OpenBSD Journal

Using qemu guest agent on OpenBSD kvm/qemu guests

Contributed by Paul 'WEiRD' de Weerd on from the turtles all the way down dept.

In a post to the ports@ mailing list, Landry Breuil (landry@) shared some of his notes on using qemu guest agent on OpenBSD kvm/qemu guests. He made a few enhancements for Undeadly:

Experimenting with proxmox VE since some years (but that also applies to plain kvm/qemu OpenBSD vms), today i had a look at the qemu guest agent feature:

in the host config/webui, enabling the guest agent adds a virtio-serial device to the kvm cmdline:

-chardev socket,path=/var/run/qemu-server/100.qga,server,nowait,id=qga0
-device virtio-serial,id=qga0,bus=pci.0,addr=0x8
-device virtserialport,chardev=qga0,name=org.qemu.guest_agent.0

in the guest, this is detected as a new virtio device for which we have no dedicated driver, so it stays unconfigured:

virtio1 at pci0 dev 8 function 0 "Qumranet Virtio Console" rev 0x00
virtio1: no matching child driver; not configured

but looking at the qemu-guest-agent & proxmox qm docs:

there's a way to tell proxmox to use the 'isa-serial' device type:

proxmox# grep agent /etc/pve/qemu-server/100.conf 
agent: 1,type=isa

which adds another device type to the kvm cmdline:

-chardev socket,path=/var/run/qemu-server/100.qga,server,nowait,id=qga0
-device isa-serial,chardev=qga0

and in the guest.. there's a new serial device (com0 is used by the qemu console):

com0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
com0: console
com1 at isa0 port 0x2f8/8 irq 3: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo

from that point, one can run qemu-ga, pointing at this serial port (-f and -t are used because otherwise qemu-ga hardcodes /usr/local/$something):

guest$ doas qemu-ga -m isa-serial -p /dev/cua01 -f /tmp/ -t /tmp/ -v
1589361079.833754: debug: disabling command: guest-suspend-disk
1589361079.833788: debug: disabling command: guest-suspend-ram
1589361079.833799: debug: disabling command: guest-suspend-hybrid
1589361079.833809: debug: disabling command: guest-network-get-interfaces
1589361079.833818: debug: disabling command: guest-get-vcpus
1589361079.833827: debug: disabling command: guest-set-vcpus
1589361079.833836: debug: disabling command: guest-get-memory-blocks
1589361079.833852: debug: disabling command: guest-set-memory-blocks
1589361079.833862: debug: disabling command: guest-get-memory-block-size
1589361079.833872: debug: disabling command: guest-get-memory-block-info
1589361079.833881: debug: disabling command: guest-get-fsinfo
1589361079.833890: debug: disabling command: guest-fsfreeze-status
1589361079.833898: debug: disabling command: guest-fsfreeze-freeze
1589361079.833907: debug: disabling command: guest-fsfreeze-freeze-list
1589361079.833916: debug: disabling command: guest-fsfreeze-thaw
1589361079.833924: debug: disabling command: guest-get-fsinfo
1589361079.833933: debug: disabling command: guest-fstrim

(yeah, some commands are disabled, something to probably fix w/ upstream, freebsd has some work done in

After that one can send commands via the host:

proxmox# qm agent 100 get-host-name
   "host-name" : "c64.proxmox2"

proxmox# qm agent 100 get-time
proxmox# qm agent 100 get-osinfo
   "kernel-release" : "6.7",
   "kernel-version" : "GENERIC.MP#182",
   "machine" : "amd64"

sadly, upstream hardcodes shutdown arguments in the guest-shutdown command (cf;a=blob;f=qga/commands-posix.c;hb=HEAD#l84) so trying qm agent 100 shutdown wont work out of the box, but that should be patchable.

according to the 'info' command, those qemu commands should work:

proxmox# qm guest cmd 100 info | jq '.supported_commands | .[] | select(.enabled == true) | select (."success-response" == true) | .name'

testing shows some are broken at runtime, but that allows the host to list files within the guest:

proxmox# qm guest exec 100 -- ls -l /tmp 2>&1 | jq -r '."out-data"'
total 32
drwxrwxrwt  2 root    wheel  512 May 13 11:54 .ICE-unix
drwxrwxrwt  2 root    wheel  512 May 13 11:54 .X11-unix
-rw-r--r--  1 root    wheel   25 May 13 13:25 qga.state
drwxr-xr-x  2 root    wheel  512 May 13 11:54 sndio
drwx------  2 landry  wheel  512 May 14 07:56 tmp.8Nf9OuNyW4
drwx------  2 landry  wheel  512 May 14 07:54 tmp.QxizXbfyA0
drwx------  2 landry  wheel  512 May 13 11:57 tmux-1000
drwxrwxrwt  2 root    wheel  512 Feb 13 17:07 vi.recover

and finally, this allows a graceful shutdown of the guest from the host:

proxmox# qm guest exec 100 -- halt -p
QEMU guest agent is not running

(and the vm is properly stopped)

Hoping that can be useful for people who use OpenBSD in qemu/kvm VMs, haven't found any kind of doc on that specific to OpenBSD so far.

bits to consider portswise: i think it would make sense to subpackage qemu-ga binary, having to install the complete qemu package with all its dependencies in a VM if a bit much imo. Will see if that's feasible.. fixing hardcoded paths and some commands would be nice too :)

Many thanks to Landry for sharing his notes with us!

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