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virt-filesystems - Man Page

List filesystems, partitions, block devices, LVM in a virtual machine or disk image


 virt-filesystems [--options] -d domname

 virt-filesystems [--options] -a disk.img [-a disk.img ...]


This tool allows you to discover filesystems, partitions, logical volumes, and their sizes in a disk image or virtual machine.  It is a replacement for virt-list-filesystems(1) and virt-list-partitions(1).

One use for this tool is from shell scripts to iterate over all filesystems from a disk image:

 for fs in $(virt-filesystems -a disk.img); do
   # ...

Another use is to list partitions before using another tool to modify those partitions (such as virt-resize(1)).  If you are curious about what an unknown disk image contains, use this tool along with virt-inspector(1).

Various command line options control what this program displays.  You need to give either -a or -d options to specify the disk image or libvirt guest respectively.  If you just specify that then the program shows filesystems found, one per line, like this:

 $ virt-filesystems -a disk.img

If you add -l or --long then the output includes extra information:

 $ virt-filesystems -a disk.img -l
 Name                   Type         VFS   Label  Size
 /dev/sda1              filesystem   ext4  boot   524288000
 /dev/vg_guest/lv_root  filesystem   ext4  root   10212081664

If you add --extra then non-mountable (swap, unknown) filesystems are shown as well:

 $ virt-filesystems -a disk.img --extra

If you add --partitions then partitions are shown instead of filesystems:

 $ virt-filesystems -a disk.img --partitions

Similarly you can use --logical-volumes, --volume-groups, --physical-volumes, --block-devices to list those items.

You can use these options in combination as well (if you want a combination including filesystems, you have to add --filesystems). Notice that some items fall into several categories (eg. /dev/sda1 might be both a partition and a filesystem).  These items are listed several times.  To get a list which includes absolutely everything that virt-filesystems knows about, use the --all option.

UUIDs (because they are quite long) are not shown by default.  Add the --uuid option to display device and filesystem UUIDs in the long output.

--all --long --uuid is a useful combination to display all possible information about everything.

 $ virt-filesystems -a win.img --all --long --uuid -h
 Name      Type       VFS  Label           Size Parent   UUID
 /dev/sda1 filesystem ntfs System Reserved 100M -        F81C92571C92112C
 /dev/sda2 filesystem ntfs -               20G  -        F2E8996AE8992E3B
 /dev/sda1 partition  -    -               100M /dev/sda -
 /dev/sda2 partition  -    -               20G  /dev/sda -
 /dev/sda  device     -    -               20G  -        -

For machine-readable output, use --csv to get Comma-Separated Values.



Display brief help.

-a file
--add file

Add file which should be a disk image from a virtual machine.  If the virtual machine has multiple block devices, you must supply all of them with separate -a options.

The format of the disk image is auto-detected.  To override this and force a particular format use the --format=.. option.

-a URI
--add URI

Add a remote disk.  See "ADDING REMOTE STORAGE" in guestfish(1).


Display everything.  This is currently the same as specifying these options: --filesystems, --extra, --partitions, --block-devices, --logical-volumes, --volume-groups, --physical-volumes.  (More may be added to this list in future).

See also --long.


Display block devices.


This parameter sets the sector size of the disk image.  It affects all explicitly added subsequent disks after this parameter.  Using --blocksize with no argument switches the disk sector size to the default value which is usually 512 bytes.  See also "guestfs_add_drive_opts" in guestfs(3).

-c URI
--connect URI

If using libvirt, connect to the given URI.  If omitted, then we connect to the default libvirt hypervisor.

If you specify guest block devices directly (-a), then libvirt is not used at all.


Write out the results in CSV format (comma-separated values).  This format can be imported easily into databases and spreadsheets, but read "Note About CSV Format" below.

-d guest
--domain guest

Add all the disks from the named libvirt guest.  Domain UUIDs can be used instead of names.


When prompting for keys and passphrases, virt-filesystems normally turns echoing off so you cannot see what you are typing.  If you are not worried about Tempest attacks and there is no one else in the room you can specify this flag to see what you are typing.


This causes filesystems that are not ordinary, mountable filesystems to be displayed.  This category includes swapspace, and filesystems that are empty or contain unknown data.

This option implies --filesystems.


Display mountable filesystems.  If no display option was selected then this option is implied.

With --extra, non-mountable filesystems are shown too.


The default for the -a option is to auto-detect the format of the disk image.  Using this forces the disk format for -a options which follow on the command line.  Using --format with no argument switches back to auto-detection for subsequent -a options.

