Tag Archives: tips

Tip: Enable minidumps in a Windows guest

You can use virt-win-reg to enable minidumps in Windows guests. Quite easily as it happens.

First prepare a file crashcontrol.reg containing:

; NB: This assumes CurrentControlSet == ControlSet001
; See "CurrentControlSet etc." in virt-win-reg(1)

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\CrashControl]
"AutoReboot"=dword:00000000
"CrashDumpEnabled"=dword:00000003
"DumpFile"=str(2):"%SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP"
"LogEvent"=dword:00000001
"MinidumpDir"=str(2):"%SystemRoot%\Minidump"
"MinidumpsCount"=dword:00000032
"Overwrite"=dword:00000001

The key fields are AutoReboot, which you probably want to set to 0 to stop the guest from automatically rebooting when it gets a BSOD, and CrashDumpEnabled for which you can read the docs here.

Then import this into the guest (which must not be running):

$ virt-win-reg --merge GuestName crashcontrol.reg
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Which services need restarting after an upgrade?

After you’ve run yum update to upgrade libraries, there may be services running which are still using the old copies of libraries. Such services might still be vulnerable to security bugs in the old libraries.

It’s relatively easy to discover which processes are affected using lsof to list processes using deleted files:

# lsof | awk '$5 == "DEL" { print }'
auditd     1001  1001 root DEL REG /usr/lib64/libnss_files-2.18.so;53bd9626
libvirtd   1468  1509 root DEL REG /usr/lib64/libnss_files-2.18.so;53bd9626
[lots more output]

If you actually run this command after updating (say) glibc, you’ll get pages and pages of output which is hard to sift through.

However with systemd we can map the process IDs to services and user sessions.

That’s what the following script does:

http://oirase.annexia.org/rwmj.wp.com/needs-restart.pl

Typical output looks like this:

In order to complete the installation of glibc-2.18-11.fc20.x86_64,
you should restart the following services:

    - accounts-daemon.service - Accounts Service   
    - console-kit-daemon.service - Console Manager
    - udisks2.service - Disk Manager
    - auditd.service - Security Auditing Service
    - dbus.service - D-Bus System Message Bus
    - rtkit-daemon.service - RealtimeKit Scheduling Policy Service
    - upower.service - Daemon for power management
    - colord.service - Manage, Install and Generate Color Profiles
    - firewalld.service - firewalld - dynamic firewall daemon
    - polkit.service - Authorization Manager
    - rsyslog.service - System Logging Service 
    - NetworkManager.service - Network Manager   
    - libvirtd.service - Virtualization daemon
    - gdm.service - GNOME Display Manager

In order to complete the installation of glibc-2.18-11.fc20.x86_64,
you should tell the following users to log out and log in:

    - session-1.scope - Session 1 of user rjones

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Tip: Old supermin, new libguestfs and v.v.

Problem:

You want to compile libguestfs ≥ 1.25.38, but your distro only has old supermin 4.

Solution:

Compile supermin from source. Note do not install it!

git clone https://github.com/libguestfs/supermin supermin5
cd supermin5
./autogen.sh
make

Create a file called localenv in the libguestfs build directory with the following content:

export SUPERMIN=/path/to/supermin5/src/supermin

and a file localconfigure containing:

source localenv
./configure "$@"
chmod +x localconfigure

Rebuild libguestfs as normal, except you use ./localconfigure instead of ./configure


Problem:

You want to compile libguestfs ≤ 1.24, but you’ve installed new supermin 5.

Solution:

Compile supermin 4 from source. Note do not install it!

git clone -b supermin-4.x \
    https://github.com/libguestfs/supermin supermin4
cd supermin4
./autogen.sh
make

Create a file called localenv in the libguestfs build directory with the following content:

export SUPERMIN=/path/to/supermin4/src/supermin
export SUPERMIN_HELPER=/path/to/supermin4/helper/supermin-helper

and a file localconfigure containing:

source localenv
./configure "$@"
chmod +x localconfigure

Rebuild libguestfs as normal, except you use ./localconfigure instead of ./configure

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New in libguestfs: Use SYSLINUX or EXTLINUX to make bootable guests

Although grub support in libguestfs is currently on hold because of an unfortunate situation, the latest libguestfs now supports SYSLINUX and EXTLINUX, which is (let’s be frank about this) a much simpler and more sane bootloader than grub/grub2.

In fact, you can make a bootable Linux guest real easily now. Here’s a script:

#!/usr/bin/perl
# Copyright (C) 2013 Red Hat Inc.
#
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
#
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
# GNU General Public License for more details.
#
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
# Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.

# This ambitious script creates a complete, bootable guest.

use strict;
use warnings;

use Sys::Guestfs;

my $disk = "syslinux-guest.img";

# Find prerequisites.
my $mbr = "/usr/share/syslinux/mbr.bin";
unless (-f $mbr) {
    $mbr = "/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin";
    unless (-f $mbr) {
        die "$0: mbr.bin (from SYSLINUX) not found\n";
    }
}
print "mbr: $mbr\n";

my $mbr_data;
{
    local $/ = undef;
    open MBR, "$mbr" or die "$mbr: $!";
    $mbr_data = <MBR>;
}
die "invalid mbr.bin" unless length ($mbr_data) == 440;

my $kernel = `ls -1rv /boot/vmlinuz* | head -1`;
chomp $kernel;
unless ($kernel) {
    die "$0: kernel could not be found\n";
}
print "kernel: $kernel\n";

print "writing to: $disk ...\n";

# Create the disk.
unlink "$disk";
open DISK, ">$disk" or die "$disk: $!";
truncate DISK, 100*1024*1024;
close DISK;

my $g = Sys::Guestfs->new ();
$g->add_drive ($disk, format => "raw");
$g->launch ();

unless ($g->feature_available (["syslinux"])) {
    die "$0: 'syslinux' feature not available in this version of libguestfs\n";
}

# Format the disk.
$g->part_disk ("/dev/sda", "mbr");
$g->mkfs ("msdos", "/dev/sda1");
$g->mount ("/dev/sda1", "/");

# Install the kernel.
$g->upload ($kernel, "/vmlinuz");

# Install the SYSLINUX configuration file.
$g->write ("/syslinux.cfg", <<_END);
DEFAULT linux
LABEL linux
  SAY Booting the kernel from /vmlinuz
  KERNEL vmlinuz
  APPEND ro root=/dev/sda1
_END

$g->umount_all ();

# Install the bootloader.
$g->pwrite_device ("/dev/sda", $mbr_data, 0);
$g->syslinux ("/dev/sda1");
$g->part_set_bootable ("/dev/sda", 1, 1);

# Finish off.
$g->shutdown ();

After running the script, you can try booting the minimal “guest” (note it only contains a kernel, not any userspace):

$ qemu-kvm -hda syslinux-guest.img

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