On s390x: ioctl(KVM_CREATE_VM) failed: 22 Invalid argument

This document (7020138) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2)


Deploying a new Virtual Machine via Virtual Machine Manager on s390x fails.
The following error is shown in the /var/log/libvirt/qemu/ logs:

<date> <time>: starting up libvirt version: 2.0.0, qemu version: 2.6.1 (SUSE Linux Enterprise 12), hostname: host.foo.com
LC_ALL=C PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin QEMU_AUDIO_DRV=none /usr/bin/qemu-system-s390x
-name guest=sles12sp2,debug-threads=on ....
char device redirected to /dev/pts/3 (label charconsole0)
ioctl(KVM_CREATE_VM) failed: 22 Invalid argument
Host kernel setup problem detected. Please verify:
- for kernels supporting the switch_amode or user_mode parameters, whether
  user space is running in primary address space
- for kernels supporting the vm.allocate_pgste sysctl, whether it is enabled
failed to initialize KVM: Invalid argument
<date> <time>: shutting down


The  qemu update,  qemu-2.6.2-41.9.1 released March 2017 includes the patch to resolve the problem.
Please install the recommended update.


To allow KVM to run on s390x, the sysctl value "vm.allocate_pgste =" needs to be '1': vm.allocate_pgste = 1.
The /etc/sysctl.d/50-allow-kvm-on-s390x includes the correct value but the file was missing it's .conf ending so it wasn't used.

Additional Information


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  • Document ID:7020138
  • Creation Date: 31-May-2017
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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