QEMU event handlers

This is a short description of how an example qemu event can be used to trigger handler code that is called from the context of a worker thread, rather than directly from the event thread (which should itself never block, and can't do things like send qemu monitor commands, etc).

In this case (the NIC_RX_FILTER_CHANGED event) the event is handled by calling a qemu monitor command to get the current RX filter state, then executing ioctls/sending netlink messages on the host in response to changes in that filter state. This event is not propagated to the libvirt API (but if someone wants to add details of how to handle that to the end of this document, please do!).

Hopefully this narration will be helpful when adding handlers for other qemu events in the future.

QEMU monitor eventsΒΆ

Any event emitted by qemu is received by qemu_monitor_json.c:qemuMonitorJSONIOProcessEvent(). It looks up the event by name in the table eventHandlers (in the same file), which should have an entry like this for each event that libvirt understands:

{ "NIC_RX_FILTER_CHANGED", qemuMonitorJSONHandleNicRxFilterChanged, },

NB: This table is searched with bsearch, so it must be alphabetically sorted.

qemuMonitorJSONIOProcessEvent calls the function listed in eventHandlers, e.g.:


which extracts any required data from the JSON ("name" in this case), and calls:


which uses QEMU_MONITOR_CALLBACK() to call mon->cb->domainNicRxFilterChanged(). domainNicRxFilterChanged is one in a list of function pointers in qemu_process.c:monitorCallbacks. For our example, it has been set to:


This function allocates a qemuProcessEvent object, and queues an event named QEMU_PROCESS_EVENT_NIC_RX_FILTER_CHANGED (you'll want to add an enum to qemu_domain.h:qemuProcessEventType for your event) for a worker thread to handle.

(Everything up to this point has happened in the context of the thread that is reading events from qemu, so it should do as little as possible, never block, and never call back into the qemu monitor. Everything after this is handled in the context of a worker thread, so it has more freedom to make qemu monitor calls and blocking system calls on the host.)

When the worker thread gets the event, it calls:


which switches on the eventType (in our example, QEMU_PROCESS_EVENT_NIC_RX_FILTER_CHANGED) and decides to call:


and that is where the actual work will be done (and any event-specific memory allocated during qemuProcessHandleXXX() will be freed). Note that this function must do proper refcounting of the domain object, and assure that the domain is still active prior to performing any operations - it is possible that the domain could have been destroyed between the time the event was received and the time that it is processed, and it is also possible that the domain could be destroyed during the event processing if it doesn't get properly referenced by the handler.