Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Console is not yet active for guest

I was barking up the wrong tree on this one. I had a VM that would not start, displaying the message:
Console is not yet active for guest
My confusion was caused by the fact that if I shutdown a different VM, this one worked fine. Furthermore, this was effecting multiple VMs, besides just the two. I even went so far as to call tech support on this one. Gasp!

Needless to say, I solved this before they did. The problem is a quirk in the RHEL5 virt-clone command. This command is suppose to copy a VM image, while making the needed changes in the descriptor file in the process. It does not, however, change the VNC port number. This has the effect of forcing two machines to use the same video card. In the directory with the VM descriptor files, try:
cd /etc/xen
grep "^vncdisplay" * | sed 's/"//g' | sort -n -k3
Any duplicate values define a conflict-- whoever boots "powers on" first, wins. The looser gets power, but can't initialize their BIOS.

To resolve, edit the descriptor file, and assign a unique value: But watchout! Make sure it is unique across the cluster, otherwise a migration could cause a collision.

Now I guess I got to tell Red Hat.

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