Tag Archives: minicom

Setting up a serial console in qemu and libvirt

I always forget how to do this, but in fact it’s quite simple.

First ensure your libvirt XML contains a fragment like this (my guest, installed using virt-install, already had this).



Second, edit /boot/grub/grub.conf inside the guest, adding the console=ttyS0 element to the kernel command line:

# virt-edit Guestname /boot/grub/grub.conf
title Fedora (
	root (hd0,0)
	kernel /vmlinuz ro [...] console=ttyS0

You don’t need to set the speed. I believe it defaults to 115200 8N1, but I don’t think that qemu serial ports have a “speed” as such, since the hardware is emulated.

Third, start the guest and dump out the running XML:

# virsh start Guestname && virsh dumpxml Guestname
    <console type='pty' tty='/dev/pts/8'>

Notice the randomly assigned pty on the host side (/dev/pts/8). Connect to that with Minicom[1], and you should see boot messages and/or a login prompt.

[1] Is there something better than minicom? It’s a horrible program, always has been.
Yes: screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200



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