|Initial release||December 19, 2005|
|Stable release||1.2.16 / 1 June 2015|
|Preview release||1.2.16-rc2 / May 29, 2015|
|License||GNU Lesser General Public License|
libvirt is an open source API, daemon and management tool for managing platform virtualization. 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 itself is a C library, but it has bindings in other languages, notably in Python, Perl, OCaml, Ruby, Java, and PHP. 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.
- LXC – lightweight Linux container system
- OpenVZ – lightweight Linux container system
- Kernel-based Virtual Machine/QEMU (KVM) – open source hypervisor for Linux
- Xen – Bare-Metal hypervisor
- User-mode Linux (UML) paravirtualized kernel
- VirtualBox – hypervisor by Oracle (formerly Sun) for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Solaris
- VMware ESX and GSX – hypervisors for Intel hardware
- VMware Workstation and Player – hypervisors for Windows and Linux
- Hyper-V – hypervisor for Windows by Microsoft
- PowerVM – hypervisor by IBM for AIX, Linux and IBM i
- Parallels Workstation – hypervisor for Mac by Parallels IP Holdings GmbH
- Bhyve - hypervisor for FreeBSD 9+. (Support added with Libvirt 1.2.2)
Libvirt is used by various virtualization programs and platforms. Graphical Interfaces are provided by Virtual Machine Manager and others. The most popular command line interface is 'virsh', and higher level tools like oVirt.
GNOME Boxes uses libvirt.
Development of libvirt is backed by Red Hat, 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.
- Warnke, Robert; Ritzau, Thomas. qemu-kvm & libvirt (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Books on Demand. ISBN 978-3-8370-0876-0.