How to create a KVM template in Proxmox VE

Probably this is something that most people working with Proxmox VE have stumbled upon.

In Proxmox VE you can only use (at least for now) OpenVZ templates. If you are intrested in running Proxmox VE with KVM (as I was), then you will be surprised that the only supported templates are for OpenVZ.

Now, don't panic! We can still figure this out!

Well, Proxmox VE might not support KVM templates, but you can still create such easily, and here I'll just drop a few lines to tell you how to do it.

Considering that you already have Proxmox VE installed and configured, we'll go straight forward on the topic.

Go ahead and create a new VM instance in Proxmox VE that we will use as a template. Once ready with that, there are few things to do before we can start cloning our template system.

Remove all DHCP client leases on the template system:

$ sudo rm -f /var/lib/dhcp/*.leases

Remove all persistent udev rules on the template system:

$ sudo rm -f /lib/udev/rules.d/*persistent*

The above is important as it removes persistent rules for the networking, and you might get different network interfaces ethX if you forget to remove them before actually starting to clone the system.

That should be all for the template system!

Now, lets go and do a clone of our example template system.

Login to the Proxmox VE node, e.g.

$ ssh

Navigate to the /etc/pve/qemu-server where our KVM machines configuration reside:

# cd /etc/pve/qemu-server

Here you can see a .conf file named after the VM machine's ID. Here 100.conf corresponds to my template system, I've already installed.

$ sudo ls -l /etc/pve/qemu-server/
total 1
-rw-r----- 1 root www-data 212 Oct 31 14:33 100.conf

And here's the contents of my template's 100.conf file:

bootdisk: virtio0
cores: 1
ide2: none,media=cdrom
memory: 2048
name: debian-wheezy-b2-template
net0: rtl8139=26:6E:0B:DC:D9:72,bridge=vmbr0
ostype: l26
sockets: 1
virtio0: images:100/vm-100-disk-1.qcow2,size=10G

Now, cloning that template system is a two-step thing. First we copy the template's .conf file and then we copy the template's disk image.

So, copy the template's .conf file and give it a name which is the next available ID number, in my case it's 101:

$ sudo cp /etc/pve/qemu-server/100.conf /etc/pve/qemu-server/101.conf

Open the newly copied file for editing and update the following options - name and location to the disk image.

I also choose to remove the net0 interface, as I usually add it before starting the system, so that I get a nice looking auto-generated MAC address by Proxmox VE.

After the update my 101.conf file looks like this:

bootdisk: virtio0
cores: 1
ide2: none,media=cdrom
memory: 2048
name: my-first-clone
ostype: l26
sockets: 1
virtio0: images:101/vm-101-disk-1.qcow2,size=10G

Now, lets clone the disk image. Navigate to your Proxmox VE datastore, the default location is /var/lib/vz/images.

There you will find again a folders with the VM IDs you have. Now simply copy the template's folder to a folder with your new VM ID and rename the disk image to match the new KVM instance.

$ sudo cp /var/lib/vz/images/100 /var/lib/vz/images/101
$ sudo mv /var/lib/vz/images/101/vm-100-disk-1.qcow2 /var/lib/vz/images/101/vm-101-disk-1.qcow2

And that's it! Now login to your Proxmox VE node using the web interface and you should see your new cloned system. Don't forget to add a network interface and after that just start your instance.

Written on October 31, 2012