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libguestfs-tools.conf(5) Virtualization Support libguestfs-tools.conf(5)


libguestfs-tools.conf - configuration file for guestfish, guestmount, virt-rescue




libguestfs-tools.conf (or $HOME/.libguestfs-tools.rc) changes the defaults for the following programs only:

There is currently only one setting which is controlled by this file. Adding (or uncommenting):

 read_only = true;

changes these programs so they act as if the --ro flag was given on the command line. You can use this to make the programs safe against accidental modification of a live guest (users would have to explicitly add the --rw flag to modify guests). This is not the default because it is not backwards compatible. See also "OPENING DISKS FOR READ AND WRITE" in guestfish(1).

Note that the semicolon is required.

This file is parsed by the libconfig library. For more information about the format, see:


The order of the configuration files being read is, by importance:

  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/libguestfs/libguestfs-tools.conf ($XDG_CONFIG_HOME is $HOME/.config if not set).
  • $HOME/.libguestfs-tools.rc
  • $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/libguestfs/libguestfs-tools.conf (where $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS means any of the directories in that environment variable, or just /etc/xdg if not set)
  • /etc/libguestfs-tools.conf

This means local users can override the system configuration by copying the configuration file (or creating it anew) into $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/libguestfs/libguestfs-tools.conf.

/etc/libguestfs-tools.conf and $HOME/.libguestfs-tools.rc are the old non-XDG paths which are read for compatibility.


"OPENING DISKS FOR READ AND WRITE" in guestfish(1), guestmount(1), virt-rescue(1),,


Richard W.M. Jones ("rjones at redhat dot com")


Copyright (C) 2011-2020 Red Hat Inc.



To get a list of bugs against libguestfs, use this link:

To report a new bug against libguestfs, use this link:

When reporting a bug, please supply:

  • The version of libguestfs.
  • Where you got libguestfs (eg. which Linux distro, compiled from source, etc)
  • Describe the bug accurately and give a way to reproduce it.
  • Run libguestfs-test-tool(1) and paste the complete, unedited output into the bug report.
2022-07-06 libguestfs-1.48.4