I recently wrote an article for Cumulus Linux about how to setup Debian Linux as an Active Directory LDAP Client.

These are my notes for creating a windows VM in libvirt for the article.

Prerequisites for Windows VM on Libvirt

  • Licensed copy of Windows 2008 server to my hard disk. To make a copy I used
dd if=/dev/sr0 of=/home/linuxsimba/isos
  • libvirt and libguestfs-tools. These provide the qemu-img,
  • virt-builder, virt-install and virsh commands needed to get the windows VM working.
  • virtio storage driver. Provides the storage driver for windows 2008 to see the qcow2 virtio disk image. I could have used IDE..but thought it might be interesting to see how to setup virtio disk for Windows.

Create the Hard disk

Created a 20G Qcow2 hard drive

# mkdir $HOME/imgs
# cd $HOME/imgs
# qemu-img create -f qcow2 windows_ad.qcow2 20G

Run virt-builder to create the libvirt domain entry

# mkdir $HOME/isos
# virt-install  --name=windows_ad --ram 2048 --disk $HOME/imgs/windows_ad.qcow2,format=qcow2,bus=virtio,cache=none,size=10 --os-type windows --cdrom $HOME/isos/win2008.iso --graphics spice

This command causes the Windows VM installation to begin. But I do not want to start it yet. I need to add the 2nd CDROM, the virtio driver. So I opened the console using virt-viewer windows_ad , and shutdown the VM by force.

Add 2nd CDROM to Windows VM

libvirt doesn't provide an elegant solution. So I edited the domain file directly and added a second CDROM. The disk section of the domain file looked like this when I was done.

# virsh edit windows_ad

 <disk type='file' device='disk'>
      <driver name='qemu' type='qcow2' cache='none'/>
      <source file='/home/linuxsimba/imgs/windows_ad.qcow2'/>
      <target dev='vda' bus='virtio'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x05'
    <disk type='file' device='cdrom'>
      <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
      <source file='/home/linuxsimba/isos/win2008.iso'/>
      <target dev='hda' bus='ide'/>
      <address type='drive' controller='0' bus='0' target='0' unit='0'/>
    <disk type='file' device='cdrom'>
      <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
      <source file='/home/linuxsimba/isos/virtio-win-0.1-94.iso'/>
      <target dev='hdc' bus='ide'/>
      <address type='drive' controller='0' bus='1' target='0' unit='0'/>

Proceed with the Windows install

# virsh start windows_ad
# virt-viewer windows_ad

I performed a Standard Installation x86 Full installation.

Load virtIO driver from the 2nd CDROM

To get the 20G disk to show, the virtio driver has to be loaded. Here are screenshots showing how I did it Click on Load Driver

Select Win7 AMD64 Driver Select VirtIO driver

Rest of the Installation

The rest of the installation was just like a normal Windows 2008 install.

Take a Snapshot when the install is done

To ensure I don't have to do this for a while, I shutdown the VM and took a snapshot of the image. Then proceeded to configure Active Directory with LDAP over SSL support, which I will discuss in a later post.

# virsh shutdown windows_ad
# virsh snapshot-create windows_ad
# virsh start windows_ad
# virt-viewer windows_ad