guestfs-perl(3) Virtualization Support guestfs-perl(3)

guestfs-perl - How to use libguestfs from Perl

use Sys::Guestfs;

my $g = Sys::Guestfs->new ();
$g->add_drive_opts ('guest.img', format => 'raw');
$g->launch ();
$g->mount ('/dev/sda1', '/');
$g->touch ('/hello');
$g->shutdown ();
$g->close ();

This manual page documents how to call libguestfs from the Perl programming language. This page just documents the differences from the C API and gives some examples. If you are not familiar with using libguestfs, you also need to read guestfs(3). To read the full Perl API, see Sys::Guestfs(3).

Errors from libguestfs functions turn into calls to "croak" (see Carp(3)).

#!/usr/bin/env perl

# Example showing how to create a disk image.

use strict;
use warnings;
use Sys::Guestfs;

my $output = "disk.img";

my $g = new Sys::Guestfs ();

# Create a raw-format sparse disk image, 512 MB in size.
$g->disk_create ($output, "raw", 512 * 1024 * 1024);

# Set the trace flag so that we can see each libguestfs call.
$g->set_trace (1);

# Attach the disk image to libguestfs.
$g->add_drive_opts ($output, format => "raw", readonly => 0);

# Run the libguestfs back-end.
$g->launch ();

# Get the list of devices.  Because we only added one drive
# above, we expect that this list should contain a single
# element.
my @devices = $g->list_devices ();
if (@devices != 1) {
    die "error: expected a single device from list-devices";

# Partition the disk as one single MBR partition.
$g->part_disk ($devices[0], "mbr");

# Get the list of partitions.  We expect a single element, which
# is the partition we have just created.
my @partitions = $g->list_partitions ();
if (@partitions != 1) {
    die "error: expected a single partition from list-partitions";

# Create a filesystem on the partition.
$g->mkfs ("ext4", $partitions[0]);

# Now mount the filesystem so that we can add files.
$g->mount ($partitions[0], "/");

# Create some files and directories.
$g->touch ("/empty");
my $message = "Hello, world\n";
$g->write ("/hello", $message);
$g->mkdir ("/foo");

# This one uploads the local file /etc/resolv.conf into
# the disk image.
$g->upload ("/etc/resolv.conf", "/foo/resolv.conf");

# Because we wrote to the disk and we want to detect write
# errors, call $g->shutdown.  You don't need to do this:
# $g->close will do it implicitly.
$g->shutdown ();

# Note also that handles are automatically closed if they are
# reaped by reference counting.  You only need to call close
# if you want to close the handle right away.
$g->close ();

#!/usr/bin/env perl

# Example showing how to inspect a virtual machine disk.

use strict;
use warnings;
use Sys::Guestfs;

if (@ARGV < 1) {
    die "usage: inspect_vm disk.img"

my $disk = $ARGV[0];

my $g = new Sys::Guestfs ();

# Attach the disk image read-only to libguestfs.
# You could also add an optional format => ... argument here.  This is
# advisable since automatic format detection is insecure.
$g->add_drive_opts ($disk, readonly => 1);

# Run the libguestfs back-end.
$g->launch ();

# Ask libguestfs to inspect for operating systems.
my @roots = $g->inspect_os ();
if (@roots == 0) {
    die "inspect_vm: no operating systems found";

for my $root (@roots) {
    printf "Root device: %s\n", $root;

    # Print basic information about the operating system.
    printf "  Product name: %s\n", $g->inspect_get_product_name ($root);
    printf "  Version:      %d.%d\n",
        $g->inspect_get_major_version ($root),
        $g->inspect_get_minor_version ($root);
    printf "  Type:         %s\n", $g->inspect_get_type ($root);
    printf "  Distro:       %s\n", $g->inspect_get_distro ($root);

    # Mount up the disks, like guestfish -i.
    # Sort keys by length, shortest first, so that we end up
    # mounting the filesystems in the correct order.
    my %mps = $g->inspect_get_mountpoints ($root);
    my @mps = sort { length $a <=> length $b } (keys %mps);
    for my $mp (@mps) {
        eval { $g->mount_ro ($mps{$mp}, $mp) };
        if ($@) {
            print "$@ (ignored)\n"

    # If /etc/ file exists, print up to 3 lines.
    my $filename = "/etc/";
    if ($g->is_file ($filename)) {
        printf "--- %s ---\n", $filename;
        my @lines = $g->head_n (3, $filename);
        print "$_\n" foreach @lines;

    # Unmount everything.
    $g->umount_all ()

Sys::Guestfs(3), guestfs(3), guestfs-examples(3), guestfs-erlang(3), guestfs-gobject(3), guestfs-golang(3), guestfs-java(3), guestfs-lua(3), guestfs-ocaml(3), guestfs-python(3), guestfs-recipes(1), guestfs-ruby(3),

Richard W.M. Jones ("rjones at redhat dot com")

Copyright (C) 2011-2023 Red Hat Inc.

This manual page contains examples which we hope you will use in your programs. The examples may be freely copied, modified and distributed for any purpose without any restrictions.

To get a list of bugs against libguestfs, use this link:

To report a new bug against libguestfs, use this link:

When reporting a bug, please supply:

  • The version of libguestfs.
  • Where you got libguestfs (eg. which Linux distro, compiled from source, etc)
  • Describe the bug accurately and give a way to reproduce it.
  • Run libguestfs-test-tool(1) and paste the complete, unedited output into the bug report.
2024-01-05 libguestfs-1.52.0