I'm trying to use a different Storage Pool on KVM in order to store the virtual disks of my VMs and also the ISOs from the operating systems which I'm using.

For example: I want to use the directory /media/work/kvm which is mounted over /dev/sda5, as the default Storage Pool for all future situations

To configure, create and start a new storage pool, it is pretty easy, but a least in Ubuntu, it doesn't matter if I'm selecting and ISO from a different storage pool, Virtual Machine Manager always points me to the default Storage Pool (/var/cache/libvirt) as the storage where the virtual disks from my VMs will be created.

How can I avoid this?

4 Answers 4


Before following the steps, be sure that you are running these commands as normal user and that your user belongs to the group libvirtd (on some systems libvirt).

Here are the following commands which I used:

Listing current pools:

$ virsh pool-list
Name                 State      Autostart 
default              active     yes 

Destroying pool:

$ virsh pool-destroy default
Pool default destroyed

Undefine pool:

$ virsh pool-undefine default
Pool default has been undefined

Creating a directory to host the new pool (if it does not exist):

$ sudo mkdir /media/work/kvm

Defining a new pool with name "default":

$ virsh pool-define-as --name default --type dir --target /media/work/kvm
Pool default defined

Set pool to be started when libvirt daemons starts:

$ virsh pool-autostart default
Pool default marked as autostarted

Start pool:

$ virsh pool-start default
Pool default started

Checking pool state:

$ virsh pool-list
Name                 State      Autostart 
default              active     yes  

From now, when creating virtual machines, Virtual Machine Manager will inform you that the *.img file (virtual disk of your VM), will be saved at /media/work/kvm.

  • virsh pool-destroy default results in error: Storage pool not found: no storage pool with matching name 'default'
    – Vince
    Jun 25, 2021 at 21:40

If you just want to change the image path, you can also edit the storage path in the default pool by running:

$ virsh pool-edit default

The above command will open the default pool xml in an editor (vim/nano), now:

  1. edit the path
  2. save the changes and
  3. restart libvirt service
  • virsh pool-edit default results in error: Storage pool not found: no storage pool with matching name 'default'
    – Vince
    Jun 25, 2021 at 21:40
  • @Vince that means your default storage pool doesn't exist, what version of libvirt are you using?
    – Junaid
    Jun 28, 2021 at 8:58
  • you can create a default pool as mentioned in @ivanleoncz 's answer: serverfault.com/a/840520/398346
    – Junaid
    Jun 28, 2021 at 9:00
  • Using dpkg -l | grep libvirt shows 6.0.0-0ubuntu8.10. The pools are there, but I can't see them unless I use sudo. I haven't run virt-manager with sudo.
    – Vince
    Jun 28, 2021 at 9:25
  • @Vince then that's a permission issue. Google 'virsh without sudo' and you should get some results to fix that.
    – Junaid
    Jun 28, 2021 at 9:44

Aside from the reply above showing how todo it from the command line, you can also change this from virt-manager directly. In the main virt-manager window, go to the menu 'Edit -> Host Details'. In the dialog box that appears, switch to the 'Storage' tab. You can now delete the 'default' storage pool and create a new storage pool to replace it.

  • I don't know why, Daniel, but I tried this solution before, and unfortunately, it didn't worked here on Virtual Machine Manager (Ubuntu Trusty Tahr - 14.04)...
    – ivanleoncz
    Apr 18, 2017 at 18:01
  • 1
    The Edit menu doesn't have a "Host Details" option. It has a "Preferences" option, but there's no "Storage" tab. Virtual Machine Manager 2.2.1.
    – Vince
    Jun 25, 2021 at 21:44
  • 1
    It is called "Connection details" these days.
    – DanielB
    Jun 28, 2021 at 9:55

From the GUI, there doesn't seem to be a way to do it without an existing VM.

  1. Select a VM
  2. Select "Connection Details" from the Edit menu
  3. Click the Storage tab
  4. Select the default pool
  5. Click the Stop Pool button
    • It looks like a horizontal line inside a broken circle
  6. Click the Delete Pool button
    • It looks like a trash can
  7. Click the pool you want to make your default or add a new pool you want to use as your default
  8. If the pool was in use, you'll have to click the Stop Pool button again
  9. Change the name of the pool to "default"
  10. Click Apply

From the command line, the procedure described by ivanleoncz should work, but you'll need to run the commands with sudo in order for virsh to show any pools.

Update: It's apparently by design that you can't get the list of pools without sudo. According to the virsh man page:

Most virsh commands require root privileges to run due to the communications channels used to talk to the hypervisor.

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