Is it possible to run a windows gui client in a virtual machine hosted in a non gui linux?

How to set this up? and how to connect to such a machine?

  • Do you mean a headless vm?
    – Dani_l
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


You can do this, if you have a third machine where you can run a GUI. For instance, I've setup Windows 7 running in Xen server (a bare-metal hypervisor with only ssh access to the server). I connected to it using RDP (remote desktop), from other Windows machines as well as using an RDP client on OS X.

  • 1
    Another machine is definitely no problem. Do you know if this is this possible on KVM or is it only available on Xen server? Also, how does the installation process work? You load the disk and remote in to install the os? How can you remote desktop into windows before the network settings are set? Do you know of any good articles which can lead me through this process?
    – Greg
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 12:10
  • The answer is general enough: RDP cannot tell what the hypervisor is. As usual, you have to resolve networking/connectivity issues. For installing windows without a GUI... In Xen server, I could connect with a VNC "console" from a management tool on a different machine. There may be similar applications for KVM. Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 12:15
  • Understood, thanks - unfortunately I need windows gui.
    – Greg
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 12:55
  • "VNC console" is where to start, since it can run before your VM does networking - see OpenStack Virtual Machine Image Guide for example. By the way, we've discussed the original question, you should continue this in a new question. Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 13:03
  • virt-viewer is available on Windows and allows you to view the console of your KVM guest during boot and/or before guest networking starts. It's an alternative to VNC in @ThomasDickey's comment above, and uses the SPICE protocol. Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 13:25

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