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Virt Driver Image Properties

The virtualization drivers make use of metadata properties set against the glance or cinder image to customize aspects of the guest instance setup.

Official docs: https://docs.openstack.org/glance/latest/admin/useful-image-properties.html

Current usage as of Feb 6, 2014



  • architecture - name of guest hardware architecture eg i686, x86_64, ppc64
  • hw_cdrom_bus - name of the CDROM bus to use eg virtio, scsi, ide
  • hw_disk_bus - name of the hard disk bus to use eg virtio, scsi, ide
  • hw_floppy_bus - name of the floppy disk bus to use eg fd, scsi, ide
  • hw_qemu_guest_agent - boolean 'yes' or 'no' to enable QEMU guest agent
  • hw_rng - name of the RNG device type eg virtio (pending merge)
  • hw_scsi_model - name of the SCSI bus controller eg 'virtio-scsi', 'lsilogic', etc (pending merge)
  • hw_video_model - name of the video adapter model to use, eg cirrus, vga, xen, qxl
  • hw_video_ram - MB of video RAM to provide eg 64 (pending merge)
  • hw_vif_model - name of a NIC device model eg virtio, e1000, rtl8139
  • hw_watchdog_action - action to take when watchdog device fires eg reset, poweroff, pause, none (pending merge)
  • os_command_line - string of boot time command line arguments for the guest kernel


  • hw_vif_model - name of the NIC model eg 'VirtualE1000'
  • owner_id - instance project id (set on upload but never read by anything !?!?)
  • vmware_adaptertype - name of the SCSI adapter model eg 'lsiLogic'
  • vmware_disktype - allocation mode eg 'preallocated'
  • vmware_image_version - integer value 1 (set on upload but never read by anything !?!?)
  • vmware_linked_clone - boolean flag to set space-saving or performance behavior on the Datastore
  • vmware_ostype - name of the guest OS type eg "otherGuest"


  • auto_disk_config - set on upload from instance 'auto_disk_config' - stored in instance object - used to decide to expand root disk partition and fs to full size of root disk
  • ipxe_boot - boolean - used to trigger code to inject networking when booting a CD image with a network boot image
  • os_type - set on upload from instance 'os_type' - used for many things, such as PV vs HVM defaults, default filesystem types, etc
  • xenapi_device_id - guest ABI version for guest xentools either 1 or 2 (or 3 - depends on Citrix PV tools version installed in image)
  • xenapi_image_compression_level - set from xenserver.image_compression_level global config - probably not read by anything
  • xenapi_use_agent - boolean - if false don't talk to nova agent
  • xenapi_skip_agent_inject_ssh - boolean - if using agent don't try inject ssh key, assume someone else is doing that (cloud-init)
  • xenapi_skip_agent_inject_files_at_boot - boolean - if using agent don't inject files, assume someone else is doing that (cloud-init)
  • cache_in_nova - boolean - if True, and image cache set to "some" decides if image should be cached on host when server is booted on that host
  • vm_mode - "xen" vs "hvm" - stored in instance object
  • bittorrent - if true download using bittorrent

Note - many are accessed by looking at system metadata

Bare Metal

None used / set


None used / set


None used / set

Standarized property set