Deploying a KVM/Libvirt VM through Ansible

Aymen Furter
2 min readJan 31, 2021

For this article I already have a fedora based server running which I want to deploy a pre-packaged Virtual Machine through Ansible.

First, we’ll look at the task YAML file which will let us deploy the Virtual Machine (roles/vm/tasks/main.yml):

- name: Create a directory if it does not exist
path: /opt/vms
state: directory
mode: '0755'

- name: Upload VM Image
dest: /opt/vms
- name: Install Cockpit
yum: name=cockpit state=present
- name: Install Libvirt
yum: name=libvirt state=present
- name: Install KVM
yum: name=qemu-kvm state=present
- name: Install QEMU
yum: name=qemu state=present
- name: Start service libvirt
name: libvirtd
state: started
- name: Install Cockpit Machines Extension
yum: name=cockpit-machines state=present
- name: Define VM
command: define
xml: "{{ lookup('file', 'your-vm.xml') }}"
- name: Start VM
name: your-vm
state: running
- name: set autostart for a VM
name: your-vm
autostart: yes

This task will execute the following steps for us:

  • First, it will create a folder (if it does not exist) at /opt/vms. This is the location I typically have my Virtual Machine stored.
  • Then it will upload the zip file containing the qcow2 file. This zip file is located in roles/vm/files/ directory.
  • Next ansible will make sure that all dependencies required to run the virtual machine are present. I like to use Cockpit to manage my VMs, therefore I also install
  • As a next step, a previously created XML, describing the Virtual Machine, is imported. You can create this file yourself through virt-manager locally, then executing virsh dumpxml to retrieve the XML.
  • As a final step, we configure this VM to be automatically started upon system startup.

In your site.yml you’ll typically need to ensure that “become: yes” is set on the vm role.

- hosts: vm
remote_user: <your-user>
become: yes
- vm

Next, you can assign this role to a host through an inventory file:




Aymen Furter

I am a Cloud Solution Architect working for Microsoft. The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.