virt-viewer Man page

VIRT-VIEWER(1) Virtualization Support VIRT-VIEWER(1)


virt-viewer – display the graphical console for a virtual machine




virt-viewer is a minimal tool for displaying the graphical console of a
virtual machine. The console is accessed using the VNC or SPICE
protocol. The guest can be referred to based on its name, ID, or UUID.
If the guest is not already running, then the viewer can be told to
wait until it starts before attempting to connect to the console. The
viewer can connect to remote hosts to lookup the console information
and then also connect to the remote console using the same network


The following options are accepted when running “virt-viewer”:

-h, –help
Display command line help summary

-V, –version
Display program version number

-v, –verbose
Display information about the connection

-c URI, –connect=URI
Specify the hypervisor connection URI

-w, –wait
Wait for the domain to start up before attempting to connect to the

-r, –reconnect
Automatically reconnect to the domain if it shuts down and restarts

-z PCT, –zoom=PCT
Zoom level of the display window in percentage. Range 10-400.

-d, –direct
Do not attempt to tunnel the console over SSH, even if the main
connection URI used SSH.

-a, –attach
Instead of making a direct TCP/UNIX socket connection to the remote
display, ask libvirt to provide a pre-connected socket for the
display. This avoids the need to authenticate with the remote
display server directly. This option will only work when connecting
to a guest that is running on the same host as the virt-viewer
program. If attaching to the guest via libvirt fails, virt-viewer
will automatically fallback to trying a regular direct TCP/UNIX
socket connection.

-f, –full-screen
Start with the window maximised to fullscreen

Print debugging information

Set global hotkey bindings. By default, keyboard shortcuts only
work when the guest display widget does not have focus. Any
actions specified in HOTKEYS will be effective even when the guest
display widget has input focus. The format for HOTKEYS is
=[+][,=[+]]. Key-names
are case-insensitive. Valid actions are: toggle-fullscreen,
release-cursor, secure-attention, smartcard-insert and smartcard-
remove. The “secure-attention” action sends a secure attention
sequence (Ctrl+Alt+Del) to the guest. Examples:



Note that hotkeys for which no binding is given are disabled.
Although the hotkeys specified here are handled by the client, it
is still possible to send these key combinations to the guest via a
menu item.

-k, –kiosk
Start in kiosk mode. In this mode, the application will start in
fullscreen with minimal UI. It will prevent the user from quitting
or performing any interaction outside of usage of the remote
desktop session.

Note that it can’t offer a complete secure solution by itself. Your
kiosk system must have additional configuration and security
settings to lock down the OS. In particular, you must configure or
disable the window manager, limit the session capabilities, use
some restart/watchdog mechanism, disable VT switching etc.

By default, when kiosk mode is enabled, virt-viewer will remain
open when the connection to the remote server is terminated. By
setting kiosk-quit option to “on-disconnect” value, virt-viewer
will quit instead. Please note that –reconnect takes precedence
over this option, and will attempt to do a reconnection before it

To connect to the guest called ‘demo’ running under Xen

virt-viewer demo

To connect to the guest with ID 7 running under QEMU

virt-viewer –connect qemu:///system 7

To wait for the guest with UUID 66ab33c0-6919-a3f7-e659-16c82d248521 to
startup and then connect, also reconnecting upon restart of VM

virt-viewer –reconnect –wait 66ab33c0-6919-a3f7-e659-16c82d248521

To connect to a remote console using TLS

virt-viewer –connect xen:// demo

To connect to a remote host using SSH, lookup the guest config and then
make a direct non-tunnelled connection of the console

virt-viewer –direct –connect xen+ssh:// demo


Written by Daniel P. Berrange, based on the GTK-VNC example program


Report bugs to the mailing list


Copyright (C) 2007-2014 Red Hat, Inc., and various contributors. This
is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of
the GNU General Public License
“”. There is NO WARRANTY, to
the extent permitted by law.


virsh, “virt-manager“, the project website

perl v5.18.2 2014-07-21 VIRT-VIEWER(1)