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Fedora Core 6 Xen Virtualization Guide
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Managing Virtual Machines from the command line with `virsh`

Virtual machines can be managed on the command line with the virsh utility. The virsh utility is built around the libvirt management API and has a number of advantages over the traditional Xen xm tool:

  • virsh has a stable set of commands whose syntax & semantics will be preserved across updates to Xen.

  • virsh can be used as an unprivileged user for read-only operations (eg listing domains, getting info, etc)

  • virsh will (in future) be able to manage QEMU, VMWare, etc machines in additional to Xen, since libvirt is hypervisor agnostic.

To start a new virtual machine from an XML vm definition:

  • # virsh create <path to VM xml config> 

To list the virtual machines currently running, use:

  •  # virsh list

To gracefully power off a guest use:

  • # virsh shutdown <virtual machine (name | id | uuid)>

To save a snapshot of the machine to a file of your choosing:

  • # virsh save <virtual machine (name | id | uuid)> <filename>

To restore a previously saved snapshot:

  • # virsh restore <filename>

To export the XML config associated with a virtual machine:

  • # virsh dumpxml <virtual machine (name | id | uuid)

For a complete list of commands available for use with virsh run:

  • # virsh help

Or consult the manual page virsh(1)

Bugs in the virsh tool should be reported in [WWW] BugZilla against the 'libvirt' component

Fedora Core 6 Xen Virtualization Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire