At How to run Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop on QEMU? I have described in detail how to boot and install the desktop Ubuntu image on QEMU.

Now I wanted to do a similar setup for the server image to try keep things more minimal:

wget http://releases.ubuntu.com/18.04/ubuntu-

I have installed the server image with the GUI previously, and the setup seems to be text based, so I thought it might work.

But then, if I just add the usual:

-nographic -serial mon:stdio

as in:

qemu-system-x86_64 -cdrom ubuntu- \
  -drive file=ubuntu-,format=qcow2 \
  -enable-kvm   -m 2G   -smp 2   -vga virtio -nographic -serial mon:stdio

I just never get anything on the terminal serial.

I also tried to mount the image to see what was inside:

mkdir mydir
sudo mount ubuntu- mydir

to see what was inside, and:

cat mydir/boot/grub/grub.cfg

indicates that there is no console=ttyS0 option on the command line, which might explain why the terminal is empty.

I can't edit the ISO file however without first going into a GUI session, as it is mounted readonly.

I have already used the Cloud image previously, and it is great: Is there any prebuilt QEMU Ubuntu image(32bit) online? but I can't use it this time because I need GRUB for something (edit: nevermind, the cloud image does have GRUB, just it is hidden by default, see: How to get to the GRUB menu at boot-time using serial console? )

Related: How to get to the GRUB menu at boot-time using serial console? I managed to get GRUB to show on the terminal after changing the GRUB configuration with the GUI as shown in that thread.

Tested on an Ubuntu 16.04 host.


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