[et-mgmt-tools] Announcing Virtual Machine Viewer - aka virt-viewer

Daniel P. Berrange berrange at redhat.com
Fri Jul 20 20:24:45 UTC 2007

I've recently been working on a new VNC viewer widget for virt-manager which
supports SSL extensions for VNC, and in the future will also be able to do
things like tunnel audio & usb devices over the channel, scaling of desktop. 

It occurred to me that it would be useful to have access to this in a lighter
weight application than virt-manager, as a 'vncviewer' replacement, while
also adding in the convenience of not having to lookup the VNC port for a
virtual machine each time.

So I wrote Virtual Machine Viewer - aka  virt-viewer. It has near zero UI
around it, aside from a menu bar to let you send special key sequences
like Ctrl+Alt+XXXX  to the guest. At most I might add a start/stop/pause
menu option, but I don't want this application to ever get any more complicted
than a single window & a small (optional) tool/menu bar. Some example 

To connect to the guest called ’demo’ running under Xen

   virt-viewer demo

To connect to the guest with ID 7 running under QEMU

   virt-viewer --connect qemu:///system 7

To wait for the Xen guest with UUID 66ab33c0-6919-a3f7-e659-16c82d248521 to 
startup and then connect

   virt-viewer --wait 66ab33c0-6919-a3f7-e659-16c82d248521

In the future it will also accept libvirt 'remote' URIs, so it can connect
to the VNC server over SSH, or SSL/TLS.

I've litterally only written it this afternoon, so there's no formal
release, but in the spirit of 'release early, release often', the GPL
code is in mercurial at:


As with virt-manager, the virt-viewer app is GPL licensed

It uses the GTK-VNC widget for display, which is also not released yet, but
will hopefully be in the near future. Meanwhile it LGPL and it's mercurial 
repo is at:


Once we've got formal release of both of these tools, I plan to adapt
the virt-install code so that it uses  virt-viewer instead of vncviewer.

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