I'm very pleased to announce the release of libguestfs 1.20.
Libguestfs is a library and a comprehensive set of tools for accessing
and modifying virtual machine (VM) disk images. For more information
Libguestfs 1.20 represents 7 months of upstream work, dozens of major new
features and bug fixes. For full details read the release notes below.
You can download the libguestfs source from
and packages will soon be available for Fedora 18 and Debian Wheezy.
For additional notes on Fedora 18, see:
For additional notes on Debian Wheezy, see:
You can also read the release notes online at:
RELEASE NOTES FOR LIBGUESTFS 1.20
libvirt and sVirt (SELinux confinement)
You can optionally use libvirt to launch and manage the backend
* setting LIBGUESTFS_ATTACH_METHOD=libvirt[:URI]
* using ./configure --with-default-attach-method=libvirt[:URI]
* or calling the API method guestfs_set_attach_method
SVirt (SELinux confinement) is used to secure the libguestfs appliance,
if the libvirt backend is selected.
virtio-scsi, larger number of drives, hotplugging
Virtio-scsi is now used by default, if it is available. This greatly
increases the number of drives that can be added to a single libguestfs
handle (up to 255).
You can now hotplug drives (add and remove drives after launch).
Libguestfs can now handle > 25 disks, in all APIs, tools and tests.
You can label drives when adding them, then refer to them by label
(/dev/disk/guestfs/LABEL) instead of having to use device names
new library features
POSIX Access Control Lists (ACLs) and Linux filesystem capabilities can
now be read and written through the API.
Windows Dynamic Disks are now supported. The metadata can only be read
(volumes cannot be modified or created). However the data/filesystems
in the volumes themselves can be mounted, read and written (Matthew
Hivex (Windows Registry editing) is now directly supported through the
API, making reading or editing the Windows Registry much more
Several libguestfs APIs were reimplemented so they no longer have any
limits on output. The reimplemented APIs are: guestfs_cat,
guestfs_find, guestfs_read_file, guestfs_read_lines, guestfs_write,
guestfs_write_append, guestfs_lstatlist, guestfs_lxattrlist,
guestfish touch 'win:c:\new_file' now works as expected.
guestfish has a new --network option, which enables the user network in
You can set GUESTFISH_PS1 to use fancy prompts in guestfish.
rsync, ssh, less and lrzip commands are now available in virt-rescue.
In addition, rsync can be used through the API for doing incremental
virt-sparsify uses qcow2 v3 for increased efficiency.
* generate new UUIDs for PVs and VGs
* remove the local machine ID (Wanlong Gao)
* remove ABRT data (Wanlong Gao)
* remove puppet keys and log files (Wanlong Gao)
* remove process accounting files (Wanlong Gao)
* new --firstboot parameter allowing firstboot scripts for
* remove HOSTNAME field from ifcfg-eth* files (Wanlong Gao)
* miscellaneous improvements for SuSE (Olaf Hering)
* remove man pages cache (Wanlong Gao)
* remove crash data generated by kexec-tools (Wanlong Gao)
virt-make-fs can now create virtual floppy disks (VFDs).
guestmount has a --pid-file option, which can be used to avoid a race
condition between unmounting the filesystem and using the underlying
Full-featured Lua bindings have been added in this release (thanks to
Jerome Vuarand for many suggestions).
In Ruby, optional arguments hash is optional.
In Python, optional arguments now don't use special "sentinel" values,
so any integer can be passed as an optional argument.
Erlang bindings now come with examples and tests.
Erlang bindings now handle 64 bit integer parameters correctly.
The automated 'bindtests' now test for 64 bit cleanliness in parameter
passing. Several bugs in the bindings were found and fixed as a result.
Better handling of blocking and non-blocking functions should make
libguestfs calls more efficient.
Windows guests with unlimited-sized Registries are now supported. By
adding the hivex API to the libguestfs API, it is much more efficient
and easier to inspect and modify the Windows Registry in guests.
