[CentOS] KVM as a desktop

Tue Aug 28 15:06:41 UTC 2012
Cal Webster <cwebster at ec.rr.com>

On Tue, 2012-08-28 at 10:23 -0400, James B. Byrne wrote:
> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers.  What I am now contemplating
> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
> as my primary workstation.
> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice.  I am
> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager.  Is
> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
> console of the kvm host system?

CentOS 6 Manuals are not yet available but the upstream docs are here:


You probably want to start here:
(watch for line-wrap)


To open a graphical console on your virtual desktop from the KVM host:
(you'll probably do this when you create your VM anyway)
[Applications]->[System Tools]->[Virtual Machine Manager]

	Authenticate dialog opens

Password for root: [your_root_password]

Button: [Authenticate]

	VM Manager window opens
	First connection is highlighted (default is localhost (QEMU))
	Virtual machines under connection are displayed

Double-click desired VM

	Native console of VM opens

>From here you can login, get info, pause, stop, start, go full-screen,

KVM uses VNC to connect to the guest machines' consoles and by default
will automatically assign the next available VNC port, beginning with
5900. I would highly recommend manually configuring your first guest's
display (Display VNC) with VNC port 5901 and let subsequent VM's get
assigned automatically. Otherwise, there will be a conflict with
"tigervnc-server-module" if you later wish to connect remotely to the
physical server (KVM host). If auto-configured the first VM will get
port 5900 which the Xorg VNC module expects to be reserved for the
(physical) host's console port. The port on which the Xorg module
listens cannot be changed easily.