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I'm familiarizing myself with a server that a previous (no longer available) system admin had set up. He had set up CentOS 7 with a variety of packages. One of those packages seems to be libvirtd, which is a new service to me, but apparently it has to do with managing virtualization.

That said, I can't see any indication of virtual machines running on this PC. There's a virtual networking interface "virbr0" associated to this service, but it has 0 packets, according to ifconfig.

Is it possible that the previous sysadmin was just mass-installing packages or even some predefined bundle of packages and this just got installed but is not actually in use? I don't see any telltale signs of any virtual machines running on this server, but I hate to assume that, or assume that it's not somehow a dependency for some other app.

Is there someone who is experienced with libvirtd who could provide some different ways to check to see if it's in truly in use or needed for something, so I can work on removing it if it's unnecessary?

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libvirtd can be installed if virtualization is specifically requested as a feature. It may also be installed if the person doing the installation chose "Server with a GUI". In that case it's expected to be there, even if no VMs were ever created.

You can see if any virtual machines exist by:

sudo virsh list --all

The defalult directory for storing virtual machine disk images is /var/lib/libvirt/images. You may check for disk images in that directory.

If no virtual machines or virtual disk images exist, then it should be safe to remove libvirtd.

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    You could also check the libvirtd log, which might be under /var/log/libvirt. It should give you an idea if VMs were launched in the past. Feb 12, 2021 at 6:08

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