Hooks for specific system management

Custom event scripts

Beginning with libvirt 0.8.0, specific events on a host system will trigger custom scripts.

These custom hook scripts are executed when any of the following actions occur:

  • The libvirt daemon starts, stops, or reloads its configuration ( since 0.8.0 )

  • A QEMU guest is started or stopped ( since 0.8.0 )

  • An LXC guest is started or stopped ( since 0.8.0 )

  • A libxl-handled Xen guest is started or stopped ( since 2.1.0 )

  • A network is started or stopped or an interface is plugged/unplugged to/from the network ( since 1.2.2 )

Script location

The libvirt hook scripts are located in the directory $SYSCONFDIR/libvirt/hooks/.

  • In Linux distributions such as Fedora and RHEL, this is /etc/libvirt/hooks/. Other Linux distributions may do this differently.

  • If your installation of libvirt has instead been compiled from source, it is likely to be /usr/local/etc/libvirt/hooks/.

  • Since 6.5.0 , you can also place several hook scripts in the directories /etc/libvirt/hooks/<driver>.d/.

To use hook scripts, you will need to create this hooks directory manually, place the desired hook scripts inside, then make them executable.

Script names

At present, there are five hook scripts that can be called:

  • /etc/libvirt/hooks/daemon Executed when the libvirt daemon is started, stopped, or reloads its configuration

  • /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu Executed when a QEMU guest is started, stopped, or migrated

  • /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc Executed when an LXC guest is started or stopped

  • /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl Executed when a libxl-handled Xen guest is started, stopped, or migrated

  • /etc/libvirt/hooks/network Executed when a network is started or stopped or an interface is plugged/unplugged to/from the network

Since 6.5.0 , you can also have several scripts with any name in the directories /etc/libvirt/hooks/<driver>.d/. They are executed in alphabetical order after main script.

Script structure

The hook scripts are executed using standard Linux process creation functions. Therefore, they must begin with the declaration of the command interpreter to use.

For example:

#!/bin/bash

or:

#!/usr/bin/python

Other command interpreters are equally valid, as is any executable binary, so you are welcome to use your favourite languages.

Script arguments

The hook scripts are called with specific command line arguments, depending upon the script, and the operation being performed.

The guest hook scripts, qemu and lxc, are also given the full XML description for the domain on their stdin. This includes items such the UUID of the domain and its storage information, and is intended to provide all the libvirt information the script needs.

For all cases, stdin of the network hook script is provided with the full XML description of the network status in the following form:

<hookData>
  <network>
     <name>$network_name</name>
     <uuid>afca425a-2c3a-420c-b2fb-dd7b4950d722</uuid>
     ...
  </network>
</hookData>

In the case of an network port being created / deleted, the network XML will be followed with the full XML description of the port:

<hookData>
  <network>
     <name>$network_name</name>
     <uuid>afca425a-2c3a-420c-b2fb-dd7b4950d722</uuid>
     ...
  </network>
  <networkport>
    <uuid>5d744f21-ba4a-4d6e-bdb2-30a35ff3207d</uuid>
    ...
    <plug type='direct' dev='ens3' mode='vepa'/>
  </networkport>
</hookData>

Please note that this approach is different from other cases such as daemon, qemu or lxc hook scripts, because two XMLs may be passed here, while in the other cases only a single XML is passed.

The command line arguments take this approach:

  1. The first argument is the name of the object involved in the operation, or '-' if there is none. For example, the name of a guest being started.

  2. The second argument is the name of the operation being performed. For example, "start" if a guest is being started.

  3. The third argument is a sub-operation indication, or '-' if there is none.

  4. The last argument is an extra argument string, or '-' if there is none.

Specifics

This translates to the following specifics for each hook script:

/etc/libvirt/hooks/daemon

  • When the libvirt daemon is started, this script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/daemon - start - start
  • When the libvirt daemon is shut down, this script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/daemon - shutdown - shutdown
  • When the libvirt daemon receives the SIGHUP signal, it reloads its configuration and triggers the hook script as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/daemon - reload begin SIGHUP

Please note that when the libvirt daemon is restarted, the daemon hook script is called once with the "shutdown" operation, and then once with the "start" operation. There is no specific operation to indicate a "restart" is occurring.

/etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu

  • Before a QEMU guest is started, the qemu hook script is called in three locations; if any location fails, the guest is not started. The first location, since 0.9.0 , is before libvirt performs any resource labeling, and the hook can allocate resources not managed by libvirt such as DRBD or missing bridges. This is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name prepare begin -
    The second location, available Since 0.8.0 , occurs after libvirt has finished labeling all resources, but has not yet started the guest, called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name start begin -
    The third location, 0.9.13 , occurs after the QEMU process has successfully started up:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name started begin -
  • When a QEMU guest is stopped, the qemu hook script is called in two locations, to match the startup. First, since 0.8.0 , the hook is called before libvirt restores any labels:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name stopped end -
    Then, after libvirt has released all resources, the hook is called again, since 0.9.0 , to allow any additional resource cleanup:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name release end -
  • Since 0.9.11 , the qemu hook script is also called at the beginning of incoming migration. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name migrate begin -

    with domain XML sent to standard input of the script. In this case, the script acts as a filter and is supposed to modify the domain XML and print it out on its standard output. Empty output is identical to copying the input XML without changing it. In case the script returns failure or the output XML is not valid, incoming migration will be canceled. This hook may be used, e.g., to change location of disk images for incoming domains.

  • Since 1.2.9 , the qemu hook script is also called when restoring a saved image either via the API or automatically when restoring a managed save machine. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name restore begin -

    with domain XML sent to standard input of the script. In this case, the script acts as a filter and is supposed to modify the domain XML and print it out on its standard output. Empty output is identical to copying the input XML without changing it. In case the script returns failure or the output XML is not valid, restore of the image will be aborted. This hook may be used, e.g., to change location of disk images for restored domains.

  • Since 6.5.0 , you can also place several hook scripts in the directory /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu.d/. They are executed in alphabetical order after main script. In this case each script also acts as filter and can modify the domain XML and print it out on its standard output. This script output is passed to standard input next script in order. Empty output from any script is also identical to copying the input XML without changing it. In case any script returns failure common process will be aborted, but all scripts from the directory will are executed.

  • Since 0.9.13 , the qemu hook script is also called when the libvirtd daemon restarts and reconnects to previously running QEMU processes. If the script fails, the existing QEMU process will be killed off. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name reconnect begin -
  • Since 0.9.13 , the qemu hook script is also called when the QEMU driver is told to attach to an externally launched QEMU process. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu guest_name attach begin -

/etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc

  • Before a LXC guest is started, the lxc hook script is called in three locations; if any location fails, the guest is not started. The first location, since 0.9.13 , is before libvirt performs any resource labeling, and the hook can allocate resources not managed by libvirt such as DRBD or missing bridges. This is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc guest_name prepare begin -
    The second location, available Since 0.8.0 , occurs after libvirt has finished labeling all resources, but has not yet started the guest, called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc guest_name start begin -
    The third location, 0.9.13 , occurs after the LXC process has successfully started up:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc guest_name started begin -
  • When a LXC guest is stopped, the lxc hook script is called in two locations, to match the startup. First, since 0.8.0 , the hook is called before libvirt restores any labels:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc guest_name stopped end -
    Then, after libvirt has released all resources, the hook is called again, since 0.9.0 , to allow any additional resource cleanup:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc guest_name release end -
  • Since 0.9.13 , the lxc hook script is also called when the libvirtd daemon restarts and reconnects to previously running LXC processes. If the script fails, the existing LXC process will be killed off. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/lxc guest_name reconnect begin -

/etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl

  • Before a Xen guest is started using libxl driver, the libxl hook script is called in three locations; if any location fails, the guest is not started. The first location, since 2.1.0 , is before libvirt performs any resource labeling, and the hook can allocate resources not managed by libvirt. This is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name prepare begin -
    The second location, available Since 2.1.0 , occurs after libvirt has finished labeling all resources, but has not yet started the guest, called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name start begin -
    The third location, 2.1.0 , occurs after the domain has successfully started up:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name started begin -
  • When a libxl-handled Xen guest is stopped, the libxl hook script is called in two locations, to match the startup. First, since 2.1.0 , the hook is called before libvirt restores any labels:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name stopped end -
    Then, after libvirt has released all resources, the hook is called again, since 2.1.0 , to allow any additional resource cleanup:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name release end -
  • Since 2.1.0 , the libxl hook script is also called at the beginning of incoming migration. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name migrate begin -

    with domain XML sent to standard input of the script. In this case, the script acts as a filter and is supposed to modify the domain XML and print it out on its standard output. Empty output is identical to copying the input XML without changing it. In case the script returns failure or the output XML is not valid, incoming migration will be canceled. This hook may be used, e.g., to change location of disk images for incoming domains.

  • Since 6.5.0 , you can also place several hook scripts in the directory /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl.d/. They are executed in alphabetical order after main script. In this case each script also acts as filter and can modify the domain XML and print it out on its standard output. This script output is passed to standard input next script in order. Empty output from any script is also identical to copying the input XML without changing it. In case any script returns failure common process will be aborted, but all scripts from the directory will are executed.

  • Since 2.1.0 , the libxl hook script is also called when the libvirtd daemon restarts and reconnects to previously running Xen domains. If the script fails, the existing Xen domains will be killed off. It is called as:

    /etc/libvirt/hooks/libxl guest_name reconnect begin -

/etc/libvirt/hooks/network

  • Since 1.2.2 , before a network is started, this script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/network network_name start begin -
  • After the network is started, up & running, the script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/network network_name started begin -
  • When a network is shut down, this script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/network network_name stopped end -
  • Later, when network is started and there's an interface from a domain to be plugged into the network, the hook script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/network network_name port-created begin -

    Please note, that in this case, the script is passed both network and port XMLs on its stdin.

  • When network is updated, the hook script is called as:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/network network_name updated begin -
  • When the domain from previous case is shutting down, the interface is unplugged. This leads to another script invocation:
    /etc/libvirt/hooks/network network_name port-deleted begin -

    And again, as in previous case, both network and port XMLs are passed onto script's stdin.

Script execution

  • The "start" operation for the guest and network hook scripts, executes prior to the object (guest or network) being created. This allows the object start operation to be aborted if the script returns indicating failure.

  • The "stopped" operation for the guest and network hook scripts, executes after the object (guest or network) has stopped. If the hook script indicates failure in its return, the shut down of the object cannot be aborted because it has already been performed.

  • Hook scripts execute in a synchronous fashion. Libvirt waits for them to return before continuing the given operation. This is most noticeable with the guest or network start operation, as a lengthy operation in the hook script can mean an extended wait for the guest or network to be available to end users.

  • For a hook script to be utilised, it must have its execute bit set (e.g. chmod o+rx qemu), and must be present when the libvirt daemon is started.

  • If a hook script is added to a host after the libvirt daemon is already running, it won't be used until the libvirt daemon next starts.

QEMU guest migration

Migration of a QEMU guest involves running hook scripts on both the source and destination hosts:

  1. At the beginning of the migration, the qemu hook script on the destination host is executed with the "migrate" operation.

  2. Before QEMU process is spawned, the two operations ("prepare" and "start") called for domain start are executed on destination host.

  3. If both of these hook script executions exit successfully (exit status 0), the migration continues. Any other exit code indicates failure, and the migration is aborted.

  4. The QEMU guest is then migrated to the destination host.

  5. Unless an error occurs during the migration process, the qemu hook script on the source host is then executed with the "stopped" and "release" operations to indicate it is no longer running on this host. Regardless of the return codes, the migration is not aborted as it has already been performed.

Calling libvirt functions from within a hook script

DO NOT DO THIS!

A hook script must not call back into libvirt, as the libvirt daemon is already waiting for the script to exit.

A deadlock is likely to occur.

Return codes and logging

If a hook script returns with an exit code of 0, the libvirt daemon regards this as successful and performs no logging of it.

However, if a hook script returns with a non zero exit code, the libvirt daemon regards this as a failure, logs its return code, and additionally logs anything on stderr the hook script returns.

For example, a hook script might use this code to indicate failure, and send a text string to stderr:

echo "Could not find required XYZZY" >&2
exit 1

The resulting entry in the libvirt log will appear as:

20:02:40.297: error : virHookCall:285 : Hook script execution failed: internal error Child process (LC_ALL=C PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin
                       HOME=/root USER=root LOGNAME=root /etc/libvirt/hooks/qemu qemu prepare begin -) unexpected exit status 1: Could not find required XYZZY