the screen, pushing the Windows bottom menu off screen.
Note
When upgrading to QEMU 2.0.0 replace qemu-kvm with qemu-system-<CPUTYPE> (e.g. qemu-system-x86_64) (you may need to add -enable-kvm switch); the qemu-kvm wrapper has been removed - see bug #506566

Guest

  • During installation at the partition step Windows doesn't detect the VirtIO hard drive. You have to tell Windows to use the viostor driver from the driver image.
  • After installation Windows doesn't for the VirtIO ethernet adapter. You have to tell Windows to use the netkvm driver from the driver image.
  • For 64 bit Windows 7 Intel HDA is available as an option (QEMU option: -soundhw hda)
  • USB 2.0 pass through can be configured from host to guest with variations of: -usb -device usb-ehci,id=ehci -device usb-host,bus=ehci.0,vendorid=1452
  • For Windows 8.1 USB tablet is available only with USB 2.0 pass through (QEMU option: -device usb-ehci,id=ehci -device usb-tablet,bus=ehci.0

SPICE

QEMU with SPICE support enable (among other things) the more powerful QXL display device and makes clipboard sharing possible (copy/paste between clients and the virtual machine).

To use SPICE with QEMU enable the following USE flag in package.use:

FILE /etc/portage/package.useSetting USE variable
app-emulation/qemu   spice

Build QEMU:

root #emerge app-emulation/qemu

To connect spice server, you need a client like net-misc/spice-gtk.

Note
As of spice-gtk-0.33-r2, the gtk3 use flag is required for the spicy binary to be compiled - see bug #631458

Guest

On Windows guests you need to install Windows guest tools.

On Windows 8.1 guest if you want to set screen resolution more than 1024x768, you need to install drivers from https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Windows_Virtio_Drivers#Direct_download and QXL WDDM DOD driver. If you try to install Windows guest tool, QXL WDDM DOD driver won't work well because of Windows SPICE agent .

If you want to try the new qlx-dod driver linked above, in order to use the driver you need to 'update' the basic windows display adapter driver and point it to the unzipped folder for the new driver. This can be found by: Right click the Start button -> Device Manager. Expand 'Display adapters' and right click on the sub entry and hit update driver.

Initialization script

To run QEMU from a script: (with spicy in case you have installed net-misc/spice-gtk)

FILE WindowsVM
#!/bin/sh
SPICE_PORT=5924
qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -daemonize \
    -cpu host \
    -drive file=WindowsVM.img,if=virtio \
    -net nic -net user,hostname=windowsvm \
    -m 1G \
    -vga qxl \
    -spice port=${SPICE_PORT},disable-ticketing \
    -usbdevice tablet \
    -device virtio-serial \
    -chardev spicevmc,id=vdagent,name=vdagent \
    -device virtserialport,chardev=vdagent,name=com.redhat.spice.0 \
    "$@"
exec spicy --title Windows 127.0.0.1 -p ${SPICE_PORT}

Or remote-viewer (app-emulation/virt-viewer):

FILE WindowsVM
#!/bin/sh
SPICE_PORT=5924
qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm -daemonize \
    -cpu host \
    -drive file=WindowsVM.img,if=virtio \
    -net nic -net user,hostname=windowsvm \
    -m 1G \
    -vga qxl \
    -spice port=${SPICE_PORT},disable-ticketing \
    -usbdevice tablet \
    -device virtio-serial \
    -chardev spicevmc,id=vdagent,name=vdagent \
    -device virtserialport,chardev=vdagent,name=com.redhat.spice.0 \
    "$@"
exec remote-viewer --title Windows spice://127.0.0.1:${SPICE_PORT}