Install Minix3 on KVM

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KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) brings full virtualization to Linux. It comes with your kernel!

KVM with network option

This article expects you to have setup KVM on your Linux box with a working network option.

KVM with VDE

On my laptop I run KVM with VDE. VDE is a virtual switch. It uses vdeq, a Virtual Distributed Ethernet rapper for QEMU/KVM virtual machines.

Minix3 runs happy in a KVM virtual machine with a network over VDE.

KVM with a virtual bridge

On machines with a normal network I run KVM with a tun/tap bridge.

Minix3 runs happy in a KVM virtual machine with a bridged network connection.

Install Minix3 on your virtual machine

Download the Minix3 installation CD image. Make sure to get at least version 3.1.4.

Create an image for Minix3:

qemu-img create minix.img 2G

Install from CD-image

kvm -hda -cdrom minix3_1_4_ide_r4220.iso -boot d

During the installation, you are asked to choose a networkcard. Choose for rtl8139.

After the installation, shutdown. Boot the virtual machine without the -boot d option. Let it boot. After boot, login as root and give the command shutdown -h now. After the shutdown proces is finished, a new prompt appears. Here we are going to enter some commands:


Minix3 will boot again. Set the root password with passwd.

Configure the network

Now configure the network. Create the file /etc/ with the following two lines:

ifconfig -I /dev/ip -n -h
add_route -g

where will be the ip-number of your virtual minix3-box and your gateway is Ajust these ip-addresses to your local network.

Edit /etc/resolv.conf and add a line with the nameserver that applies to your local network.


Reboot and see if you can ping some machines in your network.

Install ssh

Login to your Minix3 machine as root. Start packman. Choose to install from the CD. Now you will get a list of available packages. Page down until you see the package of openssh. Remember the number that is printed before the name of the package. Page down until all packages have been shown. At the prompt, give the number of the openssh package. You don't have to install the sourcecode. After installation, reboot.

When the system is rebooted it will generate the ssh-keys. It should now be possible to ssh to your your virtual Minix3 machine.

Now you can add users, add packages and start playing with Minix3.