How to install KVM and Virt-Manager on Rocky Linux 8 or AlmaLinux

Vmware Player and VirtualBox are popular ways to run virtual machines on Linux however they are Type-2 Virtualizaer which uses OS to communicate kernel. Whereas to get almost native speed, we can use Linux KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine. The KVM kernel module has been included in Linux since version 2.6.20 of the Linux kernel.

Let’s see the steps to install KVM on Rocky Linux, CentOS, or AlmaLinux 8 and Virt Manager a GUI to manage virtual machines running on it.

You might be want to know the steps to install VirtualBox on Rocky Linux 8 as well.


  • A non-root sudo user access
  • Virtualization enable in BIOS

Steps to Install KVM on Rocky Linux 8

The steps and commands given here will also work for Almalinux, CentOS 8/7, and REHL Linux distros.

1 .Run system Update

To refresh the system cache and update the existing system packages, open command terminal and run update command-

sudo dnf update


2. Check Virtualization is enabled on the system or not

Most of the modern CPUs come with Virtualization support and the same is also enabled to use in the Motherboard BIOS. Hence to ensure that let’s run a command on the terminal.

cat /proc/cpuinfo | egrep "vmx|svm"

If the Hardware virtualization is enabled then for Intel CPU you will get VMX in the result and for AMD – SVM.

Check System Supports Hardware Virtualization or not


3. Command to install KVM on Rocky Linux

The packages to install the Kernel Virtualization machine on Rocky Linux is available in its official repository thus we don’t need to add any third-party repo to it. Simply run the below command and it will be on your system along with other KVM management tools.

sudo dnf install @virt virt-top libguestfs-tools virt-install

Start and Enable libvirtd Daemon

sudo systemctl enable --now libvirtd

Command to install KVM on rocky Linux 8


4. Command-line to create a KVM virtual machine

Although we can use a Graphical user interface to easily create virtual machines,  we learn that later. Here let’s see the commands that we can use to create VM using our terminal.

Create Virtual Disk-

qemu-img create -f qcow2 /var/lib/libvirt/images/mint.qcow2 30G

Note: In the above command change the bold items that are: mint– a name of Virtual hard disk we want to create and 30G is the space we want to assign to it.

Command to configure Virtual machine and to install Guest OS using ISO file-

 sudo virt-install \
--virt-type kvm \
--name Linuxmint \
--ram 2024 \
--disk /var/lib/libvirt/images/mint.qcow2 \
--network network=default --graphics vnc,listen= \
--noautoconsole \
--os-type=linux \
--os-variant=generic \


Note– Change the bold values in the above command as per your requirement. For example, here we are installing LinuxMint OS on our Guest VM running on KVM using CLI.

–name– Type the name you want to give your VM
–ram– the amount of Memory want to assign to Guest OS.
–disk– the path of the disk we have created using qemu-img command
–cdrom–  Path of ISO file which we want to use to install Guest operating system

command to install Virtual machine using KVM

To view the GUI interface of VM, you can use VNC Viewer such as TigerVNC.

sudo yum install tigervnc

Check the VNC Display port number for running VM

sudo virsh vncdisplay your-vm-name

Open Installed TigerVNC and type the IP address of your host where KVM is has been installed along with the port.

Find Display port for VNC KVM


5. Now some other helpful Vrish commands to manage created Guest VM

To see all the installed VMs

sudo virsh list --all

To Stop running VM

sudo virsh stop VM-name 

To Start

sudo virsh start VM-name 

To save the current state of a running VM

sudo virsh save vm-name vm-name-save

To restore saved VM

sudo virsh restore vm-name-save


sudo virsh reboot vm-name

Suspend/Pause Virtual machine

sudo virsh suspend vm-name


sudo virsh resume vm-name


sudo virsh shutdown vm-name


sudo virsh destroy vm-name

To connect Console

sudo virsh console vm-name


Install Virt-Manager on Rocky Linux to Create KVM VMs using GUI

So far, we talked about command interface to operate the virtual machines, however, after installing KVM we can also use a graphical user interface with the help of Virt-Manager.

1. Virt-Manager installation command on Rocky Linux

The packages we need are already in the AppStream repo of Rocky Linux, thus just simply run the below command to get it on your system-

sudo dnf install virt-manager

2. Create Virtual Machines on Rocky Linux

Whatever VMs you have created so far will also show on the Virt-manager to manage them. Using this Graphical user interface we can perform various tasks such as create, delete, view, stop, and more for VMs.

Let’s see the steps to set up a Virtual machine using Virt-manager

1. New Virtual Machine

On Virtual Machine Manager, click “File” in the menu and select “New Virtual Machine“.

New Virtual Machine KVM Virt Rocky Linux

2. Choose how you would like to install the operating system.

Most of the time we use ISO images to install the guest operating system. Thus, select “Local install media (ISO image or CDROM)” and click the “Forward” button.

Local installation media KVM

3. Choose ISO file and Operating system type

Hit the Browse button, click on the + icon given for Volumes and select the ISO file. And after that “Select OS type “Generic default”.

Choose ISO file in Virt manager Rocky Linux

4. Choose Memory and CPU Settings

As per your virtual machine’s OS requirements set RAM and CPU.

Choose RAM and CPUI

5. Create a disk image for the virtual machine

Increase or decrease the amount of storage you want to add for a Virtual disk.

Create Disk image for Virtual image in Virt Manager

5. Name your Virtual machine and finish the installation

Name Virrtual Machine

6. Open running KVM to view its GUI or CLI interface

To get the graphical user interface or console view, select VM and then click on the Open button.

Open View of VM in Virt manager

KVM and Virt Manager installation on Rocky Linux 8



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