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I'm trying to install some Lucid VMs on a Lucid host using virt-install. After I create the image, I want to go through the guest installation without using a GUI, such as virt-manager or VNC.

Is there a way to access the installation screen via terminal?

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what virtualization manager are you employing? – warren Aug 10 '10 at 14:24
I'm not sure what you're asking for. KVM is the hypervisor. I'm using virt-inst tools and virsh for management at the moment. – Luke has no name Aug 10 '10 at 14:41

This isn't accessing the installation screen via the terminal, but it's possible to install the VM from the command line, using a script instead of the traditional graphical installation tool. Look into python-vm-builder. It's powerful, but won't support every option such as disk encryption. Installing in such a way will be far quicker, however - a matter of minutes rather than tens of minutes.

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If you are familiar with vnc you can use a vnc client to connect to the console of the virtual machine. virsh vncdisplay $machinename will return a port such as :2 this is the VNC port so in a vnc client put $yourserversip:5900+the port so if it returns :2 and your server is then the address would be

By default vnc binds to localhost so you would need to use a ssh tunnel IE ssh -L 5902:localhost:5902 then vnc to localhost:5902. You can modify this in the libvirt config.

Hope this helps!

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So there is no way to continue the installation through a terminal, rather than having to have X installed SOMEWHERE in the environment? – Luke has no name Aug 10 '10 at 18:43
I've not found any way of getting virsh console to work, technically kvm does redirect the output to a pts which should be accessible by /dev/pts/<some random id>. I suspect this dosn't work for me because I use HVM rather than PV but havn't seen decent working examples of it even when running PV. virsh console should just connect to the pts but dosn't return anything as far as I can tell. Possibly could try the mailling list but I've never had much luck there! Sorry for not being much help. – Damian Aug 12 '10 at 8:52

qemu/kvm supports ncurses console, but libvirt does not -- you will have to start kvm manually, not from virsh.

alternately, you can use Google's SGABIOS instead of standard VGA BIOS.

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