Every VirtualMachineInstance represents a single virtual machine instance. In general, the management of VirtualMachineInstances is kept similar to how Pods are managed: Every VM that is defined in the cluster is expected to be running, just like Pods. Deleting a VirtualMachineInstance is equivalent to shutting it down, this is also equivalent to how Pods behave.

Launching a virtual machine

In order to start a VirtualMachineInstance, you just need to create a VirtualMachineInstance object using kubectl:

$ kubectl create -f vmi.yaml

Listing virtual machines

VirtualMachineInstances can be listed by querying for VirtualMachineInstance objects:

$ kubectl get vmis

Retrieving a virtual machine definition

A single VirtualMachineInstance definition can be retrieved by getting the specific VirtualMachineInstance object:

$ kubectl get vmis testvmi

Stopping a virtual machine

To stop the VirtualMachineInstance, you just need to delete the corresponding VirtualMachineInstance object using kubectl.

$ kubectl delete -f vmi.yaml
# OR
$ kubectl delete vmis testvmi

Note: Stopping a VirtualMachineInstance implies that it will be deleted from the cluster. You will not be able to start this VirtualMachineInstance object again.

Pausing and unpausing a virtual machine

Note: Pausing in this context refers to libvirt's virDomainSuspend command:
"The process is frozen without further access to CPU resources and I/O but the memory used by the domain at the hypervisor level will stay allocated"

To pause a virtual machine, you need the virtctl command line tool. Its pause command works on either VirtualMachine s or VirtualMachinesInstance s:

$ virtctl pause vm testvm
# OR
$ virtctl pause vmi testvm

Paused VMIs have a Paused condition in their status:

$ kubectl get vmi testvm -o=jsonpath='{.status.conditions[?(@.type=="Paused")].message}'
VMI was paused by user

Unpausing works similar to pausing:

$ virtctl unpause vm testvm
# OR
$ virtctl unpause vmi testvm

Renaming a Virtual Machine

Note: Renaming a Virtual Machine is only possible when a Virtual Machine is stopped, or has a 'Halted' run strategy.

$ virtctl rename vm_name new_vm_name