Index · Directives · Python · libudev · gudev systemd 218

Name

machinectl — Control the systemd machine manager

Synopsis

machinectl [OPTIONS...] {COMMAND} [NAME...]

Description

machinectl may be used to introspect and control the state of the systemd(1) virtual machine and container registration manager systemd-machined.service(8).

Options

The following options are understood:

-p, --property=

When showing machine or image properties, limit the output to certain properties as specified by the argument. If not specified, all set properties are shown. The argument should be a property name, such as "Name". If specified more than once, all properties with the specified names are shown.

-a, --all

When showing machine or image properties, show all properties regardless of whether they are set or not.

When listing VM or container images, do not suppress images beginning in a dot character (".").

-l, --full

Do not ellipsize process tree entries.

--no-ask-password

Do not query the user for authentication for privileged operations.

--kill-who=

When used with kill, choose which processes to kill. Must be one of leader, or all to select whether to kill only the leader process of the machine or all processes of the machine. If omitted, defaults to all.

-s, --signal=

When used with kill, choose which signal to send to selected processes. Must be one of the well-known signal specifiers, such as SIGTERM, SIGINT or SIGSTOP. If omitted, defaults to SIGTERM.

--no-legend

Do not print the legend, i.e. the column headers and the footer.

--mkdir

When used with bind creates the destination directory before applying the bind mount.

--read-only

When used with bind applies a read-only bind mount.

-n, --lines=

When used with status, controls the number of journal lines to show, counting from the most recent ones. Takes a positive integer argument. Defaults to 10.

-o, --output=

When used with status, controls the formatting of the journal entries that are shown. For the available choices, see journalctl(1). Defaults to "short".

-H, --host=

Execute the operation remotely. Specify a hostname, or a username and hostname separated by "@", to connect to. The hostname may optionally be suffixed by a container name, separated by ":", which connects directly to a specific container on the specified host. This will use SSH to talk to the remote machine manager instance. Container names may be enumerated with machinectl -H HOST.

-M, --machine=

Execute operation on a local container. Specify a container name to connect to.

-h, --help

Print a short help text and exit.

--version

Print a short version string and exit.

--no-pager

Do not pipe output into a pager.

Commands

The following commands are understood:

Machine Commands

list

List currently running (online) virtual machines and containers. To enumerate container images that can be started, use list-images (see below).

status NAME...

Show terse runtime status information about one or more virtual machines and containers, followed by the most recent log data from the journal. This function is intended to generate human-readable output. If you are looking for computer-parsable output, use show instead. Note that the log data shown is reported by the virtual machine or container manager, and frequently contains console output of the machine, but not necessarily journal contents of the machine itself.

show NAME...

Show properties of one or more registered virtual machines or containers or the manager itself. If no argument is specified, properties of the manager will be shown. If an NAME is specified, properties of this virtual machine or container are shown. By default, empty properties are suppressed. Use --all to show those too. To select specific properties to show, use --property=. This command is intended to be used whenever computer-parsable output is required. Use status if you are looking for formatted human-readable output.

start NAME...

Start a container as a system service, using systemd-nspawn(1). This starts systemd-nspawn@.service, instantiated for the specified machine name, similar to the effect of systemctl start on the service name. systemd-nspawn looks for a container image by the specified name in /var/lib/machines/ (and other search paths, see below) and runs it. Use list-images (see below), for listing available container images to start.

Note that systemd-machined.service(8) also interfaces with a variety of other container and VM managers, systemd-nspawn is just one implementation of it. Most of the commands available in machinectl may be used on containers or VMs controlled by other managers, not just systemd-nspawn. Starting VMs and container images on those managers requires manager-specific tools.

To interactively start a container on the command line with full access to the container's console, please invoke systemd-nspawn directly. To stop a running container use machinectl poweroff, see below.

login NAME

Open an interactive terminal login session to a container. This will create a TTY connection to a specific container and asks for the execution of a getty on it. Note that this is only supported for containers running systemd(1) as init system.

This command will open a full login prompt on the container, which then asks for username and password. Use systemd-run(1) with the --machine= switch to invoke a single command, either interactively or in the background within a local container.

enable NAME..., disable NAME...

Enable or disable a container as a system service to start at system boot, using systemd-nspawn(1). This enables or disables systemd-nspawn@.service, instantiated for the specified machine name, similar to the effect of systemctl enable or systemctl disable on the service name.

poweroff NAME...

