Suppose you have virtio serial port setup, check with

virsh qemu-agent-command ${VMNAME} '{"execute":"guest-info"}'


  • Host: Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop x64
  • Guest: Ubuntu 16.04 Server x64
  • Host: QEMU/KVM apt install
  • Guest: QEMU Guest Agent git source

Get QEMU Guest Agent Source Code

QEMU Guest Agent is part of the QEMU code repository, so we need to get the whole QEMU code base first.

git clone git://
cd qemu
git submodule init
git submodule update --recursive

Some dependency packages may be needed.


To add a custom command like this

virsh qemu-agent-command ${VMNAME} '{"execute":"${custom-command}"}'

to the QEMU Guest Agent, only two files need to be modified.

They are qemu/qga/qapi-schema.json and qemu/qga/commands-posix.c.

Of cource, if your guest OS is Windows, edit qemu/qga/commands-win32.c instead.

1. qapi-schema.json

Add this

# @NetConfigResult:
{ 'struct': 'NetConfigResult',
  'data': { 'errcode': 'int', '*errmsg': 'str' } }

# @net-config:
# Returns: @NetConfigResult
{ 'command': 'net-config',
  'data': { 'mac': 'str', 'ip_address': 'str',
      'ip_address_type': 'str', 'netmask': 'str',
      '*gateway': 'str' },
  'returns': 'NetConfigResult' }
  1. The first part NetConfigResult is a custom struct in which the result of the command net-config will be returned(output).

    In this case, errcode and errmsg will be returned.

    The * before errmsg means that errmsg is optional.

    We will come to that later in the commands-posix.c part.

  2. 'command': 'net-config' means the newly added command is net-config,

    and 'returns': 'NetConfigResult' means that the result of its execution is in the form of NetConfigResult, the struct we added before.

    The data part is the input for our net-config command, it can be used like this

     virsh qemu-agent-command ${VMNAME} '{"execute":"net-config", 
                                         "arguments":{"mac": "00:00:00:00:00:00", 
                                         "ip_address": "", 
                                         "ip_address_type": "ipv4", 
                                         "netmask": "", 
                                         "gateway": ""}}'

    Similarly, the * before gateway means its optional.

2. commands-posix.c

Define a new function for net-config

 NetConfigResult *qmp_net_config(const char *mac, const char *ip_address,
                                        const char *ip_address_type, const char *netmask,
                                        bool has_gateway, const char *gateway, Error **errp)

Replace net-config in qmp_net_config with your command name.

Pay attention to the underline _, it replaces the dash - in net-config.

Because the input variable gateway is made optional, we have a new bool type parameter has_gateway.

The returned NetConfigResult can be initialized by

NetConfigResult *result = g_new0(NetConfigResult, 64);
result->has_errmsg = true;

if result->has_errmsg = true, errmsg will be included in NetConfigResult.

When passing value to result->errmsg, use g_strdup_printf() instead of memcpy or direct assignment.


cd to the root directory of qemu

make qemu-ga
sudo make install qemu-ga

Then run

sudo qemu-ga -v

to debug.


There you have it, a custom command for QEMU Guest Agent.

I will not dive into how I implemented the qmp_net_config fuction, which is for sure a tedious work.