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  VMs under KVM/QEMU

Automates the process of getting the images and converting them for usage with KVM. There are 3 scripts:
Attempt to parse the relevant .zip download URLs from the page (url)
Given a URL to a VM .zip file, uncompress and convert into a QCOW2 file for use with QEMU, which will be waiting for you in the current directory. Will also support a URL to a .txt file full of .zip part URLs, although MS seem to have deprecated this. (QCOW image)
Fetch virtio.iso if not already there, and start the image with reasonable options


wget & QEMU must be installed.

Debian / apt-based distributions:

apt install wget unzip qemu-system-x86 qemu-system-gui qemu-utils

Preparing a VM image

  1. Run to list available Windows / IE images, or go to and select the VM you require and "Virtualbox", and copy the .zip location in the download link.

  2. Run http://../IE11/ and wait. You can break out of the download and resume it at a later point if necessary.

  3. Run (name of image). Or omit the name if you want to run the most recent QCOW2 file. Use -h to see available options.

  4. If the VM asks you for a login, it should be IEUser / Passw0rd!.

  5. Install virtIO drivers (if you did not specify --no-virtio):

    1. Go to "Settings" -> "Device Manager"
    2. For each unknown device, as well as for the display adapter, right-click and select "Update driver"
    3. Select "Browse my computer for the driver software"
    4. Select the CD drive (D: virtio-win-x.x), Windows will work out which driver within to install
  6. Disable Windows Defender AV:

    1. Settings -> "Windows Defender Settings" -> "Virus & threat protection"
    2. Untick all the sliders
    3. Start menu -> type in "gpedit.msc"
    4. "Computer Configuration" -> "Administrative Templates" -> "Windows Components" -> "Windows Defender Antivirus"
    5. "Turn off Windows Defender Antivirus" policy
    6. "Enable" and OK
  7. Miscallaneous:

    1. Set screen resolution
    2. Set home page to (your laptop's port 8000)
  8. Shut down windows, note qemu is still running.

  9. At the QEMU monitor console (in the terminal you ran ./ from), run commit ide0-hd0 to write changes back to the QCOW2 file.

  10. Quit QEMU with quit at the console

  11. Delete the workdir-* once you're happy everything worked.

Running a VM image

Run ./ (name of .qcow2 file). By default any changes to the VM will be written to a temporary file, so the machine will always start up in the same state. Use commit virtio0 if you wish to update the QCOW2 image.

Once you have prepared your VM image, including installing the VirtIO SCSI controller, add --disk-virtio to the arguments in order to use it.

For better performance, you may want to customise the number of CPUs (default: 1) and amount of memory (default 1024MB) granted to the VM. This can be done as follows, for example:

EXTRA_ARGS='-smp cpus=4' ./ --disk-virtio --ram 4096M "MSEdge - Win10.qcow2"

If you want to have a VM that's customised for your project somehow, you could just copy the .qcow2, however that's a lot of diskspace. Instead you can create a new image that's based on the contents of another file, for example:

qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b "IE9 - Win7.qcow2" MyProject.IE9.Win7.qcow2

Code 39 when installing VirtIO drivers

Vista and WinXP can use the Win8 driver incorrectly. Select the directory manually and then install.

Blue screen after installing VirtIO QXL VGA drivers

Windows 7 doesn't work with the qxldod driver. Delete virtio-win.iso and re-install.

Passing through laptop's touchscreen

My laptop has a multitouch touchscreen:

# lsusb -d 1fd2:6007 Bus 001 Device 006: ID 1fd2:6007 Melfas LGDisplay Incell Touch

If I temporarily grant read-write to the usb device:

# ls -l /dev/bus/usb/001/006 crw-rw-r-- 1 root root 189, 5 Apr 21 10:31 /dev/bus/usb/001/006 # chmod a+rw /dev/bus/usb/001/006

...then QEMU can claim it and I can use it directly under QEMU, testing pinch-zoom effects:

EXTRA_ARGS="-device usb-host,vendorid=0x1fd2,productid=0x6007" ./ . . .

About VMs under KVM/QEMU







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