Although Redhat recently released it’s windows virtio drivers under the open source license, you would have noticed that no files are posted yet at the download link provided. I’ve received a lot of qeustions from readers about when this will be available but unfortunately I myself don’t know and not privy to this information. However, I was browsing around in my redhat account last week and noticed the package sitting there! I thought I’d write up a preview on what you might see when it’s finally available. In this post I’ll start with a preview of the network drivers on a windows xp guest. In the next post to follow, I’ll do a preview on the block drivers.
The contents of the package (named virtio-win-1.0.0-2-31383.el5.noarch.rpm ) includes a cdrom iso image and what looks like a virtual floppy disk image. On installing the package these files are placed on your host so that they can be later mounted in your kvm windows guest for installation. Below shows the contents of the iso image file on mounting it.
The contents shows two drivers, one for block ( disks ) and one for network, each one in two flavors of 32 and 64 bit.
The drivers provided comes with an easy to use windows installer and can be installed in an already running windows guest. Based on your host system, you simply need to double click the appropriate RHEV-Network file to kick off the installation. In my case I needed to use the RHEV-Network64 driver. You’ll then be greeted by the following installation wizard.
Click Next to Continue.
You’ll then be presented with tcp network performance options. Leave the default for best performance.
At this point you can begin the installation by clicking Install.
You’ll be prompted with the warning about the software not being compatible with windows XP. Go ahead an select “Continue Anyway”.
At this point installation of your network drivers is complete.
If your guest wasn’t already running using virtio network option, you need to restart your guest using the network virtio options using the following syntax.
qemu-system-x86-64 -had windows.img -net nic,model=virtio
If you’re using virt-manager, then remove and recreate your network card as a virtio type. Once your machine has started you’ll be prompted with the hardware wizard.
Select “No, not at this time” and click Next.
Select “Install from a specific location” and click Next.
Specify a driver to install as shown above and click Next.
You’ll now have the option to install the driver installed in the previous section. You can ignore the warning about the driver not being digitally signed and click next.
The driver will begin installation.
Click “Continue Anyway” at the prompt.
When you inspect your network connections from your windows guest you should now see it listed as Redhat’s virtio ethernet adapter. I’ll be doing a follow up post with the block drivers soon.