The bulk of this post was written way back in April 2012. If you’re just coming here, and looking to setup oVirt, you should probably skip down to the postscript for an update, and ignore most of the content here (as it’s applicable to an older oVirt version).

I recently started setting up oVirt, the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, at work for some testing (mainly a “sandbox” VM environment, and because Foreman supports it). To start with, I had two nodes, each with two dual-core Xeon processors (VT-x capable) with 20GB RAM, one with 600GB internal storage and one with 140GB internal. While oVirt’s documentation isn’t exactly wonderful, I found a blgo post by Jason Brooks, How to Get Up and Running with oVirt, which gives a great walkthrough of getting the oVirt Engine setup on a machine, and also setting up that same machine as a VM host. As oVirt is still fairly young, this is all done on Fedora. I performed my installation via Cobbler, though I’m afraid to admit it was an entirely manual, interactive install.

I did run into a few bumps during Jason’s tutorial. In step 15, adding the data NFS export as a Storage Domain, I was unable to add the NFS export. I found the Troubleshooting NFS Storage Issues page on the oVirt wiki, ensured that SELinux was disabled and that the export had the correct permissions, confirmed that /etc/nfsmount.conf specified Nfsvers=3, rebooted, and then ran the script. At this point, I was able to add the other storage domains in steps 15 and 16.

My second issue was that even on Fedora 16, I simply can’t get the spice client (through the spice-xpi browser plugin) to work. As far as I can tell from the logs, it looks like spicec is being sent a value of “None” for the secured port parameter, instead of the correct port number. I assume this is a bug in oVirt, but I’ll revisit this problem when I have time. In the mean time, I changed my test VM to use VNC, which is launched by installing the ovirt-engine-cli package (see below) on your client computer, connecting to the oVirt API with ovirt-shell:

ovirt-shell --connect --url= --user=admin@internal --password adminpassword
and then running console vm_name. This launches the vncviewer binary, which is in the “tigervnc” package on Fedora.

Installing ovirt-engine-cli

To run ovirt-shell on your workstation (Fedora 16, of course…) you’ll need the ovirt-engine-cli and ovirt-engine-sdk packages. I manually downloaded them from, versions 2.1.3 and 1.6.2, respecitively. The SDK and CLI are python based, so there are a few Python dependencies, all of which were automatically solved by yum. I know there are SDK and CLI packages out there for other distros, but haven’t tried them yet.

Installing Linux Guests

Installing a CentOS 6.2 x86_64 guest was relatively straightforward, and my usual kickstart infrastructure worked fine. The only catch was the VirtIO storage interface, which shows up as /dev/vdx instead of /dev/sdx; I just added another kickstart metadata option in Cobbler that allows me to use sdx by specifying “virtual=yes” (for our VMWare hosts), or vdx by specifying “virtual=ovirt”.

Setting up Authentication

As installed, oVirt only has one user, “admin@internal”; it requires an external directory service for user authentication. Currently, it supports IPA, Red Hat’s Enterprise Identity Management tool (combines RHEL, oVirt Directory Server, Kerberos and NTP; perhaps FreeIPA would work as well?) and Microsoft Active Directory. As much as I’d like to give IPA or FreeIPA a try, my company already has an AD infrastructure, so I opted to go that route. Documentation is given in the oVirt 3.0 Installation Guide, starting on page 96. Unfortunately, I was never about to get AD auth working correctly, so I just worked with the one admin user.

Adding a Node

The biggest issue I had was adding the second node to oVirt. I attempted to use the DVD Import feature of Cobbler on the oVirt Node Image ISO, but that failed. I then found the image’s LiveOS/livecd-iso-to-pxeboot script and used that to make a kernerl and initrd, and kernel parameters, for Cobbler. PXE works fine.

Postscript: I ended up blowing away my oVirt installation in favor of testing other things. At some point, the engine install got corrupted in a way that I just couldn’t fix; even though I spent all day one Saturday working on it, it took more time than I could allocate to a personal project. So this post is really semi-complete at best. However, there is some good news. Jason Brooks’ original post, How to Get Up and Running with oVirt, was written for oVirt 3.0, as was this post. Since then, there has been a new release, oVirt 3.1, which apparently has a better UI and a better installer. Jason Brooks has a new post, Up and Running with oVirt, 3.1 Edition, which covers installation and configuration of both an all-in-one machine and a separate node. If you’re looking to try oVirt, I’d recommend you give that a shot. Unfortunately (and strangely, given that this is supposed to be the “upstream” of RedHat’s proprietary RHEV) it’s still all based on Fedora.


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