Linux kvm exit from a virsh console command

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I installed KVM on Ubuntu server as described here. However, I am unable to get out of a ‘virsh console domain’ command. How can I exit from a “virsh console” connection over ssh based session? How do I exit a “virsh console” connection command on Linux KVM session?

You can use ‘virsh console vm’ command to connect the virtual serial console for the guest machine. The syntax is:
virsh console domain
virsh console vmNameHere
virsh console --domain vmNameHere --safe


To exit a virsh console from a shell prompt on Linux:

  1. Open a shell prompt or login using ssh.
  2. Login to a host server called server1.
  3. Use the virsh console command to log in to a running VM called ‘centos7’ type: virsh console centos7
  4. To exit a virsh console session, type CTRL+Shift followed by ].

How to exit a “virsh console”?

The keyboard shortcuts are as follows if you are using English keyboard i.e. Escape character is ^]:

  • CTRL+Shift+5
  • CTRL+Shift+]
Fig.01: Use special keyboard shortcuts to exit from a virsh console
Fig.01: Use special keyboard shortcuts to exit from a virsh console

More on virsh-console options

Type the following command:
$ virsh help console
Sample outputs:

    console - connect to the guest console
    console <domain> [--devname <string>] [--force] [--safe]
    Connect the virtual serial console for the guest
    [--domain] <string>  domain name, id or uuid
    --devname <string>  character device name
    --force          force console connection (disconnect already connected sessions)
    --safe           only connect if safe console handling is supported


Other recommended keyboard shortcuts for kvm exit from a virsh console command on Linux are as follows:

Escape character for KVM to exitDescription/Used by
Ctrl+]English keyboard
Ctrl+5Same as above
Ctrl+Shift+^~Danish keyboard
Ctrl+Shift+5French keyboard
Ctrl+Shift+$*Same as above but for Mac computer
Ctrl+Shift+5German keyboard
ctrl+alt+6Same as above but for Apple macBook/computer
Ctrl+Shift+^~Norwegian keyboard:
Ctrl+Shift+Swedish keyboard for macOS

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.


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