What does the positional parameters of "virsh backup-begin" actually do?

Ahmad Ismail ismail783 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 14 17:39:10 UTC 2022

Normally when I backup a kvm machine I shutdown the machine then run:

virsh list -all
virsh shutdown Ubuntu18
virsh dumpxml Ubuntu18 > /MyBackup/Ubuntu18.xml
cp /var/lib/libvirt/images/Ubuntu18.qcow2 /MyBackup/Ubuntu18.qcow2

However, I found a new sub-command. The help file says:

% virsh backup-begin --help
    backup-begin - Start a disk backup of a live domain

    backup-begin <domain> [--backupxml <string>] [--checkpointxml
<string>] [--reuse-external]

    Use XML to start a full or incremental disk backup of a live
domain, optionally creating a checkpoint

    [--domain] <string>  domain name, id or uuid
    --backupxml <string>  domain backup XML
    --checkpointxml <string>  domain checkpoint XML
    --reuse-external  reuse files provided by caller

The problem with this help is, it is not clear enough.

I understand that I should use virsh backup-begin vm1 to backup a live kvm
machine. However, this command only create .qcow2 files. What about the .xml

What does --backupxml , --checkpointxml & --reuse-external actually do?

When should I use them?
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