QEMU agent for graceful shutdown of Windows guests under libvirt/qemu-kvm

libvirt sending an ACPI shutdown doesn't always prompt Windows guests to shutdown. That's why there is a QEMU guest agent (which is also handy for freezing/thawing guest file systems.) Installing QEMU guest agent will also cause libvirt to block on shutdown commands until the guest has terminated.

libvirt XML definition required

<channel type='unix'>
<target type='virtio' name='org.qemu.guest_agent.0'/>
<address type='virtio-serial' controller='0' bus='0' port='1'/>
</channel>

You may also have to create /var/lib/libvirt/qemu/channel/target on the KVM host.

mkdir -p /var/lib/libvirt/qemu/channel/target
chown -R libvirt-qemu:kvm /var/lib/libvirt/qemu/channel/target

virtio-win drivers distributed by the Fedora Project contain the guest-agent and required virtioserial drivers for communication between guest and host and can be downloaded as an RPM package called virtio-win.

Once you have the RPM, you can either install it or convert it to a Debian package using alien. The ISO will be installed to /usr/share/virtio-win/virtio-win.iso and can be mounted in the guest.

virsh attach-disk GuestName /usr/share/virtio-win/virtio-win.iso hdc –type cdrom –mode readonly

Once you have restarted the guest with the XML definition changes, you can complete the following steps

  • Install virtioserial driver for PCI Simple Communication Controller under Device Manager, in the vioserial folder
  • Install the guest-agent located under the guest-agent folder for your architecture in the virtio-win ISO

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