Running a JumpBox with virt-image and libvirt

05 December 2007

JumpBox packages open source applications as appliances. Since I wanted to see what they are all about, I downloaded one of them.

After unpacking, the first roadblock is that the appliance doesn’t come with any config file for libvirt - JumpBox includes a Xen config file, but I wanted to run the appliance under kvm.

This is easily fixed by writing a simple image.xml descriptor that is used with virt-image to create the virtual machine.

There is one more hurdle to overcome: the raw data disk in the downloaded appliance is corrupt. That is thanks to qemu-img easy to overcome: simply convert the included VHD disk to RAW.

With that, running a JumpBox under kvm consists of these steps:

  1. Download and unzip the appliance somewhere
  2. Change into that directory and write a suitable `image.xml` — the one I used can be found [here](
  3. Convert the VHD to RAW with `qemu-img convert disks/data/data.vhd -O raw disks/data/data.raw`
  4. Run `virt-image image.xml` Depending on the version you run, it might ask you a few questions — answer them and your VM will be started

As an additional benefit, the image.xml will let you create a virtual machine under Xen without any changes.

The necessary tools are all part of the python-virtinst package on Fedora. The website for them is here

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