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spinup is a virtual machine manager based on libvirt.

A few use cases:

  • Launch a VM with default parameters:

     $ spinup
  • Launch a VM with 4GiB of RAM and 6 CPUs.

     $ spinup 4G 6cpus
  • Launch a CoreOS machine with 2G of RAM:

     $ spinup coreos 2G
  • SSH into a machine spun up in the current directory.

     $ spinup ssh
  • Launch two machines, naming them foo and bar:

     $ spinup :foo 2G 2cpus -- :bar 8G 4cpus
  • Set disk size:

     $ spinup disk=100G
  • Add two network interfaces, one with a static IP address and one configured for DHCP. For the static IP address to work, a libvirt network must exist for the given IP range.

     $ spinup dhcp
  • Now ssh into foo:

     $ spinup ssh foo
  • Destroy the cluster in the current directory:

     $ spinup destroy

spinup is at the moment in its very early stages of development. You might need to do some setting up before it will work correctly on your computer. The included script is supposed to help you do the one-off work you might need.


On Ubuntu, the following packages are needed for installing and running spinup. For other distributions, the equivalent packages should be installed.

  • qemu-utils: for the qemu-img command.
  • libvirt-dev: dependency of the libvirt-python package installed by pip.
  • libvirt-bin
  • qemu-kvm

In order to make sure that kvm is being used, run the kvm-ok command. You might need to enable either the kvm_amd or kvm_intel kernel module. You might also need to enable hardware virtualization in BIOS.


Spin up a VM quickly.






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