Installing Virtual Machine Manager


This documentation is deprecated. Please use GNOME Boxes if possible.

Virtual Machine Manger, or virt-manager, is a popular GUI front-end to libvirt (and KVM/QEMU) on Linux machines. Installing virt-manager is traditionally done on the base system, but this is not advised in Xenia due to potential conflicts (the rule of thumb is to not use the /usr overlay if necessary).

Luckily, it is possible to install virt-manager on a distrobox, and export it to the host to use virtual machines on Xenia.

Creating the container

First, create a rootful distrobox with a container that supports init systems - the example given is


The container can be named anything, here it is named libvirt.

distrobox create --root --init --image --name libvirt

Next, enter the container

distrobox enter --root libvirt

Installing virt-manager

Install the kvm tools and server:

sudo zypper install -t pattern kvm_server kvm_tools

Install virt-manager:

sudo zypper install virt-manager

Starting required services & exporting

Start libvirtd:

sudo systemctl enable --now libvirtd

Export virt-manager:

distrobox-export --app virt-manager

Virtual Machine Manager is now installed, and it is able to be opened through GNOME like usual - but we still need to setup the QEMU/KVM session.

Setup the session

Open Virtual Machine Manager through the activites overview on GNOME.


If the container is not started when you open VMM, the startup might take a while. Be patient!

Go to File > Add Connection.... From here, change the Hypervisor to QEMU/KVM user session, and click Connect.

Done! Now VMM is installed and ready to be used.