What license is "Virtual Machine Manager" distributed under?
It is distributed under the GNU General Public License, see the file COPYING in the distribution for the precise wording.
What language is the application written it ?
The application is being written in Python because it allows for very fast development, without sacrificing too much performance.

Build / installation

What is the process to build & install "Virtual Machine Manager"?

In common with most UNIX applications "Virtual Machine Manager" uses GNU AutoTools for its build system. Thus the standard compilation instructions can be followed:

gunzip -c virt-manager-xxx.tar.gz | tar xvf -
cd virt-manager-xxxx
./configure --prefix=/path/to/install/root
make install
What other libraries are needed prior to installing "Virtual Machine Manager"?

"Virtual Machine Manager" has the following mandatory requirements which must be installed prior to launching the application. The version numbers denoted below are the oldest versions which have been tested. The application may well work with earlier version, so if you find it does, please report the version tested successfully

The following optional requirements enhance the functionality of the application:

  • DBus >= 0.6.0 (python bindings) (GPL)

Managing Xen Virtual Machines

How do I launch the application
Either use the menu entry Applications -> System Tools -> Virtual Machine Manager, or simply run virt-manager from the command line
Why don't I get a virtual console for the virtual machine?
Virtual framebuffer support is a very new feature in Xen, and is evolving / developing rapidly. In version 3.0.2 it is only available for HVM/SVM based virtual machines. Work to provide a virtual framebuffer to paravirtualized machines is ongoing, if we're very lucky, to be available in 3.0.3, but more likely to be Xen 3.0.4. If you do have virtual framebuffer support, make sure that the guest domain has the 'vnc=1' config option enabled. Also make sure the root user has a valid VNC password file.
Why are the pause/shutdown/etc buttons disabled?
These buttons are always disabled if you are viewing the 'Domain-0' guest since this is the mangement OS, it doesn't make sense to try and pause/stop it. They will also be disabled if you selected a 'read only' connection to Xen.
Why is the read only button forced on, and disabled changes?
While XenD does allow unprivileged users to change domains, this is considered to be a security hole, so the application forces an read only connection for non-root users. At a later date when XenD obtains a secure means for allowing authenticated access to non-root users this restriction will be lifted.
How do I run the manager remotely if I don't have a graphical desktop on the machine?

Since the remote HTTP/HTTPS access to XenD is horrifically insecure this is disabled by default. The preferred method at this time is to run the Virtual Machine Manager within a VNC server session. To do this, login to your host as root and create a file $HOME/.vnc/xstartup containing:


vncconfig -iconic &

if test -z "$DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS" ; then
   eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session`
exec  gnome-session

If you plan to create any HVM (ie fully virt) guests, then when launching the VNC server make sure you pick a really large display number. If you don't, then your VNC desktop may well clash with the VNC server exporting the guest's domain. eg run

# vncserver :60
Why does the virtual console mouse cursor position bear no resemblance to local mouse?
The current Xen framebuffer cursor driver is pretty horribly broken. The mouse cursor range & position rarely matches up correctly with actual screen dimensions. In addition it is very slow to track movement. The good news, however, is that when the new QEMU codebase is pulled into Xen most of these issues will be resolved.