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           QEMU Monitor Protocol Specification - Version 0.1

1. Introduction
===============

This document specifies the QEMU Monitor Protocol (QMP), a JSON-based protocol
which is available for applications to control QEMU at the machine-level.

To enable QMP support, QEMU has to be run in "control mode". This is done by
starting QEMU with the appropriate command-line options. Please, refer to the
QEMU manual page for more information.

2. Protocol Specification
=========================

This section details the protocol format. For the purpose of this document
"Client" is any application which is communicating with QEMU in control mode,
and "Server" is QEMU itself.

JSON data structures, when mentioned in this document, are always in the
following format:

    json-DATA-STRUCTURE-NAME

Where DATA-STRUCTURE-NAME is any valid JSON data structure, as defined by
the JSON standard:

http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4627.txt

For convenience, json-object members and json-array elements mentioned in
this document will be in a certain order. However, in real protocol usage
they can be in ANY order, thus no particular order should be assumed.

2.1 General Definitions
-----------------------

2.1.1 All interactions transmitted by the Server are json-objects, always
      terminating with CRLF

2.1.2 All json-objects members are mandatory when not specified otherwise

2.2 Server Greeting
-------------------

Right when connected the Server will issue a greeting message, which signals
that the connection has been successfully established and that the Server is
waiting for commands.

The format is:

{ "QMP": { "capabilities": json-array } }

 Where,

- The "capabilities" member specify the availability of features beyond the
  baseline specification

2.3 Issuing Commands
--------------------

The format for command execution is:

{ "execute": json-string, "arguments": json-object, "id": json-value }

 Where,

- The "execute" member identifies the command to be executed by the Server
- The "arguments" member is used to pass any arguments required for the
  execution of the command, it is optional when no arguments are required
- The "id" member is a transaction identification associated with the
  command execution, it is optional and will be part of the response if
  provided

2.4 Commands Responses
----------------------

There are two possible responses which the Server will issue as the result
of a command execution: success or error.

2.4.1 success
-------------

The success response is issued when the command execution has finished
without errors.

The format is:

{ "return": json-object, "id": json-value }

 Where,

- The "return" member contains the command returned data, which is defined
  in a per-command basis or an empty json-object if the command does not
  return data
- The "id" member contains the transaction identification associated
  with the command execution (if issued by the Client)

2.4.2 error
-----------

The error response is issued when the command execution could not be
completed because of an error condition.

The format is:

{ "error": { "class": json-string, "data": json-object, "desc": json-string },
  "id": json-value }

 Where,

- The "class" member contains the error class name (eg. "ServiceUnavailable")
- The "data" member contains specific error data and is defined in a
  per-command basis, it will be an empty json-object if the error has no data
- The "desc" member is a human-readable error message. Clients should
  not attempt to parse this message.
- The "id" member contains the transaction identification associated with
  the command execution (if issued by the Client)

NOTE: Some errors can occur before the Server is able to read the "id" member,
in these cases the "id" member will not be part of the error response, even
if provided by the client.

2.5 Asynchronous events
-----------------------

As a result of state changes, the Server may send messages unilaterally
to the Client at any time. They are called 'asynchronous events'.

The format is:

{ "event": json-string, "data": json-object,
  "timestamp": { "seconds": json-number, "microseconds": json-number } }

 Where,

- The "event" member contains the event's name
- The "data" member contains event specific data, which is defined in a
  per-event basis, it is optional
- The "timestamp" member contains the exact time of when the event occurred
  in the Server. It is a fixed json-object with time in seconds and
  microseconds

For a listing of supported asynchronous events, please, refer to the
qmp-events.txt file.

3. QMP Examples
===============

This section provides some examples of real QMP usage, in all of them
'C' stands for 'Client' and 'S' stands for 'Server'.

3.1 Server greeting
-------------------

S: {"QMP": {"capabilities": []}}

3.2 Simple 'stop' execution
---------------------------

C: { "execute": "stop" }
S: {"return": {}}

3.3 KVM information
-------------------

C: { "execute": "query-kvm", "id": "example" }
S: {"return": {"enabled": true, "present": true}, "id": "example"}

3.4 Parsing error
------------------

C: { "execute": }
S: {"error": {"class": "JSONParsing", "desc": "Invalid JSON syntax", "data":
{}}}

3.5 Powerdown event
-------------------

S: {"timestamp": {"seconds": 1258551470, "microseconds": 802384}, "event":
"POWERDOWN"}

4. Compatibility Considerations
--------------------------------

In order to achieve maximum compatibility between versions, Clients must not 
assume any particular:

- Size of json-objects or length of json-arrays
- Order of json-object members or json-array elements
- Amount of errors generated by a command, that is, new errors can be added
  to any existing command in newer versions of the Server

Additionally, Clients should always:

- Check the capabilities json-array at connection time
- Check the availability of commands with 'query-commands' before issuing them

5. Recommendations to Client implementors
-----------------------------------------

5.1 The Server should be always started in pause mode, thus the Client is
    able to perform any setup procedure without the risk of race conditions
    and related problems