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Written by s4ndm4n
Cleaned up by joekamprad 10 nov. 2022
joekamprad Added user mode setup and some cleanup (3.4.2023) thanks at Prathamesh on telegram for the hint and the code lines!

joekamprad cleaned off confusing user setupand 3d fix to keep the wiki easy to understand (9.1.2023).

How to install Virt-Manager

Since its introduction virtualization has come a long way. Nowadays hypervisors are used for almost everything from running enterprise-level servers to testing different operating systems on a local user computer. There are many paid and free hypervisor solutions available in the world.

But in this guide, we are looking at installing one of these best free toolsets used for virtualization and it consists of Virt-Manager, KVM, and QEMU. This guide will show you how to install these tools correctly and with less hassle. Before starting let’s get to know this software a bit better.

What is Virt-Manager?

Virt-Manager is a graphical user front end for the library which provides virtual machine management services. The Virt-manager interface makes it easy for the user to create, delete and manipulate virtual machines without going through the terminal.

Virt-manager mainly supports KVM but it can also work with other hypervisors such as Xen and LXC.

When virt-manager is installed it comes with the below-listed tool-set.

  • virt-install: Command-line utility to provision OS
  • virt-viewer: The UI interface with graphical features
  • virt-clone: Command-line tool to clone existing inactive hosts
  • virt-xml: Command-line tool for easily editing libvirt domain XML using virt-install’s command-line options.
  • virt-bootstrap: Command tool providing an easy way to set up the root file system for libvirt-based containers.


The letters KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machines. KVM is a Linux full virtualization solution for x86 architecture processors which has the virtualization extension (Intel VT and AMD-V).

KVM is a free (as free beer) and open-source software. The support for KVM is included in all the new Linux kernels by design.


QEMU is the shortened version of Quick EMUlator which is a free open-source emulator that can perform hardware virtualization. It emulates the host machine processor through dynamic binary translation. This provides different sets of hardware and device models for the host machine, which enables it to run a variety of guest systems.

KVM can be used with QEMU which allows virtual machines to be run nearly to native speeds. Not just hardware emulation, QEMU is capable of emulating user-level processors which enable applications compiled for one architecture to run on another.

Installing virt-manager

1. Installing all the packages to run virt-manager.

Basic install:

sudo pacman -Syu virt-manager qemu-desktop dnsmasq iptables-nft

Full-featured install:

sudo pacman -Syu --needed virt-manager qemu-desktop libvirt edk2-ovmf dnsmasq vde2 bridge-utils iptables-nft dmidecode

  • edk2-ovmf: ovmf is an EDK II based project to enable UEFI support for Virtual Machines.
  • iptables-nft: Linux kernel packet control tool (using nft interface).
  • bridge-utils: Ethernet bridge utilities.

2. After installation completes you need to enable libvirtd service, if you need LXC to be available, for qemu session this is not needed!

sudo systemctl enable --now libvirtd.service

3. Check for the status to make sure the service is running.

systemctl status libvirtd.service

Now you will be able to start creating your VM setup over the application.

QEMU connection does not require libvirtd.service running!

Optional Functionality

Package for extra functionality:


If Network is disabled after rebooting the host machine and you do not find a way to enable it, you can have it enabled per default from the command line. This will work after rebooting the host:

sudo virsh net-autostart default


If you wish to edit the created virtual machine disk images you can install libguestfs. These are set of tools that allow the user to view and edit files inside guest systems, change VM script changes, monitor disk space, create new guests, P2V, V2V, perform backups, clone VMs, and much more.

To install.

yay -S libguestfs


All QEMU user mode and system emulators

To install.

yay -S qemu-emulators-full


Glusterfs is a scalable network filesystem. This adds Glusterfs block support to QEMU.

To install.

yay -S qemu-block-gluster


iSCI enables storage access via a network. qemu-block-iscsi enables QEMU to block this.

To install.

yay -S qemu-block-iscsi


This would add support to SMB/CIFS support to QEMU.

To install.

yay -S samba

Installing virtio guest drivers for Windows

RedHat supplies a set of guest drivers for virtio which covers the graphic drivers for the guest system. You can download the latest drivers from their GitHub virtio-win-pkg-scripts page here.

How to install Virt-Manager

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