June 3, 2013

Using KVM and Virt-Manager via XQuartz on MacOSX (and solving the keymapping trouble)

In the last couple of months I got to play around with virtualization at work. Doing automated delivery pipleines and provisiong via puppet I decided it’s time to get my hands even more dirty at home.

I got myself a HP Microserver N54L equipped with 16 GB of RAM and 9 TB disks. I wanted ZFS and KVM. Since the machine has an AMD processor the only way was to install Linux on it. SmartOS would have been a nice choice but it only supports KVM for Intel processors.

There are some hickups to get virt-manager running via X11 on Macos.

You need to fix two things.

First you need to add a .Xmodmap to your home directory.

{% codeblock ~/.Xmodmap %} clear Mod1 keycode 66 = Alt_L keycode 69 = Alt_R add Mod1 = Alt_L add Mod1 = Alt_R {% endcodeblock %}

This will enabled Left-Alt, Left-Command to exit the VNC Screen.

When you start up virt-manager make sure you select the approriate Keymap. Otherwise you keyboard will be garbled.

Virt Manager VNC Keymap settings

With that you should have no problem running virt-manager via X11 on Macos.

If you are installing an image via commandline make sure to specify --graphics vnc,keymap=en-us.

Used Version:

  • Virt-Manager 0.9.0
  • XQuartz 2.7.2

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