Using Proxmox and Spice with a Windows 8.1 VM





If you are a small remote support provider, you know how difficult it can be to connect to multiple different customers using different VPN technologies. Not many companies will setup a dedicated VPN tunnel for you, so you are often at the mercy of the customer’s IT policies and staff.

To work around some of the issues around connecting to multiple customer VPNs at the same time, we have been creating separate Proxmox virtual machines for each customer. Most VPN software will not work through Remote Desktop, so we have been using the Spice protocol for virtual desktops.

Up until this time, Spice only supported Windows XP through Windows 7. Every few months I do a little research to see if Windows 8 support has been baked into SPICE, and today I came across a way to get it up and running. It’s a little clunky, and automatic desktop resolution does not work, but it is a start. We can only hope it will improve over time.

1. Create a Windows 8.1 VM for Proxmox. I will not go into the details of creating a Proxmox VM, but here’s a link to the best practices.

2. Using the VNC display, log into the Windows 8 VM and download the following files:

3. Extract the file, and open a command prompt as Administrator.

cd qxlwddm-0.11\Win8\x64

pnputil -i -a qxldod.inf

4. Extract the spice-guest-tools-0.100.exe file. Do not execute it, just right-click and extract it with 7-Zip. Once extracted, open a command prompt as Administrator.

cd spice-guest-tools-0.100\64

vdservice install

5. Double-click the virtio-win-0.1-100.iso file, and open a command prompt as Administrator.

D: (or whatever your mounted ISO drive letter is)

cd WIN8\AMD64

pnputil -i -a VIOSTORE.INF

6. Once the drivers have been installed, stop the Windows 8 VM.

7. In Proxmox, set the VM’s Display to SPICE.

Proxmox Spice Display

8. Start the VM, and launch SPICE from the Proxmox console.

Proxmox Launch Spice

You should now be able to use SPICE to access the Windows 8 VM and work away…