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How can I get Windows 7 to run in Gnome Boxes?

asked 2013-11-25 23:05:05 -0500

3Joe3 gravatar image

updated 2014-09-29 19:36:53 -0500

mether gravatar image

So, I would really like to take advantage of Gnome Boxes, so I can setup my testing environment. In theory, it sounds great.

Here's the issue:

I downloaded a copy of Windows 7 (I have a legal key code). When I click "New", Boxes gives me an introduction, I then click "Continue." It then prompts me to select an OS file. I select "windows7.iso."

As soon as I do this, it jumps from "Source Selection" to "Review," skipping over "Preparation" and "Setup." Ok, fine. Maybe it knows what it's doing. So, then I click "Create."

When I do this, I get a message that reads "Connection to windows7.iso failed."

What am I missing? I don't think this is an SELinux issue because I would have gotten an alert at the bottom of my screen.

How can I make Windows 7 run in Boxes?

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Isn't Gnome Boxes a virtual machine manager, not a VM environment? It won't run virtual machines for you, you need a back-end system like xen to do that. Personally, I've recently set up VirtualBox to run windwos 7, but I don't use it with Gnome Boxes.

cobra gravatar imagecobra ( 2013-11-26 10:05:46 -0500 )edit

I was under the impression that you could create virtual environments straight from Boxes. Does anyone know of a tutorial or detailed docs on how I can accomplish what I want?

3Joe3 gravatar image3Joe3 ( 2013-11-26 11:48:39 -0500 )edit

Gnome Boxes needs a virtual machine infrastructure - it's only a manager interface. It doesn't run the virtual machines itself. I'd be surprised if it didn't let you create virtual machines, but it still needs Xen or VirtualBox etc., to do the actual VMs under the hood. That's my understanding, I don't use Gnome Boxes on the machine I run VMs from because it has an unnecessary dependency on NetworkManager.

cobra gravatar imagecobra ( 2013-11-27 05:57:57 -0500 )edit

Which should I use? Xen or VirtualBox?

3Joe3 gravatar image3Joe3 ( 2013-12-18 13:13:11 -0500 )edit

They're both available for free - although the VirtualBox free version is a cut-down version when compared to its commercial big brother. You should be able to try both and find the one you're most happy with. If you're not all that familiar with system configs, then VirtualBox may prove easier to use. I use VirtualBox

cobra gravatar imagecobra ( 2013-12-19 03:52:14 -0500 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2015-11-15 11:31:29 -0500

uoly gravatar image

I had the same problem: "Connection to windows7.iso failed."

To find out what was happening, i started boxes from terminal and there was a message: access denied to the iso file. It happened that my iso file was in a external hard drive.

To solve, I copied my iso to my home directory, and voilà! Problem solved.

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Good answer!

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2015-11-15 15:28:15 -0500 )edit

It's working! Thank you!

zimo gravatar imagezimo ( 2016-04-28 18:57:10 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-09-27 09:43:27 -0500

updated 2015-09-27 09:52:24 -0500

GNOME Boxes is a front-end management interface to the libvirt/QEMU/KVM stack. It is intended to replace virt-manager for end users who desire a simpler interface which doesn't bother to present features unlikely to be used or desired by this class of end user. GNOME Boxes relies on libvirt which has the ability to manage a variety of hypervisors (though Virtualbox isn't one of them), but my understanding is that GNOME Boxes, at this stage in its development, solely employs KVM for its hypervisor.

This is good, though, and makes GNOME Boxes dramatically superior to VirtualBox in terms of performance. Many people prefer to use VirtualBox on account of its simplicity, but it is a type 2 hypervisor (it is an application running within your OS) whereas KVM is a type 1 hypervisor. As a result, KVM guest domains see performance improvements of around 50% when compared to their VirtualBox counterparts.

So that's why someone would make use of GNOME Boxes rather than VirtualBox. The main point of GNOME Boxes is to offer up the power and performance of the KVM hypervisor to end users without the knowledge or desire to leverage its advanced features.

Regarding the failure you're experiencing in GNOME Boxes, is your windows7.iso file per chance placed on an encrypted home directory? A quick Google reveals that some users have reported that this error occurs when that is the case.

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answered 2013-12-19 11:05:10 -0500

3Joe3 gravatar image

I will use VirtualBox to install various OS iso files and use Gnome Boxes to manage them/use them. Thanks everyone.

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See my answer; this is not possible.

bitwiseoperator gravatar imagebitwiseoperator ( 2015-09-27 09:45:41 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-04-15 14:06:27 -0500

Warren gravatar image

I had similar problem, with Windows 7 installation disk in DVD player, I started Boxes and stepped through the build process and ended with failed message. After several attempts I used Brasero to copy the disk to a new folder where it showed up with the .iso extension. When I started Boxes it discovered the .iso file and made it the top selection choice. Went through the build process again and have a workable Windows 7 OS now.

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answered 2015-09-27 01:44:59 -0500

Neo101 gravatar image

updated 2015-09-27 12:58:02 -0500

Absolutely yes. You may use Gnome Boxes to install win 7 win 8 and so on. Almost in Fedora 22 were I tried this feature. I have done the installations from iso images. The only problem I have had is when boxes try convert windows xp .vdi virtual drive to boxes virtual drive.

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Boxes doesn't convert like that, but you can use tools from the virt-v2v package to do it.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2015-09-27 17:53:50 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-11-25 23:05:05 -0500

Seen: 17,264 times

Last updated: Nov 15 '15