Install virtio drivers in Windows after full virtualization

Avatar forum:Tech10 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Hi,

I'll be surprised if there's a solution to this topic, but if not, that's okay, it's just a fun project for me to try.

I wanted to see if I could get Windows running on a Linode, a completely unsupported configuration, but one that would prevent me from paying any extra if I set everything up correctly. Unfortunately, being blind, I couldn't simply go about it in a usual manner that would allow me to install the operating system with the virtio drivers. My attempts to do so have yielded little result, as I've been unable to get audio in my KVM virtual machine during the Windows setup process. Using Qemu and the hda audio device doesn't seem to work correctly for me on a 32 bit copy of Windows 10, or at least, no audio is presented to me using pulseaudio, and with alsa using hda, audio breaks up so horribly it's unusable. I can't use Narrator to go about an install the way I usually would. These things I've tried without results over the past few days, but I started with something that was successful.

I use a Mac, so I run VMWare Fusion for my virtual machines. Creating one of Windows 10 was easy, and I started with the 64 bit version. I set up Windows with the initial applications I wanted on a 20G disk successfully, with audio and network working out of the box as I expected. Once I enabled and verified remote access to my disk image, I shut down the virtual machine, attached the disk to another Linux virtual machine, and successfully uploaded it. I'm now running Windows on a Linode 2G using full virtualization, but I want to install and use a 32 bit copy of Windows so I can run it on a Linode 1G. In addition to this, I want to ensure that paravirtualization will indeed be faster for me on the 2G Linode, and may stick with that if it works out right. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems that I've run into.

You cannot, to my knowledge, install the virtio drivers without the proper devices on the Linode. My attempts to boot a KVM virtual machine within my Linux virtual machine, using another installed disk image have failed if I try and add a disk using the virtio interface, with the virtio network driver, also. If I attempt to install the virtio drivers on my current Linode and then reboot it, I'm pretty sure it will fail with some obscure unknown event I won't be able to see, as Glish is useless to me. So, here's my questions. Is there a way to install the virtio drivers and successfully use them when booting Windows using paravirtualization, with all network and drive access working correctly? Or, is there a way to add a secondary virtio disk and network device that I can use to install the drivers with, remove them, then boot up in Windows using the installed virtio drivers? I'm guessing the second probably won't be allowed, even with a support ticket to Linode, as this is a completely unsupported configuration.

Also, on a side note, Windows 10 only supports up to 2 CPUs from my research. So, would there be a way to use cores on 1 CPU, rather than multiple CPUs within the Linode KVM environment? Thanks for any insight or answers anyone may have.

Blake

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