Running QEMU Images with virtio, virsh and virt-manager
11-30, 17:00–17:15 (UTC), Langdale

Running a QEMU virtual machine with 'runqemu' or 'mender-qemu' is easy, but sometimes you want more advanced features like passing through a host USB device. While this can be done with command line tools, it gets complicated quickly. We will discuss some experiences building and launching QEMU images with tools that leverage libvirt and virtio on your host, such as virsh and virt-manager.

These days, most searches for launching a virtual machine on your Linux desktop will suggest a tool which uses libvirt, such as virsh or virt-manager. Launching a QEMU image built with Yocto Project with these tools is not obvious at first. On the other hand, getting a full virtualized experience--including the handy UI that virt-manager provides for things like passing through a host USB device--is sometimes exactly what you need. We will discuss how to build a QEMU image (in qcow2 format), create a libvirt xml domain file including the OVMF firmware and launch it with virsh. We will then demonstrate how this is immediately available in the virt-manager UI interface. While we are at it, we will discuss some minor tweaks to meta-mender to make this possible with Mender images.

See also: Running QEMU Images with virtio, virsh and virt-manager.pdf (1.4 MB)

Tim Orling is a Principal Software Engineer at Konsulko Group. Tim joined Konsulko Group at the end of 2021. Tim was elected to the OpenEmbedded Board in 2022. He has spent many years as a volunteer developer for OpenEmbedded and the Yocto Project. He has been an open source software and embedded hardware enthusiast for many years. He taught in a university setting for more than 5 years and has given many well-received training sessions and technical talks at conferences. Tim is currently working in areas of over the air updates, secure boot and disk encryption. Tim has driven updates in the Yocto Project Python recipe infrastructure to keep up with upstream packaging changes and the introduction of Rust extensions. Tim has been tinkering at home with microcontrollers via Zephyr Project, MicroPython and CircuitPython.

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