Multipass is the recommended method to create Ubuntu VMs on Ubuntu. It’s designed for developers who want a fresh Ubuntu environment with a single command and works on Linux, Windows and macOS.

On Linux it’s available as a snap:

sudo snap install multipass --beta --classic


Find available images

$ multipass find
Image                   Aliases           Version          Description
core                    core16            20190424         Ubuntu Core 16
core18                                    20190213         Ubuntu Core 18
16.04                   xenial            20190628         Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
18.04                   bionic,lts        20190627.1       Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
18.10                   cosmic            20190628         Ubuntu 18.10
19.04                   disco             20190628         Ubuntu 19.04
daily:19.10             devel,eoan        20190623         Ubuntu 19.10

Launch a fresh instance of the current Ubuntu LTS

$ multipass launch ubuntu
Launching dancing-chipmunk...
Downloading Ubuntu 18.04 LTS..........
Launched: dancing chipmunk

Check out the running instances

$ multipass list
Name                    State             IPv4             Release
dancing-chipmunk        RUNNING    Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
live-naiad              RUNNING    Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
snapcraft-asciinema     STOPPED           --               Ubuntu Snapcraft builder for Core 18

Learn more about the VM instance you just launched

$ multipass info dancing-chipmunk
Name:           dancing-chipmunk
State:          RUNNING
Release:        Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS
Image hash:     19e9853d8267 (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS)
Load:           0.97 0.30 0.10
Disk usage:     1.1G out of 4.7G
Memory usage:   85.1M out of 985.4M

Connect to a running instance

$ multipass shell dancing-chipmunk
Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.15.0-42-generic x86_64)


Don’t forget to logout (or Ctrl-D) or you may find yourself heading all the
way down the Inception levels… :wink:

Run commands inside an instance from outside

$ multipass exec dancing-chipmunk -- lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:  Ubuntu
Description:     Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS
Release:         18.04
Codename:        bionic

Stop an instance to save resources

$ multipass stop dancing-chipmunk

Delete the instance

$ multipass delete dancing-chipmunk

It will now show up as deleted:

Name                    State             IPv4             Release
snapcraft-asciinema     STOPPED           --               Ubuntu Snapcraft builder for Core 18
dancing-chipmunk        DELETED           --               Not Available

And when you want to completely get rid of it:

$ multipass purge

Integrate into the rest of your virtualization

You might have other virtualization already based on libvirt either through using the similar older uvtool already or through the common virt-manager.

You might for example want those guests to be on the same bridge to communicate to each other or you need access to the graphical output for some reason.

Fortunately it is possible to integrate this by using the libvirt backend of multipass

$ sudo multipass set local.driver=libvirt

After that when you start a guest you can also access it via tools like virt-manager or virsh

$ multipass launch ubuntu
Launched: engaged-amberjack 

$ virsh list
 Id    Name                           State
 15    engaged-amberjack              running

Get help

multipass help
multipass help <command>

See the multipass documentation for more details.

Last updated a month ago. Help improve this document in the forum.