Wednesday, April 11, 2012

KVM with Spice USB Redirection on Fedora 16

After some initial trouble I managed to get Windows 7 32bit working in KVM on Fedora 16 on my Thinkpad T410s.  For the most part it works except for a strange issue where hardware virt works only *once*.  If I shutdown the guest, I need to reboot the laptop for hardware virt to work again.  I then struggled to use USB storage devices in the Windows guest as is often required in school.  It turns out that the USB passthrough in virt-manager is only capable of USB 1.0 and is ultimately unusable due to its fragility.  PCI passthrough for my sdio slot did not work either.

Windows 7 KVM guest with Spice USB Redirection on Fedora 16 host
Fortunately, Spice's USB network redirection seems to work great.  virt-manager is not capable of configuring or using it directly, but following these directions and using the spicy client, I managed to redirect USB 2.0 devices to my KVM guest.  It even has an option to automatically redirect newly plugged devices, and it does so intelligently to the host or guest depending which window has keyboard focus at that moment.

spicy client seems better than spicec or virt-manager, although Shift-F11 to escape full screen mode seems to be broken.  Until this bug is fixed, a temporary workaround is to CTRL-ALT-F2 and kill spicy in order to escape.  UPDATE: It seems Shift-F11 fails to both enter and exit full screen mode.  Full screen can only be entered from the View menu of spicy.  However Shift-F12 to ungrab the mouse does successfully escape from full screen spicy.