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QEMU/KVM, VNC, and ctl-alt-del
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twork
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: QEMU/KVM, VNC, and ctl-alt-del Reply with quote

I have a Gentoo amd64 machine with the KVM package installed. Mostly things work fine, but I have all sorts of trouble when it comes to interacting with the KVM/QEMU monitor, and the consoles of the VM's. Since this doesn't seem to be a problem according to folks on the upstream mailing list, I'm looking for causes closer to home, either something dumb I did in my setup or something in Gentoo that's causing problems not commonly seen elsewhere.

Right now my biggest issue is finding some way to send control-alt-delete to a freshly installed batch of Windows guest VM's. It seems that one obvious way is to boot them with a VNC console, and use a VNC client to connect and send the sequence. But, after trying several options, the only VNC client I can find which connects to QEMU successfully is Vinagre, and its "send ctl-alt-del" function doesn't appear to reach the VM's console. Other apparent incompatibilities between Vinagre/VNC and QEMU don't bite me elsewhere. For example the non-numpad arrow keys work fine everywhere else, but are ignored when I'm connected to a QEMU server.

Another approach to the ctl-alt-del problem would be to use the QEMU monitor for each VM, which has a "send key" function, but I can't reliably reach the monitor. Sometimes it works, but usually, after I start up kvm, typing "ctl-A" just prints a literal "^A" to my terminal, so the subsequent "2" to get to the QEMU monitor has no effect. I haven't been able to figure out what makes the difference in those lucky cases where I can reach the monitor but it hasn't worked in days.

Is anybody successfully using a Gentoo host for a batch of KVM guests? Any idea what I might be doing wrong, or is the package just broken?
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bbgermany
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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Location: Oranienburg/Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm using KVM with libvirtd on my Core2 and tightvnc and im able to send ctrl+alt+del fine. IIRC (haven't touched it for a while now) virt-manager for libvirtd supports this as well, since its having its own vnc client included.

bb
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twork
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bbgermany wrote:
Hi,

I'm using KVM with libvirtd on my Core2 and tightvnc and im able to send ctrl+alt+del fine. IIRC (haven't touched it for a while now) virt-manager for libvirtd supports this as well, since its having its own vnc client included.

bb


I've just finished setting up virt-manager. First impression is that it assumes way too much about how I want to use a virtual machine (What if I don't want a single network interface bridged to my physical eth0? What if I want to store my virtual machines somewhere other than /var/lib?), but I went ahead with testing anyway.

Send ctl-alt-del doesn't work here either.

So it looks like there's something wrong with my KVM build, or the way it's set up. But I have no idea how to debug this.
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twork
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 119

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm making progress but it's like swimming through syrup.
twork wrote:
I've just finished setting up virt-manager. First impression is that it assumes way too much about how I want to use a virtual machine (What if I don't want a single network interface bridged to my physical eth0?

After some more playing around I found the window where virt-manager lets you define new networks, so this is nice, I can create a private IP "backnet" easily. But it won't let me just bridge a statically-addressed VM to the physical interface, meaning I can't host services on VM's, not even remote desktop access or SSH, unless I take extra measures like iptables port forwarding.

I may be able to work around this with manual brctl commands -- first attempt failed, haven't given up yet -- but I wanted to gripe. This smells like somebody was trying to make it easy (or at least safe) for people who don't know what they're doing and in the process made it hard for people who do.
twork wrote:
What if I want to store my virtual machines somewhere other than /var/lib?),

Found the solution to this, in the "Host Details"/"Storage" screen.
twork wrote:
Send ctl-alt-del doesn't work here either.

A little more on this...

This is a server, for hosting virtual machines, it's not a desktop. I don't sit at its console very much. If I need a GUI, I fire up VNC and display stuff there. I don't know why, but for some reason if the virt-manager window is displaying on a VNC desktop, its key send functions don't work. I wonder if some of my other KVM console problems have been related.

I finally got virt-manager to play nice by running it over an ssh tunnel. It's painfully slow, but at least the console works, "ctl-alt" will actually release the mouse (not so when the desktop is VNC), and the key send menu functions do appear to work.

There has got to be a better way.
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