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KVM text-only mode

Posted on:19 December 2012 at 17:43

Just some notes on how to run Ubuntu (or any Linux distro that uses grub) as a KVM virtual machine in text-only mode.

Step 1: Adjust Grub

Modify /etc/default/grub as follows:

#GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" // comment out to prevent ubuntu purple screen
GRUB_TERMINAL=console  // uncomment for text-based grub menu

After saving, run sudo update-grub to apply the changes.

Step 2: Set the keyboard layout to plain US

I prepare my images by going through the install using VNC. After the install my keyboard is set to PC105, de, nodeadkeys. This works great while using VNC but after connecting via SSH it is no longer necessary, and when pressing ‘Z’, I get a ‘Y’. Changing the keyload back to US resolves the problem.

Modify /etc/default/keyboard as follows:


After saving run sudo setupcon to apply the changes.