Categories:- Unix Commands

KVM Virsh Command Examples on CentOS / RHEL


Overview :


virsh is the interface or command for managing the virtual machines based on KVM hypervisor. On virsh interface virtual machines are identified by their domain names , so virsh is generally used to list current domains , to create , pause & shutdown domains. Virsh comes under GNU Lesser General Public Licenseand supports Xen,  QEmu, KVM, LXC, OpenVZ, VirtualBox and VMware ESX.


In this tutorial we discuss the practical examples of virsh command :



Example:1 Get KVM version installed on the host machine


[root@localhost ~]# virsh version

Compiled against library: libvir 0.9.4

Using library: libvir 0.9.4

Using API: QEMU 0.9.4

Running hypervisor: QEMU 0.12.1


Example:2 Get KVM Hypervisor(Host) Memory info


[root@localhost ~]# virsh nodememstats

total  :             65979984 kB

free   :            44783040 kB

buffers:          604388 kB

cached :        16473328 kB


Example:3 Get KVM Hypervisor CPU info


[root@localhost ~]# virsh nodecpustats

user:                122779270000000

system:            1304262720000000

idle:                 470011564690000000

iowait:              110371800000000


Example:4 Get number of Guest Virtual machines irrespective of state such as running, save, shutdown etc.


[root@localhost ~]# virsh list --all

 Id Name              State


  3 test                 running


Example:5 Get all the networks available for KVM hypervisor


[root@localhost ~]# virsh net-list

Name                 State      Autostart


default              active     yes


Example:6 Get Hardware information of a KVM guest machine


Synatx : virsh dominfo BaseMachine


[root@localhost ~]# virsh dominfo test

Id:                  3

Name:           test

UUID:           9ae96029-6c3d-8bd1-6e19-926183f89074

OS Type:        hvm

State:               running

CPU(s):           4

CPU time:        26862.0s

Max memory:     4194304 kB

Used memory:    4194304 kB

Persistent:           yes

Autostart:           disable

Managed save:    no


Example:7 Shutdown the Virtual Machine


[root@localhost ~]# virsh shutdown machine_name


Example:8 Reboot the Virtual Machine


[root@localhost ~]# virsh reboot machine_name


Example:9 Force off or destory the machine


[root@localhost ~]# virsh destroy machine_name


Example:10 Start the Virtaul Machine


[root@localhost ~]# virsh start machine_name


Example:11 Connect to specfic virtual machine  using virt-viewer


syntax : virt-viewer -c qemu:///system  machine_name


[root@localhost ~]# virt-viewer -c qemu:///system  test


Example:12 Create New virtual Machine using virt-install


Suppose i want to install Centos 6.X on 10GB space , then first create a img file using below command :


[root@localhost ~]# dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/lib/libvirt/images/centos-linux.img bs=1M count=10240


then run virt-install command


[root@localhost ~]#  virt-install --virt-type kvm --name CentOS-Linux --ram 2048 --vcpus=2  --disk path=/var/lib/libvirt/images/centos-linux.img --network bridge=br0 --graphics vnc  --cdrom /root/CentOS-6.2-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso  --os-variant=RHEL6


Below Screen will appear when we run above command



Example:13 Live Migration of Virtual Machine from One Hypervisor to Another using virsh command


Basic Requirements of Live Migration :


  • The guest image must be located on a shared storage and it must be accessible using iSCSI, NFS, GFS2 or Fibre Channel.
  • The shared storage must be mounted on the same path on both hosts.
  • Both guests must run the same version of KVM.
  • Both guests must have the same network configuration and bridging configuration (their IPs must be different)


# virsh migrate --live machine_name qemu+ssh://destination_server/system



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