Enable VNC on Existing KVM Instances

This article outlines the steps needed to enable VNC on existing virtual machines.


Step 1 – Shutdown the Instance

SSH into the host where the virtual machine of interest resides. To shut down the virtual machine gracefully, invoke the following command on the terminal:

virsh shutdown test-vm

where test-vm is the name of the virtual machine.

Check to see if the instance is in the shut off state by invoking the following:

virsh list --all

You may also SSH into the instance and power off the instance from the terminal.

If all else fails, you may want to shutdown the instance ungracefully (WARNING: This is the equivalent of pulling the power cord):

virsh destroy test-vm

Step 2 – Edit the Virtual Machine’s XML Configuration

After verifying that the instance is shut off, open the instance’s XML configuration:

virsh edit test-vm

Add the following inside the devices element:

It should look similar to this:


Step 3 – Start the Instance

Start the instance after saving the configuration:

virsh start test-vm

To verify whether the configuration succeeded, run the following on the terminal:

virsh vncdisplay test-vm

You should see something similar to this:

root@localhost:~# virsh vncdisplay test-vm


Enable VNC on VMware deployments

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