I'm trying to use Xen with virt-manager on Gentoo system and I have some troubles with libvirt daemon. When it starts:

Starting libvirtd ...

/usr/sbin/libvirtd: error: Unable to initialize network sockets. Check /var/log/messages or run without --daemon for more info.

start-stop-daemon: failed to start `/usr/sbin/libvirtd' [ !! ]

ERROR: libvirtd failed to start

But file '/var/log/messages' doesn't exists!

Libvirtd config file (/etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf):

listen_tls = 0

listen_tcp = 1

unix_sock_group = "libvirt"

unix_sock_ro_perm = "0777"

unix_sock_rw_perm = "0770"

log_level = 3

log_filters = "3:remote 4:event"

log_outputs = "3:syslog:libvirtd"

Can anybody help me, what i'm doing wrong?)


I'm so inattentive that I forgot install syslog-ng) I found in logs that daemon didn't start because there was no group with name libvirt - after this group was created libvirtd is ok

  • You might get the message that /var/log/messages because you lack the rights to view it. Are you using sudo to view?
    – pullsumo
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 21:48
  • Did you try running libvirtd without the --daemon switch?
    – slm
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 1:49
  • If you solved your problem, please answer this question (and accept it if you want) rather than editing the answer into your question.
    – casey
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


First off try doing the following:

$ sudo more /var/log/messages

According to the official documentation over here on libvirt.org: The daemon cannot be started, it states the following changes to /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf will turn up the logging level to 3:


# You need to uncomment this line

... which should show you more information. With the higher level of debugging turned up, and the ability to see /var/log/messages, if you see messages similar to these:

Feb  6 17:22:09 bart libvirtd: 17576: info : libvirt version: 0.9.9
Feb  6 17:22:09 bart libvirtd: 17576: error : virNetTLSContextCheckCertFile:92: Cannot read CA certificate '/etc/pki/CA/cacert.pem': No such file or directory
Feb  6 17:22:09 bart /etc/init.d/libvirtd[17573]: start-stop-daemon: failed to start `/usr/sbin/libvirtd'
Feb  6 17:22:09 bart /etc/init.d/libvirtd[17565]: ERROR: libvirtd failed to start

Then you need to do the following to fix it:

  1. Install CA certificate
  2. Don't use TLS but bare TCP instead. In /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf set listen_tls = 0 and listen_tcp = 1.
  3. Don't pass --listen. In /etc/sysconfig/libvirtd change LIBVIRTD_ARGS variable.

For step #1, the CA certificates were part of the openssl package on my Fedora system. I'd guess they were there too on Genoo as well but they might be in some other package.

Your libvirtd.conf already has #2 taken care of. For #3 I don't believe the path /etc/sysconfig/libvirtd is correct for Gentoo, so I'm not sure where the variable LIBVIRTD_ARGS would be getting set if anywhere on Gentoo. You might want to grep through your /etc directory looking for that variable name and the string --listen.

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