Chapter 3. Installing Windows virtual machines

Installing a Windows virtual machine involves the following key steps:

  1. Create a blank virtual machine on which to install an operating system.
  2. Add a virtual disk for storage.
  3. Add a network interface to connect the virtual machine to the network.
  4. Attach the Windows guest tools CD to the virtual machine so that VirtIO-optimized device drivers can be installed during the operating system installation.
  5. Install a Windows operating system on the virtual machine. See your operating system’s documentation for instructions.
  6. During the installation, install guest agents and drivers for additional virtual machine functionality.

When all of these steps are complete, the new virtual machine is functional and ready to perform tasks.

3.1. Creating a virtual machine

When creating a new virtual machine, you specify its settings. You can edit some of these settings later, including the chipset and BIOS type, but you cannot switch between chipsets after installing an operating system. For more information, see UEFI and the Q35 chipset in the Administration Guide.


  1. You can change the default virtual machine name length with the engine-config tool. Run the following command on the Manager machine:

    # engine-config --set MaxVmNameLength=integer
  2. Click ComputeVirtual Machines.
  3. Click New. This opens the New Virtual Machine window.
  4. Select an Operating System from the drop-down list.
  5. Enter a Name for the virtual machine.
  6. Add storage to the virtual machine. Attach or Create a virtual disk under Instance Images.

  7. Connect the virtual machine to the network. Add a network interface by selecting a vNIC profile from the nic1 drop-down list at the bottom of the General tab.
  8. Specify the virtual machine’s Memory Size on the System tab.
  9. Choose the First Device that the virtual machine will boot from on the Boot Options tab.
  10. You can accept the default settings for all other fields, or change them if required. For more details on all fields in the New Virtual Machine window, see Section A.1, “Explanation of Settings in the New Virtual Machine and Edit Virtual Machine Windows”.
  11. Click OK.

The new virtual machine is created and displays in the list of virtual machines with a status of Down. Before you can use this virtual machine, you must install an operating system and VirtIO-optimized disk and network drivers.