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How to Install and Configure Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router with xrv9k-fullk9-x.qcow2 Image

How to Download and Install Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router in QEMU

If you are looking for a way to deploy a cloud-based router that supports Cisco IOS XR software features, you might want to try Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router. This router is a virtual machine that runs on x86 server hardware and provides traditional provider edge services as well as virtual route reflector capabilities. In this article, we will show you how to download and install Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router in QEMU, a popular open-source emulator that supports various disk image formats, including qcow2.


Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router is based on Cisco IOS XR software, which is an industry-leading, carrier-class operating system that supports highly successful edge and core router platforms from Cisco. This modular OS provides a very high level of availability, scalability, performance, and security for service provider networks. By using Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router, you can enhance your operational excellence and offerings based on physical routers and move them easily to a virtual form factor.

xrv9k-fullk9-x.qcow2 download

QEMU is a hosted virtual machine monitor that can emulate various processors and devices. It can run multiple operating systems on a single host machine and allows for live migration of virtual machines between hosts. QEMU supports many disk image formats that can grow as data is added, compress and encrypt data, and store changes made to a read-only base image using copy-on-write. One of these formats is qcow2, which stands for QEMU Copy-On-Write version 2.

qcow2 is the native format of QEMU emulator. It uses a disk storage optimization strategy that delays allocation of storage until it is actually needed. This allows for smaller file sizes than raw disk images, which allocate the whole image space to a file even if parts of it are empty. qcow2 also supports multiple snapshots using a newer, more flexible model for storing them. Snapshots are useful for saving the state of a virtual machine at a certain point in time and restoring it later.


Before you can install Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router in QEMU, you need to have the following hardware and software requirements:

  • A server with x86 processor that supports Intel VT-x or AMD-V virtualization extensions

  • At least 16 GB of RAM

  • At least 45 GB of disk space

  • A Linux operating system, such as Ubuntu or CentOS

  • QEMU emulator, version 2.0 or later

  • Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router image file, xrv9k-fullk9-x.qcow2, which you can download from Cisco website

  • Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router virtual machine definition file, xrv9k-fullk9-x.virsh.xml, which you can download from Cisco website

  • qemu-img utility, which you can install from your Linux package manager

Once you have all the prerequisites, you can proceed to the installation steps.

Installation Steps

The installation steps for Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Router in QEMU are as follows:

  • Create a directory for the image file and upload it to the server. For example, you can create a directory named xrv9k and copy the xrv9k-fullk9-x.qcow2 file to it using the following commands:

mkdir xrv9k scp xrv9k-fullk9-x.qcow2 user@server:/xrv9k

  • Rename the image file to virtioa.qcow2. This is because QEMU expects the first disk image to be named virtioa.qcow2 by default. You can use the following command to rename the file:

mv xrv9k-fullk9-x.qcow2 virtioa.qcow2

  • Fix the permissions of the image file. You need to make sure that the image file is owned by the user who will run QEMU and has read and write permissions. You can use the following command to change the owner and permissions of the file:

chown user:user virtioa.qcow2 chmod 644 virtioa.qcow2

  • Create a virtual machine using the virsh.xml file. The virsh.xml file contains the configuration of the virtual machine, such as the name, memory, CPU, network interfaces, and disk image. You can use the following command to create the virtual machine:

virsh define xrv9k-fullk9-x.virsh.xml

  • Start the virtual machine and verify its status. You can use the following command to start the virtual machine:

virsh start xrv9k

You can use the following command to check the status of the virtual machine:

virsh list --all

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