[virt-tools-list] Is virsh supposed to work on Windows?

Fernando Lozano fernando at lozano.eti.br
Thu Sep 5 19:01:54 UTC 2013

>>>> I'm trying to use virsh and virt-viewer on Windows.  I'm running the
>>>> latest binaries from http://spice-space.org/download.html, that is,
>>>> virt-viewer-x64-0.5.7.msi on a Windows 7 64-bits computer.
>> I am willing to help all I can to test, but I'm not a Gnome developer. I
>> have not coded a single line in C for more than 10 yeas. :-(
> You are lucky! :) libvirt is not a gnome technology. If you have some developper experience, it might not be so hard to fix some of the issues (like the paths).

If I were compiling and running on Linux, I'd give it a try despite my 
outdated C coding skills. But the current process of cross-compiling on 
Linux then running on Windows is not an easy one. Heck, if you 
readhatters and fedoraers who are used to do it doesn't do frequently, 
and have frequent dependency problems, what hope do I have to being able 
to do this -- even if I get approval from my boss? ;-)

The ultimate goal is running virt-manager from Windows (but I found no 
port yet to test). It would be enough for the short-term being able to 
run at least virsh and virt-viewer so Windows syasdmins doesn't complain 
so much and doesn't tell my boss we should buy XenServer. (not kidding)

It looks like the paths are not the issue with the code -- they were not 
easy to find, but this is a documenation probem. :-) I already send 
feedback to the lists about the correct paths for windows users.

Sysinternals ProcessMonitor is a freeware windows tool that provides 
strace-like features, and from it I can tell reading the certificate 
files is not the problem anymore. It also shows no network errors and no 
other windows systemcalls issues.

> If it's just accessing remote display, you could stick to remote-viewer? Yes you need to know the port though.
If it were just for me I'd live with that. But other TI people here are 
complaining about "not user friendly" running remote-viewer directly and 
do not want to use Xming. So I need to provide an "easier" way to remote 
guest console access from windows, and also a way to run some kvm 
administration. As I said, they are already lobbying to move from KVM to 
something else. :-(

>>> What version of virsh is included in that msi?  Maybe it's just a case
>>> of a stale build, for something that has been fixed upstream?
>> C:>virsh -V
>> Virsh command line tool of libvirt 0.10.2
> See my previous reply. You can check the $prefix\deps.txt file for the build versions.

As expected, deps.txt agrees with virsh -V:


Same contents for both x64 and x86 virt-viewer 0.5.7 msi's from 

>> Do you know who built the Windows port? I know someone is doing that,
>> because the binaries are updated every few months. :-)
> Daniel & me? It's useful, since you found bugs. I could eventually fix them, but libvirt on windows is probably not a priority...  I would start by filling bugs.
As a Linux user myself, I would't care less about the windows port ;-) 
But as an IT consultant, I see most potentical RHEL+KVM or RHEV users 
(and KVM + CentOS, Fedora, Debian, etc users) have windows workstations 
and no knowledge, worse yet, no interest in using X remote displays. Not 
to mention there are times you need the guest console, X remote won't be 

Besides it's very very inefficient accessing a guest console from 
virt-manager using Xming or other X server for Windows, with or without 
ssh. You are on an end-to-end 1Gbps LAN but feels like an ADSL 
connection or worse. :-(

I'd argue to the Red Hat managers that windows ports of virt-manager and 
etc needs a higher priority if they want to grab market share from 
vmware, hyper-v or xenserver.

>> Again, I'm willing to help any way I can, but I can be only a tester,
>> and a documentation writer. I won't be able to help as a developer. :-(
> I would say hacking on libvirt windows is easy, as long as you have a windows (to run) & a fedora (to build). Some issues could even be debugged with wine (yes!)
The few docs I saw about porting Linux software for windows (like gimp) 
makes it look very hard, involving a significand investment in time just 
to get started and a deep knowledge about both platforms. Would you be 
able to provide a HOW-TO for virsh and maybe virt-viewer? I'm not 
telling I'd be able to spare the time, but I'd give it a try before 
calling defeat.

[]s, Fernando Lozano

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