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KVM/QEMU/Libvirt/Virt-Manager Setup (PC and Server)

This guide is based on Mental Outlaw's tutorial but goes further with a server side KVM, and with a full Debian setup.

PC pre-requisites (to use KVM and connect to remote KVM):


apt install virt-manager

Arch Linux:

pacman -S virt-manager libvirt qemu-full dnsmasq

Server pre-requisites (to use KVM from a remote endpoint - through SSH):


apt install qemu-system libvirt-clients libvirt-daemon dnsmasq netcat

Arch Linux:

pacman -S libvirt qemu-full dnsmasq openbsd-netcat


systemctl enable --now libvirtd
sudo nano /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf

Uncomment or add (Note: This can be considered a security risk):

unix_sock_group = "libvirt"
unix_sock_ro_perms = "0777"
unix_sock_rw_perms = "0770"

Add your user to the list of users allowed to use KVM (Note: if this is on a server, this user must be accessible via SSH):

sudo usermod -aG libvirt [USERNAME]

Logout (or reconnect to your SSH session)

systemctl restart libvirtd

Add SSH connection to virt-manager

Virt-Manager doesn't have an interface to add details to SSH connections other than username/hostname, you need to do it from the cli directly:

virt-manager -c 'qemu+ssh://[USERNAME]@[HOSTNAME]:[PORT]/system?keyfile=[NAME OF YOUR SSH KEYFILE]'