Provide Boot Menu options for VMs accessible using VNC

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Note: This did not work on a Debian Lenny Host. It worked OK for Debian Squeeze (with more recent libvirt and kvm).

virsh shutdown deb01     //make sure it actually shuts down via acpi
virsh edit deb01
//add in the bold lines below
  <os>
   <type arch='i686' machine='pc'>hvm</type>
   <boot dev='hd'/>
   <boot dev='cdrom'/>         //add this line
   <bootmenu enable='yes'/>    //add this line
 </os>
.....
    <disk type='file' device='cdrom'>
     <target dev='hdc' bus='ide'/>
     <source file='/root/gparted-live-0.7.1-1.iso'/>    //add this line
     <readonly/>
   </disk>

virsh start deb01

The manual approach to get KVM to boot off a cdrom is only to have the line: <boot dev='cdrom'/>

Once you start the VM (virsh start vm), connect using VNC. You can right-click on the VNC window titlebar, send a CTRL+ALT+DELETE to reboot the VM and then press F12 to see the boot bios.

kvm-bios-boot-menu.jpg

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