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This is my first post, so please be gentle. :)

My CentOS 6.5 box has a QEMU binary that does not support live external snapshots. This is the command I attempt on the virsh CLI, and its output:

virsh # snapshot-create-as myvm snapshot1 "snapshot1 test" --disk-only --atomic
error: Operation not supported: live disk snapshot not supported with this QEMU binary

First Question: Which QEMU binary is this error referring to?

I assumed that the QEMU binary referenced was /usr/libexec/qemu-kvm.

Second Question: How should the QEMU binary be updated when it isn't available in the operating system's package management system?

I attempted to download the source of a newer version at, compile it, and create a symbolic link that points to the appropriate binary. A listing of the link looks like so:

/usr/local/bin # ls -lah /usr/libexec/qemu-kvm
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 33 Jan 14 11:20 /usr/libexec/qemu-kvm -> /usr/local/bin/qemu-system-x86_64

I then restarted libvirtd, but I'm getting the same error.

Any help is much appreciated!

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If you run virsh qemu-monitor-command myvm '{"execute":"query-commands"}' does the output include "snapshot_blkdev"? – sciurus Jan 14 '14 at 21:40
Also, did you restart your VM after creating the qemu symlink? – sciurus Jan 14 '14 at 21:44
@sciurus Ah, restarting the VM was the issue! The process from the old binary was still running. I also had to run virsh edit myvm and change the 'machine' setting from 'rhel6.5.0' to 'pc-1.2', then the VM restarted like a charm. Thank you! – billyw Jan 14 '14 at 22:39
Okay, I'll add restarting as an answer then. – sciurus Jan 15 '14 at 0:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need to restart your VM for it to use the new version of qemu.

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