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virt-p2v-make-kickstart - Man Page

Build the virt-p2v kickstart


 virt-p2v-make-kickstart [-o p2v.ks] [--proxy=http://...] repo [repo...]


virt-p2v(1) converts a physical machine to run virtualized on KVM, managed by libvirt, OpenStack, oVirt, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV), or one of the other targets supported by virt-v2v(1).

Kickstart is a format used by Red Hat-derived distributions (such as Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Scientific Linux, and others) to describe how to make live CDs, install the distro, make "Spins" and so on.  It is driven by a kickstart file.

virt-p2v-make-kickstart builds a kickstart file which can be used to build a bootable P2V ISO, live CD, USB key, or PXE image.  This tool only builds the kickstart file, but this manual page describes some of the ways you can use the kickstart file.

The root user on the disk image uses p2v as its initial password.

Building the Kickstart File

Using virt-p2v-make-kickstart is very simple:

 virt-p2v-make-kickstart fedora

will build a kickstart file for Fedora.  The kickstart file will be called p2v.ks and located in the current directory.

The parameters are a list of one or more repositories.  Some built-in repositories are available: fedora, rawhide, koji or rhel-VERSION (eg. rhel-7.1).  You can also use a URL as a parameter to point to a repository, for example:

 virt-p2v-make-kickstart https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/21/Everything/x86_64/os/

To control the name of the output file, use the -o parameter.  To tell kickstart to use a proxy server or web cache to download files, use the --proxy parameter.

Building a Live CD / ISO

Once you have the kickstart file, you can use livecd-creator(8) to make a live CD:

 sudo livecd-creator p2v.ks

Before running this note that you should probably run livecd-creator in a disposable virtual machine for these reasons:

Building a Fedora Spin Using Koji

This requires spin-livecd permissions on Koji, which are not given out usually, even to Fedora packagers.  However assuming you have been given these permissions (or have your own Koji instance, I guess), then you can do:

 koji spin-livecd [--scratch] virt-p2v 1.XX.YY rawhide x86_64 p2v.ks

Building a Bootable USB Key

Use the livecd-iso-to-disk(8) program to convert the ISO created above to a USB key:

 sudo livecd-iso-to-disk livecd-p2v.iso /dev/sdX

Building a Pxe Boot Image

Use the livecd-iso-to-pxeboot program to convert the ISO created above to a PXE boot image.

 sudo livecd-iso-to-pxeboot livecd-p2v.iso

This creates a tftpboot subdirectory under the current directory containing the files required to PXE boot virt-p2v:

 $ ls -1R tftpboot/

32 or 64 Bit Virt-P2v?

Virt-p2v can convert any 32 or 64 bit guest, regardless of whether virt-p2v itself is built as a 32 or 64 bit binary.  The only restriction is that 64 bit virt-p2v cannot run on 32 bit hardware.

Old virt-p2v 0.9 was always built as a 32 bit (i686) ISO.  This meant that the CD could be booted on any 32- or 64-bit i686 or x86-64 hardware, and could convert any guest.  The old virt-p2v ISO shipped by Red Hat was based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.

Since RHEL 7 dropped support for 32 bit machines, current virt-p2v on RHEL can only be built for 64 bit.  It cannot run on old 32 bit only hardware.

Fedora virt-p2v ISOs are generally built for 32 bit, so like the old RHEL 6-based virt-p2v 0.9 they can boot on any hardware.

Testing Virt-P2v Using Qemu

Testing the P2V ISO Using Qemu

You can use qemu to test-boot the P2V ISO (BIOS mode):

 qemu-kvm -m 1024 -hda /tmp/guest.img -cdrom /tmp/livecd-p2v.iso -boot d

Note that -hda is the (virtual) system that you want to convert (for test purposes).  It could be any guest type supported by virt-v2v(1), including Windows or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


 qemu-kvm -m 1024 -M q35 \
     -drive if=pflash,format=raw,file=/usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE.fd,readonly=on \
     -drive if=pflash,format=raw,file=/usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_VARS.fd,snapshot=on \
     -drive if=none,format=raw,file=/tmp/guest.img,media=disk,id=guest-disk \
     -device ide-hd,drive=guest-disk,bus=ide.0 \
     -drive if=none,format=raw,file=/tmp/livecd-p2v.iso,media=cdrom,id=p2v-cdrom \
     -device ide-cd,drive=p2v-cdrom,bus=ide.1,bootindex=1

