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Creating a Bridged Virtual Machine Network with Gnome-Boxes and Virt-Manager on Arch Linux

Sometimes its useful to have the host of a virtual machine to be able to communicate directly with the virtual machine’s network.

Step 0 : Create the QEMU Bridge Configuration

Next lets create the qemu bridged configuration:

sudo pacman -S qemu
sudo nano /etc/qemu/bridge.conf
sudo chmod 755 -R /etc/qemu

Put the following inside

allow virbr0
sudo chmod u+s /usr/lib/qemu/qemu-bridge-helper

Next lets allow normal users to execute the qemu-bridge-helper

Step 1 : Install the prerequisites

Lets install the required packages

sudo pacman -S gnome-boxes virt-manager dnsmasq iptables iptables-nft

Note that if you cannot find one of the above packages its a good idea to update your mirrors (see: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/mirrors)

Step 2 : Setup Lib-Virt Daemon

Lets enable the lib-virt daemon to auto-start

systemctl enable --now libvirtd

Next lets setup the kvm group so that it can manage the libvirtd

nano /etc/polkit-1/rules.d/50-libvirt.rules

Put the following inside

/* Allow users in kvm group to manage the libvirt
daemon without authentication */
polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if (action.id == "org.libvirt.unix.manage" &&
        subject.isInGroup("kvm")) {
            return polkit.Result.YES;
    }
});

Next lets create the libvirt group if it doesn’t exist already and add ourselves to it

groupadd libvirt
sudo gpasswd -a $(whoami) libvirt

Step 3 : Configure Networking

Next lets check the virsh interface status

sudo virsh net-list --all

If default exists then start it and set it up to autostart using:

sudo virsh net-start default
sudo virsh net-autostart default

If default doesn’t exist then do this first and then the previous:

sudo virsh net-define /usr/share/libvirt/networks/default.xml

Next start up virt-manager and connect to KVM/QEMU

Run ifconfig to see if things went well. If they do then you should have a virbr0 interface now:

Now if you boot up the VM on gnome-boxes you should hopefully see an IP address on the same SUBNET.

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