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Vagrant with vagrant-libvirt plugin on Enterprise Linux 8


This guide covers the installation of libvirt and related tools along with the Vagrant plugin that allows using libvirt as a provider. This has been tested on a clean installation of EuroLinux 8.5 - only Vagrant has been installed already as described in Vagrant jumpstart.


  • QEMU - a generic machine emulator
  • KVM - a virtualisation solution that is native to Linux. Used by QEMU to achieve near-native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU
  • libvirt - a management suite for several hypervisors

While libvirt can manage many virtualisation solutions, in the context of this document libvirt refers to: QEMU with KVM managed by libvirt.

Why prefer libvirt over providers such as VirtualBox?

As mentioned, KVM is a native virtualisation solution to Linux. This means a significant performance boost when compared to other providers at the slight cost of portability - if you run Linux only, then this is your solution of choice!

If you have never used libvirt before and just heard about it in this how-to, there are several goodies worth mentioning. As an example unrelated to Vagrant: Virt-Manager allows you to get a similar GUI experience out of KVM as that of e.g. VirtualBox, it is fully Free Software (no worrying about licensing shenanigans) and is more modular - in fact, there is a libvirt VirtualBox driver out there.

Install the plugin

Normally one would invoke a single command: vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt and the plugin would work well out-of-the-box. This is not the case for Linux distributions from the Enterprise Linux family and Upstream is aware of that, but as of today (2021.12.21) it doesn't appear to be resolved.

Because of that, you'll need to build additional components and use them with your Vagrant installation. The following procedure covers all of this and has been tested to work well with EuroLinux 8.5.

Use these commands:

[ "$(command -v vagrant)" ] || \
( read -p "Install Vagrant first before running the following commands" \
  && exit 1 )

sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools" "Virtualization Host" -y
sudo dnf install cmake libvirt-devel ruby-devel -y

mkdir krb5
cd krb5
rpm2cpio krb5*.src.rpm | cpio -idmv
tar xf krb5*.tar.gz
cd krb5*/src
sudo cp -P lib/crypto/libk5crypto.* /opt/vagrant/embedded/lib64/

mkdir libssh
cd libssh
rpm2cpio libssh*.src.rpm | cpio -idmv
tar xf libssh*.tar.xz
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../libssh-*/ -DOPENSSL_ROOT_DIR=/opt/vagrant/embedded/
sudo cp lib/libssh* /opt/vagrant/embedded/lib64

vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt && rm -rf krb5 libssh
sudo usermod -a -G libvirt $USER

Next, log out from all of your sessions (graphical and text) and log in again. From now on you should be able to run Vagrant boxes with libvirt if all requirements have been satisfied, e.g. you don't have any other providers enabled (an equivalent of deploying this guide on a clean installation).

Additional resources