Run a standalone QEMU guest

Manual section


Manual group

Virtualization Support


virt-qemu-run [OPTION]... GUEST-XML-FILE


This tool provides a way to run a standalone QEMU guest such that it is completely independent of libvirtd. It makes use of the embedded QEMU driver support to run the VM placing files under an isolated directory tree. When the guest is run with this tool it is invisible to libvirtd and thus also invisible to other libvirt tools such as virsh.

The virt-qemu-run program will run the QEMU virtual machine, and then block until the guest OS shuts down, at which point it will exit.

If the virt-qemu-run program is interrupted (eg Ctrl-C) it will immediately terminate the virtual machine without giving the guest OS any opportunity to gracefully shutdown.

NOTE: this tool is currently considered experimental. Its usage and behaviour is still subject to change in future libvirt releases. For further information on its usage consult the QEMU driver documentation.



The full path to the XML file describing the guest virtual machine to be booted.

-r DIR, --root=DIR

Specify the root directory to use for storing state associated with the virtual machine. The caller is responsible for deleting this directory when it is no longer required.

If this parameter is omitted, then a random temporary directory will be created, and its contents be automatically deleted at VM shutdown.


Specify a secret to be loaded into the secret driver. SECRET-XML-FILE is a path to the XML description of the secret, whose UUID should match a secret referenced in the guest domain XML. SECRET-VALUE-FILE is a path containing the raw value of the secret.

-v, --verbose

Display verbose information about startup.

-h, --help

Display the command line help.


Upon successful shutdown, an exit status of 0 will be set. Upon failure a non-zero status will be set.


Daniel P. Berrangé


Please report all bugs you discover. This should be done via either:

  1. the mailing list

  2. the bug tracker

Alternatively, you may report bugs to your software distributor / vendor.


virt-run-qemu is distributed under the terms of the GNU LGPL v2+. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE