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If i take a snapshot of a qcow2 image backed domain via virsh snapshot-create domainID and I shutdown the machine (and probably destroy the domain if virsh list still shows it running), will that snapshot still exist and be active when I start the domain back up? I am a little confused by some of the reading which seems to suggest that a snapshot is only valid while the domain is running.

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When you create a snapshiot, it is actually done by qemu-img snapshot which creates another file. virsh snapshot ad to that by automatically repointing the VM to the new snapshot and updating the domxml file to point to the new snapshot file. So when you stop the VM, the snapshot chain should still be there

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