Official Releases

The latest versions of the libvirt C library can be downloaded from:

Hourly development snapshots

Once an hour, an automated snapshot is made from the git server source tree. These snapshots should be usable, but we make no guarantees about their stability; furthermore, they should NOT be considered formal releases, and they may have transient security problems that will not be assigned a CVE.

Primary release schedule

Libvirt follows a time based plan, with releases made once a month on the 1st of each month give or take a few days. The only exception is at the start of the year where there are two 6 weeks gaps (first release in the middle of Jan, then skip the Feb release), giving a total of 11 releases a year.

Release numbering

Since libvirt 2.0.0, a time based version numbering rule is applied. As such, the changes in version number have do not have any implications with respect to the scope of features or bugfixes included, the stability of the code, or the API / ABI compatibility (libvirt API / ABI is guaranteed stable forever). The rules applied for changing the libvirt version number are:

incremented by 1 for the first release of the year (the Jan 15th release)
incremented by 1 for each monthly release from git master
always 0 for releases from git master, incremented by 1 for each stable maintenance release

Prior to 2.0.0, the major/minor numbers were incremented fairly arbitrarily, and maintenance releases appended a fourth digit.

Maintenance releases

In the git repository are several stable maintenance branches, matching the pattern vmajor.minor-maint; these branches are forked off the corresponding vmajor.minor.0 formal release, and may have further releases of the form vmajor.minor.micro. These maintenance branches should only contain bug fixes, and no new features, backported from the master branch, and are supported as long as at least one downstream distribution expresses interest in a given branch. These maintenance branches are considered during CVE analysis. In contrast to the primary releases which are made once a month, there is no formal schedule for the maintenance releases, which are made whenever there is a need to make available key bugfixes to downstream consumers.

For more details about contents of maintenance releases, see the wiki page.

GIT source repository

Libvirt code source is now maintained in a git repository available on

      git clone git://

It can also be browsed at:;a=summary

In addition to this repository, there are the following read-only git repositories which mirror the master one. Note that we currently do not use the full set of features on these mirrors (e.g. pull requests on GitHub, so please don't use them). All patch review and discussion only occurs on the libvir-list mailing list. Also note that some repositories listed below allow HTTP checkouts too.

libvirt Application Development Guide

The guide is both a learning tool for developing with libvirt and an API reference document. It is a work in progress, composed by a professional author from contributions written by members of the libvirt team.

Contributions to the guide are VERY welcome. If you'd like to get your name on this and demonstrate your virtualisation prowess, a solid contribution to the content here will do it. :)

Application Development Guide PDF

PDF download is available here:

Application Development Guide source GIT repository

The source is also in a git repository:

      git clone git://

Browsable at:;a=summary

Once you've have obtained the libvirt source code, you can compile it using the instructions here.