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Most of them are outdated, but provide historical design context.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

Sealing a VM Template


‘Sealing’ is an operation that erases all machine-specific configurations from a filesystem: This includes SSH keys, UDEV rules, MAC addresses, system ID, hostname, etc. It is useful for when you want to create a template from a virtual machine. Subsequent virtual machines made from this template will avoid configuration inheritance.

virt-sysprep tool is used for sealing a VM template. Sealing operates directly on a VM’s filesystem, and the list of images is passed to it in parameters. The objective is to add the ability to run virt-sysprep from oVirt on a specified set of disk images. The best timing for this action is when a VM template is created from a VM.

The exact list of operations performed by virt-sysprep can be found on the tool’s manual page. oVirt runs virt-sysprep with a set of default operations. Currently, virt-sysprep only supports Linux guests and has only been tested on major distributions.


Detailed Design

In UI, ‘Seal template’ checkbox will appear in ‘New Template’ dialog. If user checks this checkbox, the VM Template will be sealed just after creation.

Disk images marked as SHARED cannot be modified. Therefore, you cannot run virt-sysprep after AddVmTemplateCommand is finished. Sealing must be performed directly after the VM template’s disks have been created, but before the disks are marked as SHARED. Here is the correct sequence:

  1. Create the template.
  2. Create all template disks as regular (LEAF) disks.
  3. Make the disks ILLEGAL.
  4. Seal the template (run virt-sysprep on the disks).
  5. Make the disks LEGAL and SHARED.

In the event of a mid-process failure, the whole process will fail and the template will be removed. If the disks are not removed after failure, they will be left ILLEGAL and unusable.

The virt-sysprep utility is executed on the VDSM side. The verb is VM.seal. The utility is executed asynchronously using host jobs mechanism. Storage jobs cannot be used for this, because virt-sysprep operates on all disks together, and not disk-by-disk. Therefore, another type of host jobs, named ‘virt jobs’, needs to be added. The engine will track the status of the job, using VirtJobCallback.

List of code changes


  • Add a ‘Seal template’ checkbox to the ‘New Template’ dialog.


  • Add a seal flag to the virtual machine template creation operation.


  • Create VirtJobCallback. Make VirtJobCallback and StorageJobCallback to be inherited from a common ancestor, HostJobCallback, that will contain the common functionality.
  • Create UpdateVolumeCommand, to change volume flags, making it ILLEGAL, LEGAL and SHARED.
  • Create SealVmTemplateCommand that invokes VM.seal verb on the VDSM side.
  • Modify AddVmTemplateCommand so that it can perform all the steps mentioned above.


  • Add SDM.update_volume verb that changes volume attributes.
  • Add VM.seal verb that runs virt-sysprep on the given list of disk images.

Current status

  • engine: Released
  • vdsm: Released