Computing and Networks

Nested Virtualisation

Hosting a virtual machine inside a virtual machine

KVM trickery for conceptualisation  and testing.

If your server/host supports VT-x, it goes to say so should the guests.  When trying to setup a oVirt node with hosted engine in KVM I was coming to a grinding halt with the following error.

[ ERROR ] Failed to execute stage 'Environment setup': Hardware does not support virtualization

Turns out the the VT-x capabilities of the host CPU was not being passed through to the guest OS.  This would have been avoided with a bit of care when creating the the original guest image (which has since be cloned a few times to the guest I’m tring to setup now).

Fortunately, this is relatively easy to correct in 2 to 3 simple steps.

Check if nested KVM is enabled:

~# cat /sys/module/kvm_intel/parameters/nested

If the cat command returned a ‘n’ the fix could be a bit more complex, but a good start would be to run.

~# echo 'options kvm_intel nested=1' >> /etc/modprobe.d/qemu-system-x86.conf

Then reboot.

OK! after confirming that nested KVM is anabled on the host, edit the configuration file for the virtual guest (while the virtual guest is powered down.

~# virsh edit <name of guest>
Chnage change “cpu mode” so it reads
 <cpu mode='host-passthrough'>

Power on the guest and continue with creating nested virtual machines.


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