Xen Virtualization - Managing Xen : Virtual Machine Manager

8/28/2012 1:03:22 AM
The Virtual Machine manager (virt-manager) is another graphical management application for virtual machines. It provides a dashboard view of currently running domains and their statistics. It also contains an embedded VNC client viewer that enables you to connect to a guest domain and display its full graphical console. It also comes with a command line tool called virt-install that can be used for provisioning new virtual machines. Virt-manager is intended to be used with any virtualization, not just Xen. However, currently Xen, Qemu, and KVM are the only supported hypervisors. In this section we will install virt-manager and examine its capabilities for managing Xen.

Time for Action—Running virt-manager

virt-manager is an application that is well integrated with the Xen support provided in Fedora Core 6, and is available in the Fedora repositories. Installing Xen in Fedora Core automatically installs virt-manager for you. This means that you will be using Fedora Core's Xen packages instead of Xen compiled from the Xensource mercurial repository. In order to use virt-manager, Fedora Xen packages were installed as the version compiled from the latest source release had trouble working with the latest pre-release versions of Xen.

  1. If you don't already have the virt-manager, install it using yum.

    # yum install virt-manager
  2. Launch virt-manager to display the connection screen.

    $ virt-manager

  3. Connect to the local Xen host to view a summary of the domains in the Xen environment.

  4. Right click a domain and select Details to see its properties:

    The details screen for a domain has two tabs—Overview and Hardware. The following screenshot shows the overview screen:

  5. Click on the Hardware tab to see the hardware details for the selected domain:

What Just Happened?
virt-manager uses the Python bindings provided by the libvirt project ( to communicate with the Xen hypervisor. Libvirt provides an API to interface with various hypervisors such as Xen, Qemu, and KVM in a hypervisor independent way. So virt-manager can be used not only with the Xen hypervisor, but also with these other virtualization technologies. It provides a great way to manage your local Xen domains. The virt-install command line tool provided by the virt-manager can be used for provisioning systems.
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