Use KVM with SPICE for remote access

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KVM: the hypervisor that is build into the Linux kernel

KVM is a great hypervisor. It is build right into your Linux kernel and offers great, near native performance.

A great start to learn more about KVM is

SPICE: the open source VDI solution

The SPICE project aims to provide a complete open source solution for remote access to virtual machines in a seamless way (thus says the website of spice :).

Read more about SPICE on

SPICE gives you a great remote desktop experience. It is much faster and better then VNC or RPD. SPICE is nice for the CPU on the server. So you can use it as a good VDI method.

I use SPICE as a way to have graphical access to my virtual machines on my local LAN at home for some time now.

Start KVM with SPICE for remote access

On my Debian box I start a virtual machine like this:

kvm \
-cpu host \
-net nic,model=rtl8139,vlan=0 \
-net tap,ifname=tap2,script=/etc/qemu-ifup-br0 \
-m 2048 \
-drive file=<imagefile>,if=virtio \
-boot c \
-vga qxl \
-spice port=5900,addr=<ip-address>,disable-ticketing

where <imagefile> is the filename of the kvm virtual machine image and <ip-address> is the ip-address of the KVM server.

Start SPICE Client on Debian

On your laptop you start the SPICE Client with:

spicec -h <ip-address> -p 5900

Start SPICE Client on OpenBSD

On OpenBSD, install the spice client with:

pgk_add spice-gtk

You can run the client with:

spicy -h <ip-address> -p 5900

BTW: You can release the mouse cursor with Shift-F12.