Feature pages are design documents that developers have created while collaborating on oVirt.

Most of them are outdated, but provide historical design context.

They are not user documentation and should not be treated as such.

Documentation is available here.

Smartcard Support


  • Support pass through of Smartcard attached to client to a virtual machine
  • Allow the VM owner or administrator to specify if a virtual machine should support smartcard
  • Allow the VM user (on portal) to be able to disable this setting.
  • Support configuring this option via web admin, Power user portal, REST API and CLI


Current status

Pending review: finished


Should be supported on ActiveX and Linux/XPI client

  • on client
    • spice-xpi-2.7-20 or higher
    • console type spice
    • does not work with spice-activex-win browser plugin
  • on guest
    • coolkey-1.1.0-20.el6 or higher
    • esc-1.1.0-24.el6_2.2 or higher

Detailed Description

Webadmin/Power User Portal

Affected dialogs:

  • new/edit VM dialog
  • new/edit Pool dialog
  • edit template dialog contains in console
  • console options in (Power) User Portal
  • VM details part in User Portal


  • on new/edit dialogs in console side tab a new checkbox with label “Smartcard enabled” has been added.
  • on console options dialog a new checkbox “Disable smartcard” has been added
  • a visual indication that the smartcard will be enabled has been added


  • The “Smartcard enabled” checkbox is enabled only for the Spice client, it is visible but disabled for VNC.
  • if the checkbox is checked and the user starts a VM, engine sends the smartcardEnable as true to the VDSM (please refer to the VDSM part of this document for it’s meaning)
  • if the checkbox is checked (e.g. smartcard is enabled) and the user clicks the console button (e.g. connects to guest), the application sets the Smartcard property on the spice-xpi plugin to true which has the same effect than calling the spicec –smartcard
    • Should also be supported for ActiveX
  • In “Console options” dialog within the user portal the end user has the option to override this setting and not pass the enable smart card option to the spice client
    • If the smartcard option is enabled for the virtual machine then a “Disable smartcard” option is presented in the console options
    • If the smartcard option is not enabled for the virtual machine then “Disable smartcard” checkbox does NOT appear in the console options
    • Note the user is only able to disable this option.
  • The user portal provides a visual indication that the smart card will be enabled (in the User Portal the Vm details part contains “Spice with Smartcard” instead of Spice in the Console line)


  • the display now contains a new optional property smartcard_enabled.
  • if not set, the default value is false
  • example of creating a VM with smartcard enabled:
          <description>Virtual Machine 2</description>
            <boot dev="hd"/>


  • When VDSM receives a device named smartcard it adds to the libvirt configuration to the devices part the following:
      <smartcard mode="passthrough" type="spicevmc"/>

Documentation / External references