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Drivers

Most popular Linux distributions will have the correct drivers already built in. If you are building your own kernel, make sure to include the following options:

  • CONFIG_VIRTIO
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_RING
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_PCI
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_BALLOON
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_BLK for storage devices
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_CONSOLE for console devices
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_NET for networking
  • CONFIG_DRM_VIRTIO_GPU for graphical output
  • CONFIG_NET_9P, CONFIG_NET_9P_VIRTIO, CONFIG_9P_FS, CONFIG_9P_FS_POSIX_ACL for VirtFS directory sharing
  • CONFIG_VIRTIO_FS for VirtioFS directory sharing

To use the experimental OpenGL hardware acceleration features in the QEMU backend, make sure a compatible display card is selected and the VirGL driver is enabled in Mesa.

SPICE Agent

SPICE agent is required for clipboard sharing (both QEMU and Apple backend) as well as dynamic display resolution in QEMU backend.

Most distributions will have a package named spice-vdagent but you can also build it from the source. Some common distributions and install instructions are listed below.

Ubuntu, Debian, apt based

$ sudo apt install spice-vdagent

Fedora, CentOS, RPM based

$ sudo yum install spice-vdagent

These systems will typically already have SPICE agent installed.

ArchLinux

$ sudo pacman -S spice-vdagent

SPICE WebDAV

SPICE WebDAV is required for QEMU directory sharing as an alternative to VirtFS.

Once SPICE WebDAV is installed and running, you should be able to access http://127.0.0.1:9843 from inside the guest. This is a WebDAV share that you can mount using something like davfs2.

Most distributions will have a package named spice-webdavd or phodav but you can also build it from the source. Some common distributions and install instructions are listed below.

Ubuntu, Debian, apt based

$ sudo apt install spice-webdavd

Fedora, CentOS, RPM based

$ sudo yum install spice-webdavd

ArchLinux

$ sudo pacman -S phodav

VirtFS

VirtFS enables QEMU directory sharing as an alternative to SPICE WebDAV.

After making sure your Linux installation supports 9pfs, you can mount the share with the following command:

$ sudo mkdir [mount point]
$ sudo mount -t 9p -o trans=virtio share [mount point] -oversion=9p2000.L

Where [mount point] is the desired destination path. For example: /media/share.

You can also modify /etc/fstab and add the following line to automatically mount the share on startup:

share	[mount point]	9p	trans=virtio,version=9p2000.L,rw,_netdev,nofail	0	0

Fixing permission errors

You may notice that accessing the mount point fails with “access denied” unless you’re the root user. This is because by default the directory inherits the UID/GID from macOS/iOS which has a different numbering scheme. You can fix the error with the following command:

$ sudo chown -R $USER [mount point]

This will not change the permissions on your host system but will store the guest ownership in a file attribute.

macOS VirtioFS

When using Apple Virtualization backend, directory sharing is enabled through VirtioFS.

VirtioFS is NOT the same as VirtFS which is used by the QEMU backend for directory sharing.

After making sure your Linux installation supports VirtioFS, you can mount the share with the following command:

$ sudo mkdir [mount point]
$ sudo mount -t virtiofs share [mount point]

Where [mount point] is the desired destination path. For example: /media/share.

You can also modify /etc/fstab and add the following line to automatically mount the share on startup:

share	[mount point]	virtiofs	rw,nofail	0	0