Rootconf 2012

Let there be sysadmins

Kashyap Chamarthy

Virtualization with KVM (and Libvirt)

Submitted Apr 25, 2012

An architectural overview of KVM based Virtualization stack . And, an illustration of virt library(‘Libvirt’) and tools(based on ‘libguestfs’) which are helpful in solving some of the day-day problems in your ever increasing virtualization infrastructure.

For more, take a look at the outline mentioned in the ‘Links’ section.


KVM(Kernel-based Virtual Machine) has become the standard for virtualization technology on Linux. It takes advantage of hardware-based CPU Virtualization extensions available in all modern Intel/AMD based processors.

The beauty of KVM is, it takes a standard Linux Kernel and turns it into a hypervisor(the ability to run multiple operating systems). KVM does CPU virtualization by loading a kernel module. Every virtual machine is just like any other standard linux process. What does this mean ? It means, one can use standard linux infrastructure tools like top, ps, kill, etc to monitor the guest.

KVM alone cannot handle everything. It works best in conjunction with an interesting piece of technology called QEMU(Qucik EMUlator).
QEMU emulates regular PC devices like IDE Hard-Disks, VGA, Mouse/Key-board, Network Cards, Sound Cards, etc.

How do you manage KVM based Virtual Machines? Using a solid management library called ‘Libvirt’, and several virt-tools(like ‘libguestfs’ and friends).


Working knowledge of Linux . A basic working idea of Linux Virtualiazation technologies(KVM, QEMU, XEN, or any other).

Preferably, a laptop with Linux( Fedora 16, or any other distro which support kvm) with KVM Virtualization packages installed. Otherwise is also fine.

Speaker bio

Kashyap works at Red Hat. He’s a member of its Identity/PKI/ Security technologies group. He also spends a good amount of his waking time tinkering with Linux(KVM based) virtualization.

In his copious free time, he loves reading fiction. And, wishes to be like his favorite character Jack Reacher !

IRC: kashyap {on Freenode, OFTC}
He blogs at -- .



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