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6.1.6 Installing GuixSD in a Virtual Machine

If you’d like to install GuixSD in a virtual machine (VM) or on a virtual private server (VPS) rather than on your beloved machine, this section is for you.

To boot a QEMU VM for installing GuixSD in a disk image, follow these steps:

  1. First, retrieve and decompress the GuixSD installation image as described previously (see USB Stick and DVD Installation).
  2. Create a disk image that will hold the installed system. To make a qcow2-formatted disk image, use the qemu-img command:
    qemu-img create -f qcow2 guixsd.img 50G
    

    The resulting file will be much smaller than 50 GB (typically less than 1 MB), but it will grow as the virtualized storage device is filled up.

  3. Boot the USB installation image in an VM:
    qemu-system-x86_64 -m 1024 -smp 1 \
      -net user -net nic,model=virtio -boot menu=on \
      -drive file=guixsd-install-0.14.0.system.iso \
      -drive file=guixsd.img
    

    The ordering of the drives matters.

    In the VM console, quickly press the F12 key to enter the boot menu. Then press the 2 key and the RET key to validate your selection.

  4. You’re now root in the VM, proceed with the installation process. See Preparing for Installation, and follow the instructions.

Once installation is complete, you can boot the system that’s on your guixsd.img image. See Running GuixSD in a VM, for how to do that.