Tag Archives: iscsi

Using libguestfs to access iSCSI disks

In libguestfs ≥ 1.21.38 you can access at least some iSCSI disks.

On my server (RHEL 6 in this case) I create an iSCSI target backed by a Windows XP disk image:

# service tgtd start
Starting SCSI target daemon:                       [  OK  ]
# tgtadm --lld iscsi --op new --mode target --tid 1 \
      -T iqn.1994-05.com.redhat
# chcon system_u:object_r:tgtd_var_lib_t:s0 /tmp/winxp.img
# tgtadm --lld iscsi --op new --mode logicalunit --tid 1 \
      --lun 1 -b /tmp/winxp.img
# tgt-admin -s

Previously I opened port 3250 on the server. Because libguestfs doesn’t yet support authentication against the iSCSI server, I had to bypass that:

# tgtadm --lld iscsi --mode target --op bind --tid 1 -I ALL

Now on the client, I can connect to the iSCSI target using libguestfs like this:

$ export LIBGUESTFS_BACKEND=direct
$ guestfish --format=raw -a iscsi://x.x.x.x/iqn.1994-05.com.redhat/1 -i

Welcome to guestfish, the guest filesystem shell for
editing virtual machine filesystems and disk images.

Type: 'help' for help on commands
      'man' to read the manual
      'quit' to quit the shell

Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP
/dev/sda1 mounted on /

><fs> ll /
total 1573209
drwxrwxrwx  1 root root       4096 Apr 16  2012 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 1000 1000       4096 May 11 17:16 ..
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root          0 Oct 11  2011 AUTOEXEC.BAT
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root          0 Oct 11  2011 CONFIG.SYS
drwxrwxrwx  1 root root       4096 Oct 11  2011 Documents and Settings
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root          0 Oct 11  2011 IO.SYS
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root          0 Oct 11  2011 MSDOS.SYS
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root      47564 Apr 14  2008 NTDETECT.COM
drwxrwxrwx  1 root root       4096 Oct 11  2011 Program Files
drwxrwxrwx  1 root root       4096 Oct 11  2011 System Volume Information
drwxrwxrwx  1 root root      28672 Oct 11  2011 WINDOWS
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root        211 Oct 11  2011 boot.ini
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root     250048 Apr 14  2008 ntldr
-rwxrwxrwx  1 root root 1610612736 Oct 11  2011 pagefile.sys

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Accessing NBD disks using libguestfs

It’s always been possible, but clumsy, to access Network Block Device (NBD) disks from libguestfs, but starting in libguestfs 1.22 we hope to make this (and Gluster, Ceph and Sheepdog access) much simpler.

The first change is upstream in libguestfs 1.21.21. You can add an NBD disk directly.

To show this using guestfish, I’ll start an NBD server. This could be started on another machine, but to make things simple I’ll start this server on the same machine:

$ qemu-nbd f18x64.img -t

f18x64.img is the disk image that I want to export. The -t option makes the qemu-nbd server persistent (ie. it doesn’t just exit after serving the first client).

Now we can connect to this server using guestfish as follows:

$ guestfish

Welcome to guestfish, the libguestfs filesystem interactive shell for
editing virtual machine filesystems.

Type: 'help' for help on commands
      'man' to read the manual
      'quit' to quit the shell

><fs> add-drive "" format:raw protocol:nbd server:localhost
><fs> run

The empty "" (quotes) are the export name. Since qemu-nbd doesn’t support export names, we can leave this empty. The main change is to specify the protocol (nbd) and the server that libguestfs should connect to (localhost, but a remote host would also work). I haven’t specified a port number here because both the client and server are using the standard NBD port (10809), but you could use server:localhost:NNN to use a different port number if needed.

Ordinary guestfish commands just work:

><fs> list-filesystems
/dev/sda1: ext4
/dev/fedora/root: ext4
/dev/fedora/swap: swap
><fs> inspect-os
><fs> inspect-get-product-name /dev/fedora/root
Fedora release 18 (Spherical Cow)

The next steps are to:

  1. Add support for more technologies. At least: Gluster, Ceph, Sheepdog and iSCSI, since those are all supported by qemu so we can easily leverage that support in libguestfs.
  2. Change the guestfish -a option to make adding remote drives possible from the command line.

The obvious [but not yet implemented] way to change the -a option is to allow a URI to be specified. For example:

$ guestfish -a nbd://localhost/exportname

where the elements of the URI like protocol, transport, server, port number and export name translate naturally into parameters of the add-drive API.

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