Tuesday, July 13, 2010


qemu-img is a handy tool for converting one virtual machine image format into another.

qemu-img convert windowsxp.img -O vdi windowsxp.vdi

I had need for its use after running into errors creating a virtual machine with virt-manager. KVM managed by virt-manager has been my recent virtualization solution of choice, that is, until last Friday when I hit a snag creating a new virtual machine for WindowsXP. The installation process got stuck and I wasn't able to recover. Following advice from somewhere it the net-realm, I opted to create the image using this easy command line two-liner.

dd if=/dev/zero of=vm8.img bs=2048k count=12000
kvm -m 512 -cdrom winxp.iso -boot d v8.img

The installation was successful and running the image from the command line using kvm was a snap, but what I really wanted was to place this image under the control of virt-manager.

I couldn't find a nice option to import an existing image, so if it exists it is not very intuitive. Apparently to place it under virt-manager's control I would need to create an xml file under /etc/libvirt/qemu/ and in addition I would probably need to convert the image from raw format to qcow2. But after messing around with this for too long, a colleague recommended I use virtualbox.

I used virtualbox in the past, so I figured a different approach might be worthwhile and should get me beyond the headache in the short term. But what about the work I did creating the original image? Installing WindowsXP is a hassle, not to mention the effort I'd put into installing subsequent software on the image.

And that's where qemu-img came in. virtualbox only reads vmi formatted images, thus I converted my raw image to vmi.

Updated: FAIL

Importing the new vmi was easy enough, but once I created the new virtual machine and started it...I got this error from virtualbox-osi:

"Failed to start the virtual machine windowsxp. VirtualBox can't operate in VMX root mode. Please disable the KVM kernel extension, recompile your kernel and reboot."

Okay...but I will silently resent you.

Updated: Original image hung after removing KVM. At this point I'm going to throw up my hands and create a new image and fresh install. I'm at the point of diminishing returns...

1 comment:

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