Applies to openSUSE Leap 42.1

5 Virtualization Tools


libvirt is a library that provides a common API for managing popular virtualization solutions, among them KVM, LXC, and Xen. The library provides a normalized management API for these virtualization solutions, allowing a stable, cross-hypervisor interface for higher-level management tools. The library also provides APIs for management of virtual networks and storage on the VM Host Server. The configuration of each VM Guest is stored in an XML file.

With libvirt you can also manage your VM Guests remotely. It supports TLS encryption, x509 certificates and authentication with SASL. This enables managing VM Host Servers centrally from a single workstation, alleviating the need to access each VM Host Server individually.

Using the libvirt-based tools is the recommended way of managing VM Guests. Interoperability between libvirt and libvirt-based applications has been tested and is an essential part of SUSE's support stance.

5.1 Virtualization Console Tools

The following libvirt-based tools for the command line are available on openSUSE Leap. All tools are provided by packages carrying the tool's name.


A command line tool to manage VM Guests with similar functionality as the Virtual Machine Manager. Allows you to change a VM Guest's status (start, stop, pause, etc.), to set up new guests and devices, or to edit existing configurations. virsh is also useful to script VM Guest management operations.

virsh takes the first argument as a command and further arguments as options to this command:

virsh [-c URI] command domain-id [OPTIONS]

Like zypper, virsh can also be called without a command. In this case it starts a shell waiting for your commands. This mode is useful when having to run subsequent commands:

~> virsh -c qemu+ssh://
Enter passphrase for key '/home/wilber/.ssh/id_rsa':
Welcome to virsh, the virtualization interactive terminal.

Type:  'help' for help with commands
       'quit' to quit

virsh # hostname

A command line tool for creating new VM Guests using the libvirt library. It supports graphical installations via VNC or SPICE protocols. Given suitable command line arguments, virt-install can run completely unattended. This allows for easy automation of guest installs. virt-install is the default installation tool used by the Virtual Machine Manager.


A tool to set up a VM Guest, configure its devices and start the operating system installation. Starts a GUI wizard when called from a graphical user interface. When invoked on a terminal, starts the wizard in command line mode. vm-install can be selected as the installation tool when creating a new virtual machine in the Virtual Machine Manager.

5.2 Virtualization GUI Tools

The following libvirt-based graphical tools are available on openSUSE Leap. All tools are provided by packages carrying the tool's name.

Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager)

The Virtual Machine Manager is a desktop tool for managing VM Guests. It provides the ability to control the life cycle of existing machines (start/shutdown, pause/resume, save/restore) and create new VM Guests. It allows managing various types of storage and virtual networks. It provides access to the graphical console of VM Guests with a built-in VNC viewer and can be used to view performance statistics. virt-manager supports connecting to a local libvirtd, managing a local VM Host Server, or a remote libvirtd managing a remote VM Host Server.

To start the Virtual Machine Manager, enter virt-manager at the command prompt.


A viewer for the graphical console of a VM Guest. It uses SPICE (configured by default on the VM Guest) or VNC protocols and supports TLS and x509 certificates. VM Guests can be accessed by name, ID, or UUID. If the guest is not already running, the viewer can be told to wait until the guest starts, before attempting to connect to the console. virt-viewer is not installed by default and is available after installing the package virt-viewer.

yast2 vm

A YaST module that simplifies the installation of virtualization tools and can set up a network bridge: