Using bhyve on FreeBSD

This tutorial by will show you how to setup and use bhyve on FreeBSD. bhyve is a BSD hypervisor and virtual machine manager which relies on features such as Extended Page Tables and VirtIO network/storage drivers.


freebsd_bhyveI wanted to write an article about bhyve for a long time now, and fortunately I recently had the time to do just that. Bhyve has the potential to became a very sophisticated, and advanced hypervisor.

1. Introduction

I’m not sure since when, but bhyve now supports libvirt. That’s great news, given that libvirt is a universal tool which helps in managing VMs. There are quite a few hypervisors compatible with libvirt, for example KVM, Xen, Linux containers (LXC) and a bunch of others. On the other hand, there are only a few graphical fronteds compatible with it, for example Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager), which is a general purpose VM management tool. This can be installed to a computer and the hypervisors can be managed from there. Virt-manager is generally good for a few hypervisors, with 10-20 VMs, but managing a cloud infrastructure is quite a challenge with it. There a few tools compatible with libvirt, which are targeted at clouds or greater deployment.

In this article, I will cover the Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager). This tool allows for the basic management of VMs, such as installing, starting, deleting etc. The goal of this document is to introduce the installation and configuration of bhyve to a FreeBSD host, libvirt, and the virt-manager to a remote computer, then to explain how you can connect from the virt-manager to the remote host. This setup allows the management of VMs remotely. This article is customized for CentOS guest installation as a guest, however other Linux guests could be installed and used in a similar way.

As its current state, libvirt is not fully compatible with bhyve and therefore interacting with VMs with libvirt is not possbile. However, this article provides instructions for installing and managing VMs with bhyve itself.

2. Additional informations for this article

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BAFUG July 2014

Bay Area FreeBSD User Group had two presentations during their July 2014 meeting. In the following videos, Craig Rodrigues discusses libvirt and bhyve integration, while Adrian Chadd talks about upcoming RSS enhancements to the FreeBSD network stack. Press play below to tune in:

Bhyve: virtualization on FreeBSD

bhyveThis short tutorial will show you how to get Bhyve, or BSD Hypervisor, configured and running on FreeBSD 10.

Bhyve(BSD Hypervisor) is an Open hypervisor developed on FreeBSD with features like EPT and Virtio. It is built in to FreeBSD from Version 10.0

Minimum Hardware required for bhyve are

  1. VT enabled Processor -Intel only (AMD is not supported as of 9/6/2014)
  2. 4GB RAM (Recommended)
  3. 7200 RPM HDD or higher

Check out the full blog post with instructions here: