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Puppet Module for Virtualization Management
Ruby Puppet
Latest commit 1216457 @carlasouza Merge pull request #36 from fasrc/facts_fix
try to re-use the connection and close at the end


Puppet Virtualization Management Module


Puppet Module to manage virtual machines. Provides a the type: virt.


On agent

  • ruby-libvirt 0.4.0 (gem)
  • virtinst 0.600 (package)
  • pluginsync=true in puppet.conf


Manage virtual environments. Xen, KVM, OpenVZ, and LXC hypervisors are supported, which of the first three uses libvirt as provider. This module is the result of my work at GSoC 2010. I thank Reliant Security for funding the OpenVZ provider development.

Autorequires: If Puppet is managing Xen or KVM guests, the virt resource will autorequire libvirt library.

OpenVZ Examples:

virt { guest-openvz1:
  ensure      => 'running',
  id          => 101,
  os_template => 'ubuntu-10.10',
  virt_type   => 'openvz',
  autoboot    => 'false'

Note that some values can be specified as an array of values:

virt { guest-openvz2:
  ensure      => 'installed',
  memory      => 512,
  os_template => 'ubuntu-10.10-x86_64',
  virt_type   => 'openvz',
  autoboot    => true,
  interfaces  => ["eth0", "eth1"]

KVM examples:

virt { guest-kvm1:
  memory    => 512,
  virt_path => '/home/user/disk0.qcow2',
  ensure    => installed,
  virt_type => 'kvm'

# clone from kvm1
virt { guest-kvm2:
  clone     => 'guest-kvm1',
  ensure    => running,
  virt_type => 'kvm'

lXC Examples:

virt { guest-lxc1:
  ensure      => running,
  os_template => 'ubuntu',
  provider    => 'lxc'

# clone from lxc1
virt { guest-lxc2:
  ensure   => running,
  clone    => 'guest-lxc1',
  snapshot => true,
  provider => 'lxc',
  require  => Virt['lxc1']


  • disabled: The provider can disable guest start.
  • cpu_fair: The provider can manage CPU usage by guest.
  • disk_quota: The provider can set disk usage quota by the guest.
  • pxe: The provider supports guests creation using pxe.
  • iptables: The provider can loads iptables modules on the guest.
  • graphics: The provider can setup a virtual console in the guest for VNC.
  • clocksync: The provider can specify the guest's clock syncronization method.
  • boot_params: The provider support parameters for the guest boot.
  • manages_lvm: The provider manages LVM configuration.
  • manages_resources: The provider manage a set of limits and guarantees controlled per guest.
  • manages_capabilities: The provider manage a set of capabilities for a guest.
  • manages_features: The provider can enable or disable a specific guest feature.
  • manages_devices: The provider can give the guest an access to a device.
  • manages_users: The provider manage guest's users and passwords.
  • manages_behaviour: The provider manage the quest's behaviour for reboot, crash and shutdown.
  • initial_config: The provider can receive a config file with default values for VE or lxc creation.
  • storage_path: The provider can set the path to storage and mount VE files.
  • cloneable: The provider can create clones of other instances
  • backingstore: The provider can use a backingstore such as lvm or btrfs
Features \ Provider libvirt openvz lxc
disabled X
cpu_fair X
disk_quota X
pxe X
iptables X
graphics X
clocksync X
boot_params X
manages_lvm X
manages_resources X
manages_capabilities X
manages_features X
manages_devices X
manages_users X
manages_behaviour X
initial_config X X
storage_path X
cloneable X X
backingstore X



A description of the virutal machine. Generally is what services it provides.

  • namevar The guest's name.

The guest's hostname. It not specified, name will be used as VE's hostname.


OpenVZ CT ID. It must be an integer greater then 100. CT ID <= 100 are reserved for OpenVZ internal purposes. If not specified, the provider will automatically generate it with the first valid value.


Valid values are running, stopped, installed, absent and suspended.


Optimize the guest configuration for a type of operating system (ex. linux, windows) for libvirt provider. It is used during the guest creation.


Further optimize the guest configuration for a specific operating system variant (ex. fedora8, winxp). This parameter is optional for libvirt provider and mandatory for openvz provider.

Available values for libvirt are:

  • linux

    • debianetch: Debian Etch
    • debianlenny: Debian Lenny
    • debiansqueeze: Debian Squeeze
    • fedora5: Fedora Core 5
    • fedora6: Fedora Core 6
    • fedora7: Fedora 7
    • fedora8: Fedora 8
    • fedora9: Fedora 9
    • fedora10: Fedora 10
    • fedora11: Fedora 11
    • generic24: Generic 2.4.x kernel
    • generic26: Generic 2.6.x kernel
    • virtio26: Generic 2.6.25 or later kernel with virtio
    • rhel2.1: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1
    • rhel3: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
    • rhel4: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
    • rhel5: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
    • sles10: Suse Linux Enterprise Server
    • ubuntuhardy: Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron)
    • ubuntuintrepid: Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)
    • ubuntujaunty: Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)
  • other

    • generic: Generic
    • msdos: MS-DOS
    • netware4: Novell Netware 4
    • netware5: Novell Netware 5
    • netware6: Novell Netware 6
  • solaris

    • opensolaris: Sun OpenSolaris
    • solaris10: Sun Solaris 10
    • solaris9: Sun Solaris 9
  • unix

    • freebsd6: Free BSD 6.x
    • freebsd7: Free BSD 7.x
    • openbsd4: Open BSD 4.x
  • windows

    • vista: Microsoft Windows Vista
    • win2k: Microsoft Windows 2000
    • win2k3: Microsoft Windows 2003
    • win2k8: Microsoft Windows 2008
    • winxp: Microsoft Windows XP (x86)
    • winxp64: Microsoft Windows XP (x86_64)

For OpenVZ provider, available values are:

  • centos-4: CentOS 4
  • centos-5: CentOS 5
  • debian-5.0: Debian Lenny
  • debian-6.0: Debian Squeeze
  • fedora-13: Fedora 13
  • fedora-14: Fedora 14
  • suse-11.3: Suse 11.3
  • suse-11.4: Suse 11.4
  • ubuntu-8.04: Ubuntu LTS 8.04
  • ubuntu-9.10: Ubuntu 9.10
  • ubuntu-10.04: Ubuntu LTS 10.04
  • ubuntu-10.10: Ubuntu 10.10
  • ubuntu-11.04: Ubuntu 11.04

For LXC provider, available values on Ubuntu Precise are:

  • busybox
  • debian
  • fedora
  • opensuse
  • sshd
  • ubuntu
  • ubuntu-cloud

Also, you can use a custom value with your custom template name. Example: my-customized-ubuntu-10 or fedora-mycompany.

When using OpenVZ provider, the template for the new guest will be automaticaly downloaded if don't already exists. It will download from official OpenVZ repository or from URL specified at tmpl_repo parameter.


The specific backend for provider to use. Available providers are:

  • openvz: Guest management for OpenVZ guests. Supported features: disabled, cpu_fair, disk_quota, iptables, manages_resources, manages_capabilities, manages_features, manages_devices and manages_users.
  • libvirt: Guest management for Xen and KVM guests. Note that you will need to install the libvirt Ruby library. Supported features: pxe, graphics, clocksync, boot_params and manages_behaviour
  • lxc: Guest management for LXC guests. Supported features: cloneable, initial_config, backingstore

Specify the guest virtualization type. Mandatory field. Available values:

  • xen_fullyvirt: Request the use of full virtualization, if both para & full virtualization are available on the host. This parameter may not be available if connecting to a Xen hypervisor on a machine without hardware virtualization support. This parameter is implied if connecting to a QEMU based hypervisor.
  • xen_paravirt: This guest should be a paravirtualized guest. It requires hardware virtualization support
  • kvm: When installing a QEMU guest, make use of the KVM or KQEMU kernel acceleration capabilities if available. Use of this option is recommended unless a guest OS is known to be incompatible with the accelerators.
  • openvz: When defining an OpenVZ guest, the os_template paramenter must be defined.
  • lxc: When defining an lxc guest, the os_template paramenter must be defined.

The values xen_fullyvirt, xen_paravirt and kvm will use libvirt as provider. openvz will use the openvz provider.


This is the path to a predefined xml config file, to be used with the import function.


Sets the path to the mount point for the container root directory (default VE_ROOT is specified at vz.conf file). Argument can contain literal string $VEID, which will be substituted with the numeric CT ID.

Requires features storage_path.


Set the path to directory in which all the files and directories specific to this very container are stored (default VE_PRIVATE is specified at vz.conf file). Argument can contain literal string $VEID, which will be substituted with the numeric CT ID.

Requires features storage_path.



If specified, values from example configuration file /etc/vz/conf/ve-<VALUE>.conf-sample are put into the container configuration file. If this container configuration file already exists, it will be removed.


Specify the configuration file to configure the virtualization and isolation functionalities for the container

Requires features initial_config.


User name and password. It is generally a good idea to keep to the degenerate 8 characters, beginning with a letter.

Sets password for the given user in the guest, creating the user if it does not exists. In case guest is not running, it is automatically mounted, then all the appropriate file changes are applied, then it is unmounted.

Requires features manages_users.

For OpenVZ guests, must use the format: "user:password"


IP address(es) of the guest. Multiple IP addresses should be specified as an array.


Connect the guest network to the host using the specified network as a bridge. The value can take one of 2 formats:

  • disabled: The guest will have no network.
  • [ "ethX", ... ] | "ethX": The guest can receive one or an array with interface's name from host to connect to the guest interfaces.
  • ifname[,mac,host_ifname,host_mac,[bridge]]: For OpenVZ hypervisor, the network interface must be specified using the format above, where:
    • 'ifname' is the ethernet device name in the guest;
    • 'mac' is its MAC address;
    • 'host_ifname' is the ethernet device name on the host;
    • 'host_mac' is its MAC address. MAC addresses should be in the format like XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX.

Bridge is an optional parameter which can be used in custom network start scripts to automatically add the interface to a bridge. All parameters except ifname are optional and are automatically generated if not specified.

If the specified interfaces does not exist, it will be ignored and raises a warning.


Fixed MAC address for the guest; If this parameter is omitted, or the value \"RANDOM\" is specified a suitable address will be randomly generated.

For Xen virtual machines it is required that the first 3 pairs in the MAC address be the sequence '00:16:3e', while for QEMU or KVM virtual machines it must be '54:52:00'. For OpenVZ virtual machine, the interface must exists previously.


Moves network device from the host system to a specified OpenVZ guest. Multiple network cards should be specified as an array. Requires features manages_devices.


DNS name server(s). Multiple name servers should be specified as an array.


DNS search domain name(s).


Requires features iptables.


The domain's installation architecture. Not Changeable. If not specified for OpenVZ guests, it will assume the same archtecture from host machine.


The maximum amount of memory allocation for the guest domain.


Number of virtual CPUs active in the guest domain.


CPU weight for a guest. Argument is positive non-zero number, passed to and used in the kernel fair scheduler. The larger the number is, the more CPU time this guest gets. Maximum value is 500000, minimal is 8. Number is relative to weights of all the other running guests. If cpuunits are not specified, default value of 1000 is used. Requires features cpu_fair.


Limit of CPU usage for the guest, in per cent. Note if the computer has 2 CPUs, it has total of 200% CPU time. Default CPU limit is 0 (no CPU limit). Requires features cpu_fair.


Assigns I/O priority to guest. Priority range is 0-7. The greater priority is, the more time for I/O activity guest has. By default each guest has priority of 4. Requires features cpu_fair.


Setup a virtual console in the guest to be imported. If no graphics option is specified, will default to enable. Available values:

  • enable: Setup a virtual console in the guest and export it as a VNC server in the host. The VNC server will run on the first free port number at 5900 or above.
  • vnc:VNCPORT: Request a permanent, statically assigned port number for the guest VNC console. Use of this option is discouraged as other guests may automatically choose to run on this port causing a clash.
  • disable: No graphical console will be allocated for the guest. Requires features graphics.

The guest clock synchronization can assume three possible values, allowing fine grained control over how the guest clock is synchronized to the host. NB, not all hypervisors support all modes. Available values:

  • utc: The guest clock will always be synchronized to UTC when booted
  • localtime: The guest clock will be synchronized to the host's configured timezone when booted, if any.
  • timezone: The guest clock will be synchronized to the requested timezone using the timezone attribute.
  • variable: The guest clock will have an arbitrary offset applied relative to UTC. The delta relative to UTC is specified in seconds, using the adjustment attribute. The guest is free to adjust the RTC over time an expect that it will be honoured at next reboot. This is in contrast to 'utc' mode, where the RTC adjustments are lost at each reboot. NB, at time of writing, only QEMU supports the variable clock mode, or custom timezones.

Requires features clocksync.


The URL from where download OpenVZ precreated templates. Default value:


Installation source for guest virtual machine kernel+initrd pair. The url can take one of the following forms:

  • DIRECTORY: Path to a local directory containing an installable distribution image
  • nfs:host:/path or nfs://host/path: An NFS server location containing an installable distribution image
  • http://host/path: An HTTP server location containing an installable distribution image
  • ftp://host/path: An FTP server location containing an installable distribution image

Requires features boot_params.


Additional kernel command line arguments to pass to the installer when performing a guest install from declared location. Requires features boot_params.


The kickstart file location. Requires features boot_params.


Path to disk image file. This field is mandatory for Xen and KVM guests. NB: Initially only import existing disk is available for this provider. Image files must end with *.img, *.qcow or *.qcow2


Whether specified to set the path to directory in which all the files and directories specific to this very guest are stored (default VE_PRIVATE is specified in vz.conf file). Argument can contain string $VEID, which will be substituted with the numeric CT ID.


Size (in GB) to use if creating new guest storage. Not changeable.


Sets soft overusage time limit for disk quota (also known as grace period). Requires features disk_quota.


Sets maximum number of user/group IDs in a guest for which disk quota inside the guest will be accounted. If this value is set to 0, user and group quotas inside the guest will not be accounted.

Note that if you have previously set value of this parameter to 0, changing it while the guest is running will not take effect. Requires features disk_quota.


Sets soft and hard disk quotas, in i-nodes. Must follow the format: N:N where first parameter is soft quota, second is hard quota. Requires features disk_quota.


Sets soft and hard disk quotas, in blocks. Must follow the format: N:N where first parameter is soft quota, second is hard quota. One block is currently equal to 1Kb. Also suffixes G, M, K can be specified. Requires features disk_quota.


Give the container an access (r - read only, w - write only, rw - read/write, none - no access) to:

  • a device designated by the special file /dev/device. Device file is created in a container by vzctl.
    • Use format: device:r|w|rw|none
  • a block or character device designated by its major and minor numbers. Device file have to be created manually.
    • Use format: b|c:major:minor|all:[r|w|rw|none] Requires features manages_devices.

Use the PXE boot protocol to load the initial ramdisk and kernel for starting the guest installation process. Valid values are true, false. Requires features pxe.


The content of this element specifies the action to take when the guest crashes. Available values:

  • destroy: The domain will be terminated completely and all resources released.
  • restart: The domain will be terminated, and then restarted with the same configuration.
  • preserve: The domain will be terminated, and its resource preserved to allow analysis.
  • rename-restart: The domain will be terminated, and then restarted with a new name." Requires features manages_behaviour.

The content of this element specifies the action to take when the guest requests a poweroff. Valid values are the same of on_crash parameter. Requires features manages_behaviour.


The content of this element specifies the action to take when the guest requests a reboot. Valid values are the same of on_crash parameter. Requires features manages_behaviour.


Determines if the guest should start when the host starts. Valid values are true, false.


Disable guest star. Valid values are true, false. Requires features disabled.


Sets noatime flag (do not update inode access times) on file system. Valid values are true, false. Requires features manages_resources.


Enable or disable a specific guest feature. Known features are: sysfs, nfs, sit, ipip. Requires features manages_features.


Sets a capability for a guest. Note that setting capability when the guest is running does not take immediate effect; restart the guest in order for the changes to take effect. Note a guest has default set of capabilities, thus any operation on capabilities is 'logical and' with the default capability mask.

You can use the following values for capname: chown, dac_override, dac_read_search, fowner, fsetid, kill, setgid, setuid, setpcap, linux_immutable, net_bind_service, net_broadcast, net_admin, net_raw, ipc_lock, ipc_owner, sys_module, sys_rawio, sys_chroot, sys_ptrace, sys_pacct, sys_admin, sys_boot, sys_nice, sys_resource, sys_time, sys_tty_config, mknod, lease, setveid, ve_admin.

Requires features manages_capabilities. WARNING: setting some of those capabilities may have far reaching security implications, so do not do it unless you know what you are doing. Also note that setting setpcap to on for a guest will most probably lead to inability to start it.


Requires one or two arguments. In case of one argument, vzctl sets barrier and limit to the same value. In case of two colon-separated arguments, the first is a barrier, and the second is a limit. Each argument is either a number, a number with a suffix, or the special value unlimited. UBC parameters description can be found at:

Valid values are: vmguarpages, physpages, oomguarpages, lockedpages, privvmpages, shmpages, numproc, numtcpsock, numothersock, numfile, numflock, numpty, numsiginfo, dcachesize, numiptent, kmemsize, tcpsndbuf, tcprcvbuf, othersockbuf, dgramrcvbuf.

Requires features resources_management.


Clone a different container to be the base image for this container

Requires features cloneable.


Make the new rootfs a snapshot of the cloned container

Requires features cloneable.


backingstore' is one of 'none', 'lvm', or 'btrfs'

Requires features backingstore.


Use specified Volume Group (defaults to lxc) in LXC.

Requires features manages_lvm.


Use specified name for Logical Volume (defaults to hostname) in LXC.

Requires features manages_lvm.


Specify LV size (defaults to 1G) for LXC.

Requires features manages_lvm.


Specify LV filesystem type (defaults to ext4) for LXC.

Requires features manages_lvm.

Future Work

For now, some parameters will have a few values acceptable:

  • Add to Facter facts about host's OpenVZ information;
  • Implement VServer provider;
  • virt_path will accept only existing .img, .qcow and .qcow2 files;
  • Input devices specification like mouse will not be supported for now;
  • The parameters on_poweroff, on_reboot and on_crash for libvirt provider are not changeable. They will be used only to create a new domain using Libvirt provider (not for import existing domain's image, because libvirt does not support modify those values).


This module is released under GNU General Public License, version 3 (GPLv3) (

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