2.2. Installing Virtualization Packages on an Existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux System

download PDF
This section describes the steps for installing the KVM hypervisor on an existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 system.
To install the packages, your machine must be registered and subscribed to the Red Hat Customer Portal. To register using Red Hat Subscription Manager, run the subscription-manager register command and follow the prompts. Alternatively, run the Red Hat Subscription Manager application from Applications System Tools on the desktop to register.
If you do not have a valid Red Hat subscription, visit the Red Hat online store to obtain one. For more information on registering and subscribing a system to the Red Hat Customer Portal, see

2.2.1. Installing Virtualization Packages Manually

To use virtualization on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, at minimum, you need to install the following packages:
  • qemu-kvm: This package provides the user-level KVM emulator and facilitates communication between hosts and guest virtual machines.
  • qemu-img: This package provides disk management for guest virtual machines.


    The qemu-img package is installed as a dependency of the qemu-kvm package.
  • libvirt: This package provides the server and host-side libraries for interacting with hypervisors and host systems, and the libvirtd daemon that handles the library calls, manages virtual machines, and controls the hypervisor.
To install these packages, enter the following command:
# yum install qemu-kvm libvirt
Several additional virtualization management packages are also available and are recommended when using virtualization:
  • virt-install: This package provides the virt-install command for creating virtual machines from the command line.
  • libvirt-python: This package contains a module that permits applications written in the Python programming language to use the interface supplied by the libvirt API.
  • virt-manager: This package provides the virt-manager tool, also known as Virtual Machine Manager. This is a graphical tool for administering virtual machines. It uses the libvirt-client library as the management API.
  • libvirt-client: This package provides the client-side APIs and libraries for accessing libvirt servers. The libvirt-client package includes the virsh command-line tool to manage and control virtual machines and hypervisors from the command line or a special virtualization shell.
You can install all of these recommended virtualization packages with the following command:
# yum install virt-install libvirt-python virt-manager virt-install libvirt-client

2.2.2. Installing Virtualization Package Groups

The virtualization packages can also be installed from package groups. You can view the list of available groups by running the yum grouplist hidden commad.
Out of the complete list of available package groups, the following table describes the virtualization package groups and what they provide.
Table 2.1. Virtualization Package Groups
Package Group Description Mandatory Packages Optional Packages
Virtualization Hypervisor Smallest possible virtualization host installation libvirt, qemu-kvm, qemu-img qemu-kvm-tools
Virtualization Client Clients for installing and managing virtualization instances gnome-boxes, virt-install, virt-manager, virt-viewer, qemu-img virt-top, libguestfs-tools, libguestfs-tools-c
Virtualization Platform Provides an interface for accessing and controlling virtual machines and containers libvirt, libvirt-client, virt-who, qemu-img fence-virtd-libvirt, fence-virtd-multicast, fence-virtd-serial, libvirt-cim, libvirt-java, libvirt-snmp, perl-Sys-Virt
Virtualization Tools Tools for offline virtual image management libguestfs, qemu-img libguestfs-java, libguestfs-tools, libguestfs-tools-c
To install a package group, run the yum group install package_group command. For example, to install the Virtualization Tools package group with all the package types, run:
# yum group install "Virtualization Tools" --setopt=group_package_types=mandatory,default,optional
For more information on installing package groups, see How to install a group of packages with yum on Red Hat Enterprise Linux? Knowledgebase article.
Red Hat logoGithubRedditYoutubeTwitter


Try, buy, & sell


About Red Hat Documentation

We help Red Hat users innovate and achieve their goals with our products and services with content they can trust.

Making open source more inclusive

Red Hat is committed to replacing problematic language in our code, documentation, and web properties. For more details, see the Red Hat Blog.

About Red Hat

We deliver hardened solutions that make it easier for enterprises to work across platforms and environments, from the core datacenter to the network edge.

© 2024 Red Hat, Inc.