[CentOS-virt] Which driver interface do I need to install Windows 2008 R2 as a KVM guest?

S.Tindall tindall.satwth at brandxmail.com
Wed Feb 17 19:21:08 UTC 2010

On Wed, 2010-02-17 at 19:21 +0100, carlopmart wrote:
> compdoc wrote:
> > I have both windows 7 and win 2008 installed as kvm guests,
> > but they were installed with the initial release of centos
> > 5.4. And I have installed all updates since. I don't like
> > the virtio drivers, so I never use them. Are you having
> > issues?
> > 
> Not at this momment because i didn't start any installation. I would to know where I 
> can find problems using virtio or e1000 net drivers ...

Of the two, I only have win7 64-bit installed as a kvm guest.

Using e1000 was trivial. Use it at installation or add it after

To use the virtio-win drivers in vista 64-bit and later, you will need
signed drivers for installation. From my reading about 32-bit vista and
later, you can use unsigned drivers there.

As far as I know, only redhat provides release-signed drivers via the
virtio-win supplement.  Those have redistribution restriction, so unless
you have a rhn entitlement... The unsigned drivers themselves were

You can test-sign the netkvm (virtio net) driver, but you need to run
the guest in testsigning mode to install them after the fact. I have run
test-signed netkvm drivers (Sept. 24, 2009 driver release) on win7 and
they worked OK, but did not extensively test them. Actually, they worked
fine on all guests I tried (winxp 32-bit, vista 64-bit, win7 64-bit).

Went back to e1000, rather than run the system in testsigning mode (ugly
display, something like safe mode). The e1000 works fine, no hassles
installing/using it under win7.

Currently, the only guest I have running the netkvm driver is winxp,
because e1000 was not a trivial option.

Before you ask, could never get win7 to boot using the viostor (virtio
blk) drivers, but could get winxp and vista to boot on them. From what I
have read, the viostor drivers (Sept. 24, 2009 release) are not ready
for prime time, but there were updated viostor drivers released recently
that I have not tested.


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