For example:

 virt-filesystems --format=raw -a disk.img

forces raw format (no auto-detection) for disk.img.

 virt-filesystems --format=raw -a disk.img --format -a another.img

forces raw format (no auto-detection) for disk.img and reverts to auto-detection for another.img.

If you have untrusted raw-format guest disk images, you should use this option to specify the disk format.  This avoids a possible security problem with malicious guests (CVE-2010-3851).


In --long mode, display sizes in human-readable format.


Read key or passphrase parameters from stdin.  The default is to try to read passphrases from the user by opening /dev/tty.

If there are multiple encrypted devices then you may need to supply multiple keys on stdin, one per line.


Display extra columns of data ("long format").

A title row is added unless you also specify --no-title.

The extra columns displayed depend on what output you select, and the ordering of columns may change in future versions.  Use the title row, --csv output and/or csvtool(1) to match columns to data in external programs.

Use -h if you want sizes to be displayed in human-readable format. The default is to show raw numbers of bytes.

Use --uuid to display UUIDs too.


Display LVM logical volumes.  In this mode, these are displayed irrespective of whether the LVs contain filesystems.


In --long mode, don’t add a title row.

Note that the order of the columns is not fixed, and may change in future versions of virt-filesystems, so using this option may give you unexpected surprises.


Display partitions.  In this mode, these are displayed irrespective of whether the partitions contain filesystems.


Display LVM physical volumes.


In --long mode, display UUIDs as well.


Enable verbose messages for debugging.


Display version number and exit.


Display LVM volume groups.


Enable tracing of libguestfs API calls.


Note that columns in the output are subject to reordering and change in future versions of this tool.


The filesystem, partition, block device or LVM name.

For device and partition names these are displayed as canonical libguestfs names, so that for example /dev/sda2 is the second partition on the first device.

If the --long option is not specified, then only the name column is shown in the output.


The object type, for example filesystem, lv, device etc.


If there is a filesystem, then this column displays the filesystem type if one could be detected, eg. ext4.


If the object has a label (used for identifying and mounting filesystems) then this column contains the label.


The partition type byte, displayed as a two digit hexadecimal number. A comprehensive list of partition types can be found here: http://www.win.tue.nl/~aeb/partitions/partition_types-1.html

This is only applicable for DOS (MBR) partitions.


The size of the object in bytes.  If the --human option is used then the size is displayed in a human-readable form.


The parent column records the parent relationship between objects.

For example, if the object is a partition, then this column contains the name of the containing device.  If the object is a logical volume, then this column is the name of the volume group.

If there is more than one parent, then this column is (internal to the column) a comma-separated list, eg. /dev/sda,/dev/sdb.


If the object has a UUID (used for identifying and mounting filesystems and block devices) then this column contains the UUID as a string.

The UUID is only displayed if the --uuid option is given.

Note About CSV Format

Comma-separated values (CSV) is a deceptive format.  It seems like it should be easy to parse, but it is definitely not easy to parse.

Myth: Just split fields at commas.  Reality: This does not work reliably.  This example has two columns:


Myth: Read the file one line at a time.  Reality: This does not work reliably.  This example has one row:


For shell scripts, use csvtool (https://github.com/Chris00/ocaml-csv also packaged in major Linux distributions).

For other languages, use a CSV processing library (eg. Text::CSV for Perl or Python’s built-in csv library).

Most spreadsheets and databases can import CSV directly.

Exit Status

This program returns 0 if successful, or non-zero if there was an error.

See Also

guestfs(3), guestfish(1), virt-cat(1), virt-df(1), virt-drivers(1), virt-list-filesystems(1), virt-list-partitions(1), csvtool(1), http://libguestfs.org/.


Richard W.M. Jones http://people.redhat.com/~rjones/


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.


To get a list of bugs against libguestfs, use this link: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/buglist.cgi?component=libguestfs&product=Virtualization+Tools

To report a new bug against libguestfs, use this link: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/enter_bug.cgi?component=libguestfs&product=Virtualization+Tools

When reporting a bug, please supply:

Referenced By

guestfish(1), guestfs(3), guestfs-faq(1), guestfs-hacking(1), guestfs-recipes(1), guestfs-testing(1), guestmount(1), nbdkit-guestfs-plugin(1), virt-alignment-scan(1), virt-cat(1), virt-df(1), virt-edit(1), virt-format(1), virt-ls(1), virt-rescue(1), virt-resize(1), virt-sparsify(1), virt-tail(1), virt-v2v(1).

2024-06-19 guestfs-tools-1.53.1 Virtualization Support