Create, attach, detach disk to vm in kvm on command line

In kvm, let’s say you want to create a new disk and attach it to a virtual machine. You could use Virtual Machine Manager. But for the command line, here is a quick way how to do it.

Create a disk

Create a qcow2 disk that is fully allocated. When I tried with disks that were not fully allocated, the vm would only see the 200K or so and would not let me write a partition table large enough to do anything.

time qemu-img create -f qcow2 /var/lib/libvirt/images/vmname-vdb.qcow2 22000M -o preallocation=full

Attach a disk

You can omit the flags as needed, if you don’t want to update the virtual machine’s definition, or –config. And some of these are probably redundant, but they did not throw errors for me and I wanted the change to be immediate and persistent upon vm reboot, so I leave them all in.

virsh attach-disk --domain vmname /var/lib/libvirt/images/vmname-vdb.qcow2 --target vdb --persistent --config --live

Detach a disk

Same thing as the attaching, only you don’t include the –target flag.

virsh detach-disk --domain vmname /var/lib/libvirt/images/vmname-vdb.qcow2 --persistent --config --live



Man pages

  1. qemu-img

Remove scsi disk from operating system

To tell an OS you are ready to remove a scsi disk, you can run this command:

echo 1 > /sys/block/sdX/device/delete

Where sdX is the device you are ready to detach.

For virtual machines I don’t usually bother doing that, but that is how to safely tell GNU/Linux you are going to remove the device.



  1. Original question

Virsh get total cpu allocations


virsh list | awk '{print $1}' | grep -oIE "[0-9]*" | while read word; do virsh dominfo ${word} | grep "CPU.s"; done | awk 'BEGIN {a=0;} {a=a+$2;} END {print a;}'

The explanation

If you want to get the total allocation of vCPUs to all the guests on a kvm host, you can use this one-liner.
virsh list gets the list of running domains (virtual machines).
The awk and grep get only the domain id numbers (could do it by domain name if you wish).
virsh dominfo gets the cpu allocation for each listed domain, by iterating over the list.
The final awk statements counts the numbers.

Get total physical CPUs available

virsh nodeinfo
CPU model:           x86_64
CPU(s):              24
CPU frequency:       1899 MHz
CPU socket(s):       1
Core(s) per socket:  6
Thread(s) per core:  2
NUMA cell(s):        2
Memory size:         198310648 KiB