How to install Virtual Machine Manager (KVM) in Manjaro and Arch Linux

Because you don't need VMware or Virtualbox to run Virtual Machines in Linux

Linux users don’t need to have VMware or VirtualBox to run virtual machines. KVM is a Kernel-based Virtual Machine built with-in the Linux kernel. Using KVM, one can run several virtual operating systems including Linux, Microsoft Windows, and any other operating system.

In this article, let’s take a look at how to install KVM on Arch Linux and Manjaro Linux.

Installing KVM in Arch Linux and Manjaro Linux

Before installing KVM, you need to first check if your computer has the necessary hardware support to run virtual machines. KVM requires VT-x for Intel processors and AMD-V for AMD processors. Here is how to check:

Checking Hardware Support

Launch ‘Terminal’ and enter the following command:

LC_ALL=C lscpu | grep Virtualization

If your computer supports virtualization, you should see the output as “Virtualization: VT-x” or “Virtualization: AMD-V”.

For example, if my Intel-based test PC, I see the following output in the Terminal.

Check Virtualization Capability
Check Virtualization Capability

If nothing is displayed, it means your PC can’t be used to install Virtual machines. This is not the end of the world. Manufacturers sometimes disable the feature by default settings. To make sure, boot your computer’s BIOS and check. Refer to your computer maker and model manual for how to boot into BIOS.

Checking Kernel Support

Apart from hardware support, you also need a necessary kernel module to be installed on your computer to support KVM.

Launch Terminal and enter the following command to check:

zgrep CONFIG_KVM /proc/config.gz

Check the output. You should see CONFIG_KVM_INTEL or CONFIG_KVM_AMD as ‘m’ or ‘y’. Here is output in my test PC.

CONFIG_KVM_GUEST=y
# CONFIG_KVM_DEBUG_FS is not set
CONFIG_KVM_MMIO=y
CONFIG_KVM_ASYNC_PF=y
CONFIG_KVM_VFIO=y
CONFIG_KVM_GENERIC_DIRTYLOG_READ_PROTECT=y
CONFIG_KVM_COMPAT=y
CONFIG_KVM=m
CONFIG_KVM_INTEL=m
CONFIG_KVM_AMD=m
CONFIG_KVM_MMU_AUDIT=y

Installing KVM (Virtual Machine Manager)

STEP 1: Launch Terminal and enter the following command to install KVM and necessary dependencies.

sudo pacman -S virt-manager qemu vde2 ebtables dnsmasq bridge-utils openbsd-netcat

STEP 2: The next two steps are very important and often ignored by many users. Make sure to complete it else, you will get error “adduser: The group `libvirtd’ does not exist” when you run the Virtual Machine Manager after installation is complete!

Enable the service by entering the below command:

sudo systemctl enable libvirtd.service

STEP 3: Start the service using below command:

sudo systemctl start libvirtd.service

Virtual Machine manager should now be installed on your computer. You can launch it from ‘Applications’. Look for ‘Virtual Machine Manager’, not KVM!

Virtual Machine Manager running in Manjaro Linux
Virtual Machine Manager running in Manjaro Linux

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hi please help me .Even I followed your instruction I got bellow errors
    I even used sudo for virt-manager

    Unable to connect to libvirt lxc:///.

    Verify that the ‘libvirtd’ daemon is running.

    Libvirt URI is: lxc:///

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/share/virt-manager/virtManager/connection.py”, line 1036, in _do_open
    self._backend.open(self._do_creds_password)
    File “/usr/share/virt-manager/virtinst/connection.py”, line 144, in open
    open_flags)
    File “/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/libvirt.py”, line 105, in openAuth

  2. The optional dependencies for libvirt should be installed as dependencies, not explicitly installed:
    sudo pacman -S virt-manager
    sudo pacman -S --asdeps qemu ebtables dnsmasq bridge-utils netcat

    It’s not necessary to install vde2 separately as it’s a dependency of qemu.

    • if you’re using –asdeps option in this context, these packages become orphans. List them with pacman -Qdtq

      If anyone periodically remove orphans they will deleted them too.

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