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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Essentials eBook now available in PDF and ePub formats for only $9.99
RHEL 6 Essentials contains 40 chapters and over 250 pages.

Chapter 9. Installing a fully-virtualized Windows guest

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 supports the installation of any Microsoft Windows operating system as a fully virtualized guest. This chapter describes how to create a fully virtualized guest using the command-line (virt-install), launch the operating system's installer inside the guest, and access the installer through virt-viewer.
To install a Windows operating system on the guest, use the virt-viewer tool. This tool allows you to display the graphical console of a virtual machine (via the VNC protocol). In doing so, virt-viewer allows you to install a fully virtualized guest's operating system through that operating system's installer (e.g. the Windows XP installer).
Installing a Windows operating system involves two major steps:
  1. Creating the guest (using either virt-install or virt-manager)
  2. Installing the Windows operating system on the guest (through virt-viewer)
Note that this chapter does not describe how to install a Windows operating system on a fully-virtualized guest. Rather, it only covers how to create the guest and launch the installer within the guest. For information on how to install a Windows operating system, refer to the relevant Microsoft installation documentation.

9.1. Using virt-install to create a guest

The virt-install command allows you to create a fully-virtualized guest from a terminal, i.e. without a GUI. If you prefer to use a GUI instead, refer to Section 6.3, “Creating guests with virt-manager” for instructions on how to use virt-manager.

Important

Before creating the guest, consider first if the guest needs to use KVM Windows para-virtualized drivers. If it does, keep in mind that you can do so during or after installing the Windows operating system on the guest. For more information about para-virtualized drivers, refer to Chapter 11, KVM Para-virtualized Drivers.
For instructions on how to install KVM para-virtualized drivers, refer to Section 11.2, “Installing the KVM Windows para-virtualized drivers”.
It is possible to create a fully-virtualized guest with only a single command. To do so, simply run the following program (replace the values accordingly):
# virt-install \
   --name=guest-name  \
   --network network=default \
   --disk path=path-to-disk \
   --disk size=disk-size \
   --cdrom=path-to-install-disk \
   --vnc --ram=1024
The path-to-disk must be a device (e.g. /dev/sda3) or image file (/var/lib/libvirt/images/name.img). It must also have enough free space to support the disk-size.

Important

All image files should be stored in /var/lib/libvirt/images/. Other directory locations for file-based images are prohibited by SELinux. If you run SELinux in enforcing mode, refer to Section 16.2, “SELinux and virtualization” for more information on installing guests.
You can also run virt-install interactively. To do so, use the --prompt command, as in:
# virt-install --prompt
Once the fully-virtualized guest is created, virt-viewer will launch the guest and run the operating system's installer. Refer to to the relevant Microsoft installation documentation for instructions on how to install the operating system.

Important

If you are installing Windows 2003, you will need to select a different computer type before installing the operating system. As soon as virt-viewer launches, press F5 and refer to Section 9.2, “Installing Windows 2003” for further instructions before proceeding.

 
 
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