virt-image(1) create virtual machines from an image descriptor


virt-image [OPTION]... IMAGE.XML


virt-image is a command line tool for creating virtual machines from an XML image descriptor "IMAGE.XML" (virt-image(5)). Most attributes of the virtual machine are taken from the XML descriptor (e.g., where the files to back the virtual machine's disks are and how to map them into the guest), though certain information must be added on the command line, such as the name of the guest.

The XML descriptor defines most attributes of the guest, making it possible to bundle and distribute it together with the files backing the guest's disks.


Most options can be omitted, in which case virt-image will use defaults from the XML descriptor. When defaults are taken from the XML descriptor, they are indicated below as a path. --name is the only required command line option.
-h, --help
Show the help message and exit
Connect to a non-default hypervisor. See virt-install(1) for details

General Options

General configuration parameters that apply to all types of guest installs.
-n NAME, --name=NAME
Name of the guest instance
Memory to allocate for guest instance in megabytes. Defaults to "/image/devices/memory" in the XML descriptor.
-u UUID, --uuid=UUID
UUID for the guest; if none is given a random UUID will be generated. If you specify UUID, you should use a 32-digit hexadecimal number.
Number of vcpus to configure for your guest. Defaults to "/image/devices/vcpu" in the XML descriptor. This option can also be used to set CPU topology, please see virt-install(1) for more info.
Set which physical cpus the guest can use. Please see virt-install(1) for more info.
Configure the CPU and CPU features exposed to the guest. Please see virt-install(1) for more info.
Check that vcpus do not exceed physical CPUs and warn if they do.
Optimize the guest configuration for a type of operating system (ex. 'linux', 'windows'). This will attempt to pick the most suitable ACPI & APIC settings, optimally supported mouse drivers, virtio, and generally accommodate other operating system quirks. See virt-install(1) for valid values.
Further optimize the guest configuration for a specific operating system variant (ex. 'fedora8', 'winxp'). This parameter is optional, and does not require an "--os-type" to be specified. See virt-install(1) for valid values.

Full Virtualization specific options

Parameters specific only to fully virtualized guest installs.
Force disable APIC for the guest.
Force disable ACPI for the guest.

Networking Configuration

-w NETWORK, --network=NETWORK
Connect the guest to the host network. See virt-install(1) for details
-m MAC, --mac=MAC
This is deprecated in favor of "--network ...,mac=MAC,..."
-b BRIDGE, --bridge=BRIDGE
This is deprecated in favor of "--network bridge=BRIDGE"

Graphics Configuration

If no graphics option is specified, "virt-image" will default to '--graphics vnc' if the DISPLAY environment variable is set, otherwise '--graphics none' is used.
--graphics TYPE,opt1=arg1,opt2=arg2,...
Specifies the graphical display configuration. This does not configure any virtual hardware, just how the guest's graphical display can be accessed. See virt-install(1) for details usage info.
This option is deprecated in favor of "--graphics vnc,..."
This option is deprecated in favor of "--graphics vnc,port=PORT,..."
This option is deprecated in favor of "--graphics vnc,listen=LISTEN,..."
-k KEYMAP, --keymap=KEYMAP
This option is deprecated in favor of "--graphics vnc,keymap=KEYMAP,..."
This option is deprecated in favor of "--graphics sdl,..."
This option is deprecated in favor of "--graphics none"

Miscellaneous Options

-p, --print
Print the libvirt XML, but do not start the guest.
The zero-based index of the boot record to use. The XML descriptor can contain multiple "/image/domain/boot" elements for use on different hypervisors. By default, the one that is most appropriate for the current hypervisor is selected.
Shutdown and remove any existing guest with the passed "--name" before installing from the image.
Prevent the domain automatatically booting after importing the image.
Do not check disk images against checksums (if they are listed in the image xml).
-d, --debug
Print debugging information.


Create and start a guest called "example" with a VNC console from "image.xml":

  # virt-image --name example --vnc -i image.xml

Print the libvirt XML for a guest called "example" without graphics, but do not create or start a virtual machine:

  # virt-image --print --name example --nographics --image image.xml


Written by David Lutterkort. See the AUTHORS file in the source distribution for the complete list of credits.


Copyright (C) 2006-2007 Red Hat, Inc, and various contributors. This is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of the GNU General Public License "". There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.