Testing Pxe Support Using Qemu

  • Unpack the tftpboot directory into /tmp (so it appears as /tmp/tftpboot).
  • Copy pxelinux.0 and ldlinux.c32 from syslinux (usually from /usr/share/syslinux) into /tmp/tftpboot.
  • Adjust the APPEND line in /tmp/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default if required.  See "KERNEL COMMAND LINE CONFIGURATION" in virt-p2v(1).
  • Run qemu like this so that it acts as a TFTP and BOOTP server, emulating a netboot:

     qemu-kvm \
         -m 4096 -hda /tmp/guest.img \
         -boot n \
         -netdev user,id=unet,tftp=/tmp/tftpboot,bootfile=/pxelinux.0 \
         -device virtio-net-pci,netdev=unet \
         -serial stdio

    Note that this requires considerably more memory because the PXE image is loaded into memory.  Also that qemu’s TFTP server is very slow and the virt-p2v PXE image is very large, so it can appear to "hang" after pxelinux starts up.

Adding Extra Packages

You can install extra packages using the --install option.  This can be useful for making a more fully-featured virt-p2v disk with extra tools for debugging and troubleshooting.  Give a list of packages, separated by commas.  For example:

 virt-p2v-make-kickstart [...] --install tcpdump,traceroute

Adding an SSH Identity

You can inject an SSH identity (private key) file to the kickstart and hence into the ISO using the --inject-ssh-identity option.  Note that you cannot inject a key once the ISO has been built.

First create a key pair.  It must have an empty passphrase:

 ssh-keygen -t rsa -N '' -f id_rsa

This creates a private key (id_rsa) and a public key (id_rsa.pub) pair.  The public key should be appended to the authorized_keys file on the virt-v2v conversion server (usually to /root/.ssh/authorized_keys).

The private key should be added to the kickstart file and then discarded:

 virt-p2v-make-kickstart [...] --inject-ssh-identity id_rsa
 rm id_rsa

The ISO can then be built from the kickstart in the usual way (see above), and it will contain the embedded SSH identity (/var/tmp/id_rsa).

When booting virt-p2v, specify the URL of the injected file like this:

 │         User name: [root_____________________________] │
 │                                                        │
 │          Password: [    <leave this field blank>     ] │
 │                                                        │
 │  SSH Identity URL: [file:///var/tmp/id_rsa___________] │

or if using the kernel command line, add:


For more information, see "SSH IDENTITIES" in virt-p2v(1).



Display help.

--inject-ssh-identity id_rsa

Add an SSH identity (private key) file into the kickstart. See "Adding an SSH Identity" above.

--install pkg,pkg,...

Add extra packages to the kickstart %packages section. See "Adding Extra Packages" above.

--output OUTPUT

Write kickstart to OUTPUT.  If not specified, the default is p2v.ks in the current directory.

--proxy URL

Tell the kickstart to use a proxy server or web cache for downloads.


Enable verbose output.  Use this if you need to debug problems with the script or if you are filing a bug.


Display version number and exit.



The virt-p2v(1) binary which is copied into the kickstart file.

The location of the binary can be changed by setting the VIRT_P2V_DATA_DIR environment variable.


Various data files that are used to make the kickstart.

The location of these files can be changed by setting the VIRT_P2V_DATA_DIR environment variable.

Environment Variables


The directory where virt-p2v-make-kickstart looks for data files and the virt-p2v binary (see "Files" above).  If not set, a compiled-in location is used.

See Also

virt-p2v(1), virt-p2v-make-disk(1), virt-v2v(1), livecd-creator(8), livecd-iso-to-disk(8), http://libguestfs.org/.


Richard W.M. Jones http://people.redhat.com/~rjones/


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program.  If not, see <https://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.


To get a list of bugs against libguestfs (which include virt-p2v), use this link: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/buglist.cgi?component=libguestfs&product=Virtualization+Tools

To report a new bug against libguestfs, use this link: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?component=libguestfs&product=Virtualization+Tools

When reporting a bug, please supply:

Referenced By

virt-p2v(1), virt-p2v-make-disk(1).

2024-03-25 virt-p2v-1.42.3 Virtualization Support