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VM Rollout Strategies

In KubeVirt, the VM rollout strategy defines how changes to a VM object affect a running guest.
In other words, it defines when and how changes to a VM object get propagated to its corresponding VMI object.

There are currently 2 rollout strategies: LiveUpdate and Stage. Only 1 can be specified and the default is Stage.

Feature Gate

As long as the VMLiveUpdateFeatures is not enabled, the VM Rollout Strategy is ignored and defaults to "Stage". The feature gate is set in the KubeVirt custom resource (CR) like that:

kind: KubeVirt
        - VMLiveUpdateFeatures


The LiveUpdate VM rollout strategy tries to propagate VM object changes to running VMIs as soon as possible.
For example, changing the number of CPU sockets will trigger a CPU hotplug.

Enable the LiveUpdate VM rollout strategy in the KubeVirt CR:

kind: KubeVirt
    vmRolloutStrategy: "LiveUpdate"


The Stage VM rollout strategy stages every change made to the VM object until its next reboot.

kind: KubeVirt
    vmRolloutStrategy: "Stage"

RestartRequired condition

Any change made to a VM object when the rollout strategy is Stage will trigger the RestartRequired VM condition.
When the rollout strategy is LiveUpdate, only non-propagatable changes will trigger the condition.

Once the RestartRequired condition is set on a VM object, no further changes can be propagated, even if the strategy is set to LiveUpdate.
Changes will become effective on next reboot, and the condition will be removed.


The current implementation has the following limitations:

  • Once the RestartRequired condition is set, the only way to get rid of it is to restart the VM. In the future, we plan on implementing a way to get rid of it by reverting the VM template spec to its last non-RestartRequired state.
  • Cluster defaults are excluded from this logic. It means that changing a cluster-wide setting that impacts VM specs will not be live-updated, regardless of the rollout strategy.
  • The RestartRequired condition comes with a message stating what kind of change triggered the condition (CPU/memory/other). That message pertains only to the first change that triggered the condition. Additional changes that would usually trigger the condition will just get staged and no additional RestartRequired condition will be added.