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How to create a KVM OpenBSD root filesystem for VNX

Follow this procedure to create a KVM OpenBSD based root filesystem for VNX. The procedure has been tested with OpenBSD 5.8.

Basic installation

  • Create the filesystem disk image:
  • # 32 bits
    qemu-img create -f qcow2 vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd.qcow2 12G
    # 64 bits
    qemu-img create -f qcow2 vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd64.qcow2 12G
  • Get OpenBSD installation CD. For example:
  • # 32 bits
    mv install59.iso /almacen/iso/openbsd-install59-i386.iso
    # 64 bits
    mv install59.iso /almacen/iso/openbsd-install59-amd64.iso
  • Create the virtual machine with:
  • # 32 bits
    vnx --create-rootfs vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd.qcow2 --install-media /almacen/iso/openbsd-install59-i386.iso --mem 512M
    # 64 bits
    vnx --create-rootfs vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd64.qcow2 --install-media /almacen/iso/openbsd-install59-amd64.iso --mem 512M --arch=x86_64
  • Follow OpenBSD installation menus to install a basic system:
    • When asked about the network interface, answer "done" to not configure the network now.
    • Answer 'yes' to the question "Change the default console to com0" to enable serial console.
    • Add a user named "vnx".
    • Use the whole "wd0" or "sd0" disk and "Auto layout".
    • Choose cd0 for the "location of sets". Choose the default "sets".
  • After ending installation, but before shutting down the virtual machine, you have to disable mpbios, as follows:
  • chroot /mnt
    config -ef /bsd
    disable mpbios
  • Finally, halt the system:
  • halt -p

The OS installer will offer to reboot, but do not do that. Instead, close the VM console window and then, from the host OS, destroy the virtual machine:

# virsh list
 Id    Nombre                         Estado
 33    vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd-5.9-v025.qcow2-7440 ejecutando

# virsh destroy 33


  • Start the system with the following command:
  • # 32 bits
    vnx --modify-rootfs vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd.qcow2 --update-aced --mem 512M
    # 64 bits
    vnx --modify-rootfs vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd64.qcow2 --update-aced --mem 512M --arch x86_64

    Note: ignore the errors "timeout waiting for response on VM socket".

  • Access the system through the text console to easy the copy-paste of commands:
  • # virsh list
    Id    Name                           State
    31    vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd64-5.9-v025.qcow2-912 running
    # virsh console 31
  • In case you do not have access to the serial console, you can configure it manually by editting /etc/ttys file and changing the line:
  • tty00 "/usr/libexec/getty std.9600"   dialup  off secure


    tty00 "/usr/libexec/getty std.9600"   vt100  on secure

    Reboot the system after modifying the ttys file.

  • Loogin as root in the console and configure the network with DHCP:
  • dhclient re0
  • Configure the environment variable with network repository:
  • export PKG_PATH=`uname -r`/packages/`machine -a`/
  • Install bash and change package repository (change to your nearest mirror):
  • pkg_add -r bash  
    usermod -s /usr/local/bin/bash root
    usermod -s /usr/local/bin/bash vnx
    echo "export PKG_PATH=`uname -r`/packages/`machine -a`/" > ~/.bash_profile
  • Install XML::LibXML and NetAddr-IP perl libraries:
  • pkg_add -r p5-XML-LibXML p5-NetAddr-IP 
  • Install VNX autoconfiguration daemon:
  • mount_msdos /dev/wd1i /mnt  # if virtio=no in vnx.conf
    mount_msdos /dev/sd1c /mnt  # if virtio=yes in vnx.conf
    perl /mnt/vnxaced-lf/install_vnxaced
  • Create a file /etc/vnx_rootfs_version to store version number and informacion about modification:
  • VER=v0.25
    OS=OpenBSD 5.8
    DESC=Basic OpenBSD 5.8 root filesystem without GUI
  • Configure interface em0 so that it does not get configured with DHCP. To do that, if file /etc/hostname.em0 exists, edit it and delete or comment the line with "dhcp".
  • Stop the machine with that script:
  • vnx_halt

If everything went well, your root filesystem will be ready to be used with VNX. You can make a simple test using the simple_openbsd.xml (32 bits) or simple_openbsd64.xml (64 bits) scenario distributed with VNX.

Installing additional software

To install additional software or to modify your root file system, you just have to:

  • Start a virtual machine from it:
  • # 32 bits
    vnx --modify-rootfs vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd.qcow2
    # 64 bits
    vnx --modify-rootfs vnx_rootfs_kvm_openbsd.qcow2 --arch x86_64
  • Check network connectivity. Maybe you have to activate the network interface by hand:
  • dhclient re0
  • Do the modifications you want.
  • Finally, halt the system using:
  • vnx_halt

Known problems

OpenBSD tips

To upgrade OpenBSD to the next release, the OpenBSD site provides useful hints. For instance, to upgrade from 5.8 to 5.9, you can follow the instructions provided in