I am running into this problem and have found no answer in my research. There is a similar post on SuperUser that hasn't had a comment, much less an answer, in close to 10 months. Maybe that is not the best place for it since it's related to KVM/virsh/QEMU on Linux.

Works fine:

sudo virsh snapshot-create-as --domain TEST_RUNNINGDISKS --name "backup-TEST_RUNNINGDISKS" --no-metadata --atomic --disk-only --diskspec vda,snapshot=external

Does not work:

sudo virsh snapshot-create-as --domain TEST_RUNNINGDISKS --name "backup-TEST_RUNNINGDISKS" --no-metadata --atomic --disk-only --diskspec vda,snapshot=external --diskspec vdb,snapshot=external


error: internal error: unable to execute QEMU command 'transaction': Could not create file: Permission denied

I also tried this directly through use of QEMU QMP.


virsh qemu-monitor-command TEST_RUNNINGDISKS --pretty $TEST


sudo ./test.sh
{  "id": "libvirt-83",  "error": {    "class": "GenericError",
    "desc": "Could not create file: Permission denied"

1 Answer 1


I found the problem. The version of qemu-kvm that was included in the Ubuntu packages for 18.04 is 2.11 which is really old and apparently did not have the ability to handle multiple disks in this manner. I did a wipe and reload to 20.04 which includes qemu-kvm version 4.2. The symptom is no more.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .