The syntax to reset a KVM clone virtual Machines with virt-sysprep command:

virt-sysprep -d kvmDomain
virt-sysprep -d kvmDomainHere options

A list of sysprep operations to perform on a KVM VM to reset it

abrt-data	                Remove the crash data generated by ABRT
backup-files	                Remove editor backup files from the guest
bash-history	                Remove the bash history in the guest
blkid-tab	                Remove blkid tab in the guest
ca-certificates	                Remove CA certificates in the guest
crash-data	                Remove the crash data generated by kexec-tools
cron-spool	                Remove user at-jobs and cron-jobs
customize	                Customize the guest  --format <format>             
dhcp-client-state	        Remove DHCP client leases
dhcp-server-state	        Remove DHCP server leases
dovecot-data	                Remove Dovecot (mail server) data
firewall-rules	                Remove the firewall rules
flag-reconfiguration	        Flag the system for reconfiguration
fs-uuids	                Change filesystem UUIDs
kerberos-data	                Remove Kerberos data in the guest
logfiles	                Remove many log files from the guest
lvm-uuids	                Change LVM2 PV and VG UUIDs
machine-id	                Remove the local machine ID
mail-spool	                Remove email from the local mail spool directory
net-hostname	                Remove HOSTNAME and DHCP_HOSTNAME in network interface configuration
net-hwaddr	                Remove HWADDR (hard-coded MAC address) configuration
pacct-log	                Remove the process accounting log files
package-manager-cache	        Remove package manager cache
pam-data	                Remove the PAM data in the guest
passwd-backups	                Remove /etc/passwd- and similar backup files
puppet-data-log	                Remove the data and log files of puppet
rh-subscription-manager	        Remove the RH subscription manager files
rhn-systemid	                Remove the RHN system ID
rpm-db	                        Remove host-specific RPM database files
samba-db-log	                Remove the database and log files of Samba
script	                        Run arbitrary scripts against the guest
smolt-uuid	                Remove the Smolt hardware UUID
ssh-hostkeys	                Remove the SSH host keys in the guest
ssh-userdir	                Remove “.ssh” directories in the guest
sssd-db-log	                Remove the database and log files of sssd
tmp-files	                Remove temporary files
udev-persistent-net	        Remove udev persistent net rules
user-account	                Remove the user accounts in the guest
utmp	                        Remove the utmp file
yum-uuid	                Remove the yum UUID

Step 1. Clone your VM and spawn new instances in KVM

First, use the virsh list command to get a list of all running VM domains/guest:

virsh list

Sample outputs:

 1     openbsd62                      running
 2     freebsd11-rootadminz             running
 3     fedora28-rootadminz              running
 4     rhel7                          running
 5     centos7-rootadminz               running
 6     sles12sp3                      running
 16    bionic                         running

First suspend the KVM, run:

virsh suspend bionic
Domain bionic suspended

To clone vm named ‘bionic’ as testvm using the virt-clone command, run:

virt-clone --original bionic --name testvm --auto-clone


You may resume bionic VM, run:

virsh suspend bionic
Domain bionic resumed

Step 2. Use virt-sysprep command

Simply run as follows to reset everything:

virt-sysprep -d testvm

You can setup the hostname of the guest and force to keep the user account named "xyz" in the guest:

virt-sysprep -d testvm --hostname testvm --keep-user-accounts xyz

You can set root user account password too:


virt-sysprep -d testvm --root-password password:MySuperSecureRootPasswordHere

Or combine all of them:

virt-sysprep -d testvm --hostname testvm --keep-user-accounts xyz--root-password password:MySuperSecureRootPasswordHere

How to skip certain guest VM reset features

You can enable specific operations with --enable. For example, enable all options except resetting fs-uuids ( Change filesystem UUIDs), lvm-uuids ( Change LVM2 PV and VG UUIDs), and ssh-userdir ( Remove “.ssh” directories in the guest):

w=$(virt-sysprep --list-operations | egrep -v 'fs-uuids|lvm-uuids|ssh-userdir' | awk '{ printf "%s,", $1}' | sed 's/,$//')
echo "$w"

Now run it as follows:

virt-sysprep -d testvm --hostname testvm --keep-user-accounts xyz--enable $w

Another example:

virt-sysprep -d testvm --hostname testvm --keep-user-accounts xyz--enable $w --firstboot-command 'dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server'


  -a, --add <file>                    Add disk image file
  --append-line <FILE:LINE>           Append line(s) to the file
  -c, --connect <uri>                 Set libvirt URI
  --chmod <PERMISSIONS:FILE>          Change the permissions of a file
  --color, --colors, --colour, --colours
                                      Use ANSI colour sequences even if not tty
  --commands-from-file <FILENAME>     Read customize commands from file
  --copy <SOURCE:DEST>                Copy files in disk image
  --copy-in <LOCALPATH:REMOTEDIR>     Copy local files or directories into image
  -d, --domain <domain>               Set libvirt guest name
  --delete <PATH>                     Delete a file or directory
  -n, --dryrun, --dry-run             Perform a dry run
  --echo-keys                         Don't turn off echo for passphrases
  --edit <FILE:EXPR>                  Edit file using Perl expression
  --enable <operations>               Enable specific operations
  --firstboot <SCRIPT>                Run script at first guest boot
  --firstboot-command <'CMD+ARGS'>    Run command at first guest boot
  --firstboot-install <PKG,PKG..>     Add package(s) to install at first boot
  --format <format>                   Set format (default: auto)
  --help                              Display brief help
  --hostname <HOSTNAME>               Set the hostname
  --install <PKG,PKG..>               Add package(s) to install
  --keep-user-accounts <users>        Users to keep
  --keys-from-stdin                   Read passphrases from stdin
  --link <TARGET:LINK[:LINK..]>       Create symbolic links
  --list-operations                   List supported operations
  --mkdir <DIR>                       Create a directory
  --mount-options <opts>              Set mount options (eg /:noatime;/var:rw,noatime)
  --move <SOURCE:DEST>                Move files in disk image
  --network                           Enable appliance network
  --no-logfile                        Scrub build log file
  --no-network                        Disable appliance network (default)
  --no-selinux-relabel                Compatibility option, does nothing
  --operation, --operations <operations>
                                      Enable/disable specific operations
  --password <USER:SELECTOR>          Set user password
  --password-crypto <md5|sha256|sha512>
                                      Set password crypto
  -q, --quiet                         Don't print progress messages
  --remove-user-accounts <users>      Users to remove
  --root-password <SELECTOR>          Set root password
  --run <SCRIPT>                      Run script in disk image
  --run-command <'CMD+ARGS'>          Run command in disk image
  --script <script>                   Script or program to run on guest
  --scriptdir <dir>                   Mount point on host
  --scrub <FILE>                      Scrub a file
  --selinux-relabel                   Relabel files with correct SELinux labels
  --sm-attach <SELECTOR>              Attach to a subscription-manager pool
  --sm-credentials <SELECTOR>         Credentials for subscription-manager
  --sm-register                       Register using subscription-manager
  --sm-remove                         Remove all the subscriptions
  --sm-unregister                     Unregister using subscription-manager
  --ssh-inject <USER[:SELECTOR]>      Inject a public key into the guest
  --timezone <TIMEZONE>               Set the default timezone
  --touch <FILE>                      Run touch on a file
  --truncate <FILE>                   Truncate a file to zero size
  --truncate-recursive <PATH>         Recursively truncate all files in directory
  --uninstall <PKG,PKG..>             Uninstall package(s)
  --update                            Update packages
  --upload <FILE:DEST>                Upload local file to destination
  -V, --version                       Display version and exit
  -v, --verbose                       Enable libguestfs debugging messages
  --write <FILE:CONTENT>              Write file
  -x                                  Enable tracing of libguestfs calls

Step 3. Start the VM

virsh start testvm
Domain testvm started

Verify it with the following virsh command:

virsh list

Step 4. Log in to the VM

Find/get the DHCP IP address of testvm using the following command along with the grep command:

virsh net-dhcp-leases default
virsh net-dhcp-leases default | grep testvm
virsh net-dhcp-leases default | grep testvm | awk '{ print $5}'

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