Using URI aliases with libvirt 0.9.7 (forthcoming release)

Posted: October 28th, 2011 | Filed under: Fedora, libvirt, Virt Tools | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

In the next week or two, we will be releasing libvirt 0.9.7, which comes with a new URI alias feature, which will be particularly useful for users of tools like virsh and virt-install.

In the same way that SSH allows you to setup hostname aliases in $HOME/.ssh/config, libvirt will now allow you to setup URI aliases in $HOME/.libvirt/libvirt.conf (if you are running unprivileged) or /etc/libvirt/libvirt.conf (if you are running as root). NB do not confuse this file with libvirtd.conf which is a server side libvirtd daemon config file.

The new libvirt.conf configuration file will start with a single ‘uri_aliases’ parameter, which takes a list of entries. Each entry is an alias map in the format “ALIAS=URI”. To avoid potential overlap with otherwise valid URIs, the ALIAS part is restricted to the characters a-z, A-Z, 0-9, -, _. The config file format is fairly self-explanatory if you look at an example:

$ cat $HOME/.libvirt/libvirt.conf
uri_aliases = [

Once this config has been created, I can then replace any commands like

$ virsh -c qemu+ssh:// list
$ virt-install -c qemu+tls:// ...some args...

with much simpler commands like

$ virsh -c hail list
$ virt-install -c sleet ...some arg...

Application that use libvirt do not have to do anything special to support URI aliases, as they are automatically handled by the virConnectOpen family of APIs. If, however, an application wishes to prevent the use of URI aliases for some reason, it can do so by passing VIR_CONNECT_NO_ALIASES constant as a flag to the virConnectOpenAuth API.

For further documentation on libvirt URIs consult the URI reference and the remote driver reference pages on the libvirt website.