Power off one or more containers. This will trigger a reboot by sending SIGRTMIN+4 to the container's init process, which causes systemd-compatible init systems to shut down cleanly. This operation does not work on containers that do not run a systemd(1)-compatible init system, such as sysvinit. Use terminate (see below) to immediately terminate a container or VM, without cleanly shutting it down.

reboot NAME...

Reboot one or more containers. This will trigger a reboot by sending SIGINT to the container's init process, which is roughly equivalent to pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on a non-containerized system, and is compatible with containers running any system manager.

terminate NAME...

Immediately terminates a virtual machine or container, without cleanly shutting it down. This kills all processes of the virtual machine or container and deallocates all resources attached to that instance. Use poweroff to issue a clean shutdown request.

kill NAME...

Send a signal to one or more processes of the virtual machine or container. This means processes as seen by the host, not the processes inside the virtual machine or container. Use --kill-who= to select which process to kill. Use --signal= to select the signal to send.

bind NAME PATH [PATH]

Bind mounts a directory from the host into the specified container. The first directory argument is the source directory on the host, the second directory argument the source directory on the host. When the latter is omitted the destination path in the container is the same as the source path on the host. When combined with the --read-only switch a ready-only bind mount is created. When combined with the --mkdir switch the destination path is first created before the mount is applied. Note that this option is currently only supported for systemd-nspawn(1) containers.

copy-to NAME PATH [PATH]

Copies files or directories from the host system into a running container. Takes a container name, followed by the source path on the host and the destination path in the container. If the destination path is omitted the same as the source path is used.

copy-from NAME PATH [PATH]

Copies files or directories from a container into the host system. Takes a container name, followed by the source path in the container the destination path on the host. If the destination path is omitted the same as the source path is used.

Image Commands

list-images

Show a list of locally installed container and VM images. This enumerates all raw disk images and container directories and subvolumes in /var/lib/machines/ (and other search paths, see below). Use start (see above) to run a container off one of the listed images. Note that by default containers whose name begins with a dot (".") are not shown. To show these too, specify --all. Note that a special image ".host" always implicitly exists and refers to the image the host itself is booted from.

image-status NAME...

Show terse status information about one or more container or VM images. This function is intended to generate human-readable output. Use show-image (see below) to generate computer-parsable output instead.

show-image NAME...

Show properties of one or more registered virtual machine or container images, or the manager itself. If no argument is specified, properties of the manager will be shown. If an NAME is specified, properties of this virtual machine or container image are shown. By default, empty properties are suppressed. Use --all to show those too. To select specific properties to show, use --property=. This command is intended to be used whenever computer-parsable output is required. Use image-status if you are looking for formatted human-readable output.

clone NAME NAME

Clones a container or disk image. The arguments specify the name of the image to clone and the name of the newly cloned image. Note that plain directory container images are cloned into subvolume images with this command. Note that cloning a container or VM image is optimized for btrfs file systems, and might not be efficient on others, due to file system limitations.

rename NAME NAME

Renames a container or disk image. The arguments specify the name of the image to rename and the new name of the image.

read-only NAME [BOOL]

Marks or (unmarks) a container or disk image read-only. Takes a VM or container image name, followed by a boolean as arguments. If the boolean is omitted, positive is implied, i.e. the image is marked read-only.

remove NAME...

Removes one or more container or disk images. The special image ".host", which refers to the host's own directory tree may not be removed.

Files and Directories

Machine images are preferably stored in /var/lib/machines/, but are also searched for in /usr/local/lib/machines/ and /usr/lib/machines/. For compatibility reasons the directory /var/lib/container/ is searched, too. Note that images stored below /usr are always considered read-only. It is possible to symlink machines images from other directories into /var/lib/machines/ to make them available for control with machinectl.

Disk images are understood in three formats:

  • A simple directory tree, containing the files and directories of the container to boot.

  • A subvolume (on btrfs file systems), which are similar to the simple directories, described above. However, they have additional benefits, such as efficient cloning and quota reporting.

  • "Raw" disk images, i.e. binary images of disks with a GPT or MBR partition table. Images of this type are regular files with the suffix ".raw".

See systemd-nspawn(1) for more information on image formats, in particular it's --directory= and --image= options.

Exit status

On success, 0 is returned, a non-zero failure code otherwise.

Environment

$SYSTEMD_PAGER

Pager to use when --no-pager is not given; overrides $PAGER. Setting this to an empty string or the value "cat" is equivalent to passing --no-pager.

$SYSTEMD_LESS

Override the default options passed to less ("FRSXMK").

See Also

systemd-machined.service(8), systemd-nspawn(1), systemd.special(7)