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I would like to run a KVM guest from a tty without any X server or graphical elements running.

  • What command do I use to do this if it's possible?
  • Will running the command give different results in Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server?
  • How would I exit from the guest once it's running?

NB I actually want to add an entry in the login menu to take me to the aforementioned guest, but I am planning to ask about that in a separate question. Please take this note into consideration if it affects anything.

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You can start the guest using virsh, by simply running virsh start vmname where vmname matches the output from virsh list --all. All this does is actually start the machine, it does not connect you to it in any way.

The only way to do that would be through VNC/Serial/SSH, but all of these are configured at guest-level. You can try virsh console vmname, but I have never used this myself, so cannot vouch for its effectiveness. See also these Ubuntu instructions.

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