virt-get-kernel(1) Extract kernel and ramdisk from guests


virt-get-kernel [--options] -d domname
virt-get-kernel [--options] -a disk.img


This option extracts the kernel and initramfs from a guest.

The format of the disk image is automatically detected unless you specify it by using the --format option.

In the case where the guest contains multiple kernels, the one with the highest version number is chosen. To extract arbitrary kernels from the disk image, see guestfish(1). To extract the entire "/boot" directory of a guest, see virt-copy-out(1).


Display help.
-a file
--add file
Add file which should be a disk image from a virtual machine.

The format of the disk image is auto-detected. To override this and force a particular format use the --format option.

-a URI
--add URI
Add a remote disk. The URI format is compatible with guestfish. See ``ADDING REMOTE STORAGE'' in guestfish(1).
-c URI
--connect URI
If using libvirt, connect to the given URI. If omitted, then we connect to the default libvirt hypervisor.

If you specify guest block devices directly (-a), then libvirt is not used at all.

-d guest
--domain guest
Add all the disks from the named libvirt guest. Domain UUIDs can be used instead of names.
--format raw|qcow2|..
--format auto
The default for the -a option is to auto-detect the format of the disk image. Using this forces the disk format for the -a option on the command line.

If you have untrusted raw-format guest disk images, you should use this option to specify the disk format. This avoids a possible security problem with malicious guests (CVE-2010-3851).

This option is used to make the output more machine friendly when being parsed by other programs. See ``MACHINE READABLE OUTPUT'' below.
-o directory
--output directory
This option specifies the output directory where kernel and initramfs from the guest are written.

If not specified, the default output is the current directory.

--prefix prefix
This option specifies a prefix for the extracted files.

If a prefix is specified, then there will be a dash ("-") after the prefix and before the rest of the file name; for example, a kernel in the guest like "vmlinuz-3.19.0-20-generic" is saved as "mydistro-vmlinuz-3.19.0-20-generic" when the prefix is "mydistro".

See also --unversioned-names.

Don't print ordinary progress messages.
This option affects the destination file name of extracted files.

If enabled, files will be saved locally just with the base name; for example, kernel and ramdisk in the guest like "vmlinuz-3.19.0-20-generic" and "initrd.img-3.19.0-20-generic" are saved respectively as "vmlinuz" and "initrd.img".

See also --prefix.

Enable verbose messages for debugging.
Display version number and exit.
Enable tracing of libguestfs API calls.


The --machine-readable option can be used to make the output more machine friendly, which is useful when calling virt-get-kernel from other programs, GUIs etc.

Use the option on its own to query the capabilities of the virt-get-kernel binary. Typical output looks like this:

 $ virt-get-kernel --machine-readable

A list of features is printed, one per line, and the program exits with status 0.


For other environment variables which affect all libguestfs programs, see ``ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES'' in guestfs(3).


This program returns 0 if successful, or non-zero if there was an error.


Richard W.M. Jones


Copyright (C) 2013-2016 Red Hat Inc.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.


To get a list of bugs against libguestfs, use this link:

To report a new bug against libguestfs, use this link:

When reporting a bug, please supply:

  • The version of libguestfs.
  • Where you got libguestfs (eg. which Linux distro, compiled from source, etc)
  • Describe the bug accurately and give a way to reproduce it.
  • Run libguestfs-test-tool(1) and paste the complete, unedited output into the bug report.