Developer(s) Red Hat
Initial release December 19, 2005 (2005-12-19)[1]
Stable release
4.0.0 / 19 January 2018 (2018-01-19)[2]
Written in C
Operating system Linux
Type Library
License GNU Lesser General Public License

libvirt is an open-source API, daemon and management tool for managing platform virtualization.[3] It can be used to manage KVM, Xen, VMware ESX, QEMU and other virtualization technologies. These APIs are widely used in the orchestration layer of hypervisors in the development of a cloud-based solution.


libvirt is a C library with bindings in other languages, notably in Python,[4] Perl,[5] OCaml,[6] Ruby,[7] Java,[8] JavaScript (via Node.js)[9] and PHP.[10] libvirt for these programming languages is composed of wrappers around another class/package called libvirtmod. libvirtmod's implementation is closely associated with its counterpart in C/C++ in syntax and functionality.

Supported Hypervisors

User Interfaces

Various virtualization programs and platforms use libvirt. Virtual Machine Manager and others provide graphical interfaces. The most popular command line interface is virsh, and higher level tools such as oVirt.[13]

GNOME Boxes uses libvirt.


Development of libvirt is backed by Red Hat,[14] with significant contributions by other organisations and individuals. Libvirt is available on most Linux distributions; remote servers are also accessible from Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows clients.[15]

See also



  • Warnke, Robert; Ritzau, Thomas. qemu-kvm & libvirt (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand. ISBN 978-3-8370-0876-0. 
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