Table of Contents:


  1. Licensing Terms for libvirt

    libvirt is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License, see the file COPYING.LIB in the distribution for the precise wording. The only library that libvirt depends upon is the Xen store access library which is also licenced under the LGPL.

  2. Can I embed libvirt in a proprietary application ?

    Yes. The LGPL allows you to embed libvirt into a proprietary application. It would be graceful to send-back bug fixes and improvements as patches for possible incorporation in the main development tree. It will decrease your maintenance costs anyway if you do so.


  1. Where can I get libvirt ?

    The original distribution comes from ftp://libvirt.org/libvirt/.

  2. I can't install the libvirt/libvirt-devel RPM packages due to failed dependencies

    The most generic solution is to re-fetch the latest src.rpm , and rebuild it locally with

    rpm --rebuild libvirt-xxx.src.rpm.

    If everything goes well it will generate two binary rpm packages (one providing the shared libs and virsh, and the other one, the -devel package, providing includes, static libraries and scripts needed to build applications with libvirt that you can install locally.

    One can also rebuild the RPMs from a tarball:

    rpmbuild -ta libdir-xxx.tar.gz

    Or from a configured tree with:

    make rpm

  3. Failure to use the API for non-root users

    Large parts of the API may only be accessible with root privileges, however the read only access to the xenstore data doesnot have to be forbidden to user, at least for monitoring purposes. If "virsh dominfo" fails to run as an user, change the mode of the xenstore read-only socket with:

    chmod 666 /var/run/xenstored/socket_ro

    and also make sure that the Xen Daemon is running correctly with local HTTP server enabled, this is defined in /etc/xen/xend-config.sxp which need the following line to be enabled:

    (xend-http-server yes)

    If needed restart the xend daemon after making the change with the following command run as root:

    service xend restart


  1. What is the process to compile libvirt ?

    As most UNIX libraries libvirt follows the "standard":

    gunzip -c libvirt-xxx.tar.gz | tar xvf -

    cd libvirt-xxxx

    ./configure --help

    to see the options, then the compilation/installation proper

    ./configure [possible options]


    make install

    At that point you may have to rerun ldconfig or a similar utility to update your list of installed shared libs.

  2. What other libraries are needed to compile/install libvirt ?

    Libvirt requires libxenstore, which is usually provided by the xen packages as well as the public headers to compile against libxenstore.

  3. I use the GIT version and there is no configure script

    The configure script (and other Makefiles) are generated. Use the autogen.sh script to regenerate the configure script and Makefiles, like:

    ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --disable-shared

Developer corner

  1. Troubles compiling or linking programs using libvirt

    To simplify the process of reusing the library, libvirt comes with pkgconfig support, which can be used directly from autoconf support or via the pkg-config command line tool, like:

    pkg-config libvirt --libs