Better support for SuSE guests (Olaf Hering).
Return the architecture of installed applications (John Eckersberg).
Windows 8 is now supported.
Fedora 18 is now supported.
Inspection of ISOs/CDs/DVDs can now use the libosinfo database.
Libguestfs without the appliance can be compiled on Mac OS X (Masami
RHEL 5 is now explicitly supported through the 'oldlinux' branch in
PowerPC 64 bit is now supported. Also libguestfs has been examined for
endianness bugs and these have been fixed.
A man page for the daemon (guestfsd(8)) is included.
guestfish history file
The $HOME/.guestfish history file is now created with 0600 permissions
(instead of 0644 before) so it is no longer world readable.
Old versions of both virt-edit and the guestfish edit command created a
new file containing the changes but did not set the permissions, etc of
the new file to match the old one. The result of this was that if you
edited a security sensitive file such as /etc/shadow then it would be
left world-readable after the edit.
This issue was assigned CVE-2012-2690, and is fixed in libguestfs ≥
For further information, see
inspect-list-applications2 (John Eckersberg)
mke2fs (Wanlong Gao)
mkswap [added label and uuid optional arguments]
mktemp (Wanlong Gao)
shutdown [backported to 1.16 and 1.18]
tar-in [added compress flag]
tar-out [added compress, numericowner, excludes flags]
umount [added force and lazy optional arguments]
xfs-admin (Wanlong Gao)
xfs-growfs (Wanlong Gao)
xfs-info (Wanlong Gao)
xfs-repair (Wanlong Gao)
In the C API only:
qemu ≥ 1.1 is required (≥ 1.2 preferred).
febootstrap ≥ 3.20 is required.
libvirt is optional, but if you want to use the new libvirt backend for
launching the appliance then libvirt ≥ 0.10.2 would be required.
Coverity has been run over the complete codebase, and many issues fixed
(thanks Ondrej Vasik, Kamil Dudka).
Functions which previously had no optargs can now be converted to ones
with optargs, making extending the API much more flexible. Source and
binary backwards compatibility is preserved for users of the API.
The way that libguestfs APIs and structures are represented in the
generator has changed to use an OCaml struct instead of a tuple. This
makes generator descriptions more flexible and easier to understand.
For details see commits 39d1a7db and eb185eef.
Separation of the library code into more files:
* Launch backends are now located in separate files eg.
* Generated action code is now split over several src/action*.c
files, for faster compilation.
* The huge src/guestfs.c file is now split into smaller logical
POD (documentation) is now generated using a rewritten Perl program
instead of pod2* + shell scripts.
Man pages now contain stable dates (Hilko Bengen).
Skipped tests now exit with code 77, so they appear as SKIP: in make
The parallel mount-local test has been rewritten in C (RHBZ#838081).
Ruby 1.8.5 is now supported (though Ruby ≥ 1.9 is preferred).
Perl bindings can be disabled via ./configure --disable-perl (Wulf C.
Krueger). Note that Perl is still required in order to build
Java bindings are now enabled/disabled using ./configure --with-java or
./configure --without-java (Wulf C. Krueger).
New configure options ./configure --enable-code-profiling and
Multiple fixes to use of 64 bit integers in language bindings.
The appliance backend now uses sgabios instead of vgabios (Dan
The ./run script now sets enough environment variables that you can run
OCaml, Python, Ruby, Java, GJS, Erlang, Lua programs.
./run --test flag for running tests with minimal output. It also prints
the time taken to run each test.
The ./run script now builds up paths cumulatively, meaning that you can
use ./run twice, or use the libguestfs and libvirt ./run scripts
You can extract a list of external commands required by the daemon,
making building the appliance on certain distros easier (Olaf Hering).
The virt-rescue command is now tested during make check.
The generator now removes unused generated files. This helps when going
back and forth with git rebase, git bisect, etc.
