virt-manager Command: Tutorial & Examples

Introduction to virt-manager

The virt-manager command is a powerful tool that makes it easy to manage virtual machines (VMs) on your Linux server. It's a command-line interface for interacting with the libvirt library, which provides a standardized way for managing virtualization platforms.

The virt-manager command handles a wide range of tasks, from creating and configuring VMs to starting, stopping, and monitoring their operation. It's an essential tool for anyone who wants to use Linux as a virtualization host.

Why is virt-manager Important

The virt-manager command provides a unified interface for managing multiple types of virtual machines, including KVM, Xen, and LXC. This saves time and reduces the risk of errors compared to managing each type of VM with a separate tool.

Moreover, virt-manager also helps in solving the network failure problems associated with virtualization by allowing you to configure the network settings of each VM individually.

Using the virt-manager Command

You can use the virt-manager command to perform several operations on your VMs. Here are some examples:


This command launches the virt-manager graphical interface where you can manage your VMs.

virt-manager --connect=qemu:///system

This command connects virt-manager to the libvirt daemon running on your system, allowing you to manage system-wide VMs.

virt-manager --show-domain-console domain

This command opens the console for a specific virtual machine, where "domain" is the name or UUID of the VM.

Common virt-manager Command Parameters

Here are some common parameters you might use with the virt-manager command:

  • --connect: This parameter allows you to specify the hypervisor connection URI.
  • --show-domain-console: This parameter opens the console for a specific virtual machine.
  • --no-fork: This parameter stops virt-manager from going into the background, which can be useful for debugging.

Example Output of virt-manager Command

When you run the virt-manager command, it typically starts a graphical interface that allows you to manage your VMs. However, if you run it with the --no-fork parameter, it will output log messages to the console.

virt-manager --no-fork

This command might output something like:

[Sun, 04 Jul 2021 15:32:14 virt-manager 2886] DEBUG (cli:71) Launched with command line: /usr/share/virt-manager/virt-manager --no-fork
[Sun, 04 Jul 2021 15:32:14 virt-manager 2886] DEBUG (virt-manager:135) virt-manager version: 1.5.1

Potential Issues with virt-manager Command

While virt-manager is a robust tool, there are a few things that can go wrong. For instance, you might encounter issues if you don't have the correct permissions to manage VMs on your system. In such a case, you'll need to ensure that your user is a part of the libvirt group.

Additionally, you may face problems if the libvirt daemon isn't running. You can check its status with the systemctl command:

systemctl status libvirtd

If it's not running, you can start it with:

systemctl start libvirtd

Remember, virt-manager is an advanced tool, and while it can help simplify the management of VMs, it also requires a good understanding of Linux, virtualization, and the shell to use effectively. Always make sure you understand what a command does before you run it.

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