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I do not have X installed on my system. Is there some alternative to the virt-manager / virt-viewer programs that only operate on the commandl line with a curses(?) library (=>only printing the information in text format like "top" does it?).

Thanks!! jens

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besides the commandline (virsh); remember that virt-manager/viewer are meant to work from your station, not on the server. – Javier Oct 30 '10 at 13:08
up vote 4 down vote accepted

virsh for management (debian package libvirt-bin), virt-top for statistics

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thanks, never heard of virt-top, thats what i was looking for – jens Oct 30 '10 at 8:13
  1. remote: VNC, using a vnc viewer. If you don't know the port number and do a

    ps -aux |grep kvm

    root 4042 7.2 1.9 463456 163132 ? Sl 20:19 1:36 /usr/libexec/qemu-kvm -S -M rhel5.4.0 -m 256 -smp 1 -name centos -uuid 333e53da-4f9d-2d18-ccba-8ea9f4708886 -no-kvm-pit-reinjection -monitor pty -pidfile /var/run/libvirt/qemu// -boot c -drive file=/var/lib/libvirt/images/base-centos.img,if=ide,index=0,boot=on,cache=none -drive file=,if=ide,media=cdrom,index=2 -net nic,macaddr=54:52:00:6b:77:fb,vlan=0 -net tap,fd=15,script=,vlan=0,ifname=vnet0 -serial pty -parallel none -usb -vnc -k en-us


  2. from localhost: serial connection would work

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+1, seems to work from windows also(with tightVNC) – quamis Nov 22 '12 at 8:29

I've been using virt-manager on my Fedora laptop to connect to a headless CentOS 5.X server running KVM (libvirt). virt-manager can remotely connect to other computers that are running KVM.

Look under the File pull-down in virt-manager, where it says "add connection". Check the box that says "Connect to remote host". There are several choices as far as protocols go for connecting to a remote system. In my version of virt-manager (0..8.7) I have the following:

  • SSH
  • TCP (SASL, Kerberos, ...)
  • SSL/TLS with certificates

The easiest to get going is SSH, IMO. Details on how to do it are covered here:

Ultimately virt-manager is doing the following behind the scenes:

virt-viewer -c qemu+ssh://root@ myvm1

Where is my KVM headless server and myvm1 is one of my guest KVM instances. Alternatively you can remotely run virt-manager from the headless system and tunnel it through ssh with a command like this:

ssh -X root@ virt-manager

This works OK too, but I generally only use this in LAN situations, not WAN.

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