Tests now run in a separate toplevel tmp/ directory in the source. This
allows the directory to be labelled for SELinux (sVirt), and also makes
it easier to clean up.
make syntax-check now works to a greater extent, and many problems in
the main code that were found by syntax-check have been fixed (thanks
Emacs mode (-*- foo -*-) has been added to generated files.
Progress bar output is now sent to /dev/tty so it doesn't end up in the
regular output of the program. virt-resize and virt-sparsify now
suppress progress bars if stdout is not a tty.
There is now a ./configure --without-libvirt option. This is useful for
testing that the code still compiles without libvirt.
There is now an internal mini-library for running commands. This allows
us to redirect errors from external commands into events.
Code for handling temporary directories and the appliance cache was
Code for temporarily ignoring/disabling errors now looks like this:
guestfs_push_error_handler (g, NULL, NULL);
guestfs_mkdir (g, "/foo"); /* We don't care if this fails. */
The tests/extra directory has gone. The "extra tests" are now split
into separately runnable targets, such as make check-valgrind. Use make
help to get a summary of the targets.
The lpj option is passed to the appliance kernel when using TCG. This
should improve clock stability (thanks Marcelo Tosatti, Olaf Hering).
libguestfs tools fail with odd error messages if TMPDIR is not an
Windows 8 guest disks can't be mounted: "The NTFS partition is in an
unsafe state. Please resume and shutdown Windows fully (no
hibernation or fast restarting), or mount the volume read-only with
the 'ro' mount option."
libguestfs: migration to /etc/hostname, /etc/vconsole.conf,
virt-df with two -a options displays incorrect disk image name
libguestfs-test-tool pauses when you use --help option
mke2fs API does not apply block device naming translation to
SELinux policy ought to allow qemu to write to
RFE: inspect-list-applications does not return the architecture of
inspect-list-applications does not list all installed RPM packages
with same name and different versions
guestfish printed paths are not canonicalized
Progress bar output should go to tty(?) stderr(?)
virt-sysprep reports Guestfs.Error("read_lines: fopen:
/etc/sysconfig/network: No such file or directory") on some Fedora
libguestfs fail to list devices added by add-drive-ro-with-if twice
virt-inspector fail to work with some windows guests
virt-sparsify should use a more robust method to detect the input
libvirt doesn't label console, serial sockets
virt-rescue in Fedora 18 is completely broken
libguestfs inspection limits registries to 100 MiB
virt-sparsify --compress fails if output is raw format
RFE: allow extra arguments (like --exclude) to tar-out
tar-out should allow (or force) --numeric-owner
guestfish "copy-out / localdir" command fails with "No such file or
Long filenames on NTFS cause tar-out, copy-out etc to fail with error
"Cannot open: File name too long"
RFE: Need help designing and implementing selinux policy for
virt-make-fs / tar-in should support vfat properly
guestfish touch problem - case_sensitive_path API expects the file to
Data loss when writing to qcow2-format disk files
lvresize, lvresize-free fail unnecessarily if you don't change the
size of the LV: "New size (nn extents) matches existing size (nn
compress-device-out didn't support bzip2
guestfish unrecognized mount option gives confusing error message
Filenames containing Chinese characters can't be created on vfat
virt-make-fs cannot create vfat filesystem containing filesystems
with chinese characters
virt-make-fs -t fat fails with an obscure error message
Inspection fails when /etc/HOSTNAME is empty
libguestfs cannot get icon for Windows 8
Ubuntu install CDs from oneiric onwards are not recognized:
"multi-boot operating systems are not supported"
libguestfs doesn't recognize Windows Dynamic disks in some
configurations, eg. spanned
Not all febootstrap messages are redirected to log callbacks
libguestfs inspector code cannot handle /dev/disk/by-id/* paths
part-get-bootable gives wrong result with an unordered part layout
Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat http://people.redhat.com/~rjones
libguestfs lets you edit virtual machines. Supports shell scripting,
bindings from many languages. http://libguestfs.org