Getting virt-manager Running on Debian (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 17 Feb 2022

Getting virt-manager Running on Debian

A conversation that happens every so often on a Linux chat channel:
newbie: Which is easier for virtualization, KVM/qemu or virtualbox?
enthusiast: KVM/qemu is really easy if you use virt-manager.
me: If you're running a full Gnome desktop, maybe. I've tried to use virt-manager several times, with virt-manager enthusiasts on this channel helping, and never got it going.

That happened again a few weeks ago, and one of the virt-manager enthusiasts on the channel wanted to help me track down the problems. Since I didn't have anything much going on, I agreed, and kept at it instead of giving up after the first few iterations.

It took about 45 minutes of fiddling, installing more packages, web searching on the error messages and discussing them on IRC, then fiddling some more, getting a little further with each package I installed. In the end, I did get virt-manager running.

Here's the list of packages I had to install, as well as adding myself to the groups kvm, libvirt and libvirt-qemu:

apt install virt-manager libvirt-daemon qemu qemu-kvm libvirt0 libvirt-bin virt-manager bridge-utils libvirt-daemon-system qemu-system-x86 qemu-utils dnsmasq gir1.2-spiceclientgtk-3.0

Part of the problem, apparently, is that Debian's virt-manager package isn't set up to require on all the other packages it needs to run. They might be there in the "depends" and "suggests", but I don't install those by default, since they tend to pull in all sorts of silly bloatware I'll never want. With most packages, the "requires" are all that's needed to use a package in its basic form, and "depends" and "suggests" are for optional extra features. But if you install just virt-manager without at least some of the suggested and/or recommended packages, it won't run at all.

I haven't run any real virtual machines yet under virt-manager, but I think it's working now. At least I'm to the point where I can boot from a Debian installer ISO and see the initial screen.

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[ 00:00 Feb 17, 2022    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

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