Chapter 20. Manipulating the Domain XML

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This section describes the XML format used to represent domains. Here the term domain refers to the root <domain> element required for all guest virtual machine. The domain XML has two attributes: type specifies the hypervisor used for running the domain. The allowed values are driver specific, but include KVM and others. id is a unique integer identifier for the running guest virtual machine. Inactive machines have no id value. The sections in this chapter will address the components of the domain XML. Additional chapters in this manual may refer to this chapter when manipulation of the domain XML is required.


This chapter is based on the libvirt upstream documentation.

20.1. General Information and Metadata

This information is in this part of the domain XML:

<domain type='xen' id='3'>
  <title>A short description - title - of the domain</title>
  <description>Some human readable description</description>
    <app1:foo xmlns:app1="">..</app1:foo>
    <app2:bar xmlns:app2="">..</app2:bar>

Figure 20.1. Domain XML metadata

The components of this section of the domain XML are as follows:
Table 20.1. General metadata elements
<name>Assigns a name for the virtual machine. This name should consist only of alpha-numeric characters and is required to be unique within the scope of a single host physical machine. It is often used to form the filename for storing the persistent configuration files.
<uuid> assigns a globally unique identifier for the virtual machine. The format must be RFC 4122-compliant, eg 3e3fce45-4f53-4fa7-bb32-11f34168b82b. If omitted when defining/creating a new machine, a random UUID is generated. It is also possible to provide the UUID with a sysinfo specification.
<title>title Creates space for a short description of the domain. The title should not contain any newlines.
<description>Different from the title, This data is not used by libvirt in any way, it can contain any information the user wants to display.
<metadata>Can be used by applications to store custom metadata in the form of XML nodes/trees. Applications must use custom namespaces on their XML nodes/trees, with only one top-level element per namespace (if the application needs structure, they should have sub-elements to their namespace element)
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