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I've just installed KVM on Debian 6 64 bit and have created 2 guests and booted one of them.

I can connect via VNC and I get the Debian CD boot options (text/graphical install). I have tried selecting both and in both cases I get a blank screen after that. I figure the ISO should be ok since I can get that far, so my initial guess was the VGA driver on the guest. Unfortunately I have tried changing that as well with no luck.

Here is the XML file:

    <domain type='kvm'>
        <type arch='x86_64' machine='pc-0.12'>hvm</type>
        <boot dev='cdrom'/>
      <clock offset='utc'/>
        <disk type='file' device='disk'>
          <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
          <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/vm1.img'/>
          <target dev='vda' bus='virtio'/>
          <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x04' function='0x0'/>
        <disk type='file' device='cdrom'>
          <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
          <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/debian-6.0.6-amd64-netinst.iso'/>
          <target dev='hdc' bus='ide'/>
          <address type='drive' controller='0' bus='1' unit='0'/>
        <controller type='ide' index='0'>
          <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x1'/>
        <interface type='bridge'>
          <mac address='52:54:00:01:38:4e'/>
          <source bridge='br0'/>
          <target dev='vnet0'/>
          <model type='virtio'/>
          <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x03' function='0x0'/>
    <serial type='pty'>
      <target port='0'/>
    <console type='pty'>
      <target type='serial' port='0'/>
    <input type='tablet' bus='usb'>
    <input type='mouse' bus='ps2'/>
    <graphics type='vnc' port='-1' autoport='yes' listen='X.X.X.X' keymap='en-us' passwd='XXXXXXXX'/>
      <model type='vga' vram='9216' heads='1'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x0'/>
    <memballoon model='virtio'>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x05' function='0x0'/>

Any help appreciated!

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Have you tried without virtio devices? – Heis Spiter Jan 21 '13 at 13:00
Surely it doesn't matter at this stage, since the disk and network device have yet to be used? – James Jan 21 '13 at 13:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For anyone who gets stuck on this, the problem was in the ISO itself. Use a different ISO (i.e. a completely different one, not just a different mirror) and it'll work.

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Prompted me to look more closely at my iso... Apparently I tried to run an amd64 iso in a 32 bits machine (and host OS for some reason...). – Wrikken Apr 27 '13 at 15:58

Quoting from the docs:

When you first install a Linux guest, use the "cirrus" video driver. Post installation, if you wish to have a resolution above 800x600, switch to the standard video driver.

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