KVM virtual machine images

When running a VMware prepared virtual machine image on KVM the following issues might be encountered:

SCSI issue

LVM (Logical Volume Manager) is not able to locate the volumegroup during boot. This occurs when booting KVM with the SCSI-disk option "if=scsi":


qemu-system-x86_64 -drive index=0,media=disk,if=scsi,boot=on,file=./ScientificLinux4/ScientificLinux4.vmdk

This problem can be worked around by specifying the option "if=ide". This is however not optimal for the following reason:

  • File system checks will try to to check the disk regularly. This will fail the boot process from time to time because the disk device now is /dev/hda and not /dev/sda as expected.

The best solution is to install new VMware virtual machines with a ide hard drive so that it is usable for both VMware and KVM.

Ethernet issue

The ethernet adapter MAC-address changes when moving to a new hypervisor. This causes some operating systems to fail bringing up the network and not receiving an IP-address. The MAC-address could be read from the .vmx file, but it is not supported by the VMLoader at the time of writing.

This problem can be worked around by:


Adding the command "/sbin/dhclient" or "/sbin/dhcpd" to the "rc.local" script.

VMware -> KVM - Windows guest migration

When booting Windows XP virtual machine created in VMware in the KVM hypervisor - it will bluescreen (crash). This probably applies to other NT-based operating systems as well. In order to ease the detection of new hardware the following registry keys should be installed.

-- OeyvindValenSendstad - 05 Aug 2009

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Topic revision: r2 - 2009-08-05 - OeyvindValenSendstad
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