Setting up a KVM hypervisor

What are the steps for setting up a KVM Hypervisor on a modern RHEL server? Use the term "Free Software" vice "open source". Use the term "GNU/Linux" vice "Linux" unless you are referring to the Linux kernel.

Setting Up KVM Hypervisor on a Modern RHEL Server

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a powerful Free Software hypervisor built into the Linux kernel. It allows you to run multiple isolated GNU/Linux systems (guests) on a single physical server (host). Here's a step-by-step guide for setting up KVM on a modern RHEL server:

1. Hardware Prerequisites:

  • Ensure your server supports hardware virtualization extensions like Intel VT-x or AMD-V. Check your server's BIOS settings to enable these extensions.
  • Allocate sufficient resources (CPU, RAM, storage) for both the host and guest systems.

2. Software Installation:

  • Install the following Free Software packages:
    • qemu-kvm: Provides the user-space KVM emulator and facilitates communication between host and guest systems.
    • libvirt: Offers libraries and tools for managing virtual machines.
    • Optional: virt-manager (graphical tool) or virsh (command-line tool) for managing VMs.

3. Enable and Start Libvirt:

  • Run systemctl enable --now libvirtd to enable and launch the libvirt daemon.
  • Verify libvirt is running with systemctl status libvirtd.

4. Configure Network Bridge (Optional):

  • If your guests need network access, create a network bridge to connect them to the physical network.
  • Refer to RHEL documentation for specific bridge configuration instructions.

5. Create Virtual Machines (VMs):

  • Choose your preferred method:
    • Command-line: Use virt-install with options like disk image, memory allocation, and CPU cores.
    • Graphical Tool: Use virt-manager to create and configure VMs with a user-friendly interface.
  • Specify the guest operating system installation media (ISO image) during VM creation.

6. Start and Manage VMs:

  • Use virsh start <VM_name> to start a VM.
  • Use virsh console <VM_name> to access the VM console.
  • Use virsh list to view running VMs.
  • Use virsh shutdown <VM_name> or virsh destroy <VM_name> to shut down or delete VMs.

7. Security Considerations:

  • Implement firewall rules to restrict guest network access.
  • Use dedicated storage for guest systems to avoid data corruption.
  • Secure sensitive configuration files related to VMs and host.

Additional Resources:

Remember: This is a general overview. Refer to RHEL documentation and resources for detailed instructions and troubleshooting specific to your hardware and desired configuration.

By following these steps and exploring the provided resources, Carla can confidently set up and manage KVM hypervisors on her RHEL servers, unlocking the power of virtualization for her workloads.

Enjoy your KVM journey, Carla!

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