Command line basics for open source virtualization management

To effectively manage an open source virtualization environment, you must learn the command line basics. Commands and scripts can streamline your efforts.

Keith Kessinger, Assistant Site Editor

The Xen and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisors are different flavors of open source virtualization. It's imperative that systems admins master command-line inputs for these environments, though, because there are few third-party management options.

In the end, if your IT department opts for an open source virtualization platforms, you'll probably monitor and manage it with the commands found in this section.

Managing virtual machines in Red Hat Enterprise Linux
There are two, common management tools for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) environments: virt-manager and virsh. Like most GUIs, virt-manager's capabilities are limited. As a result, most power users opt for virsh commands to administer a RHEL infrastructure.

Using virsh to streamline KVM management
Forget virt-manager. For in-depth KVM management capabilities, you need virsh commands. While virsh's learning curve is steep, there are resources that can teach you the command line basics.

Creating snapshots in Xen with Linux commands
Xen doesn't support VM snapshots, which is a necessity for many IT departments. But there is a workaround. Because Xen hypervisors run within a Linux environment, you can use Linux commands to create snapshots.

Building a Linux virtualization solution with OpenVZ
Container-based virtualization is vastly different than the mainstream hypervisor approach. OpenVZ -- an open source, container-based virtualization platform -- has performance benefits over its hypervisor-centric competition. This tip outlines how to set up OpenVZ in Linux distros with commands.

This was first published in September 2010

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