spice-vdagentd does not work

Bug #1633609 reported by Grzegorz Żur on 2016-10-14
This bug affects 11 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
spice-vdagent (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

After upgrade to Ubuntu 16.10, the Ubuntu system inside Quemu/KVM virtual machine stopped to resize screen whenever Spice client window size changes.

I found out the following message in /var/log/spice-vdagent.log:
spice-vdagentd: err: Error getting session for pid 3506: No such device or address

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in spice-vdagent (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Tony Arnold (tony-arnold) wrote :

Just to confirm that I am seeing exactly the same symptoms as Grzegorz has reported.

Jonathan Ganc (jonganc) wrote :

I also can confirm the symptoms. Just to clarify one thing:
The problems occur with a 16.10 guest but disappears if I revert back to a 16.04.1 guest.

I am using a Ubuntu 16.10 host.

Grzegorz Żur (grzegorz-zur) wrote :

Both versions 16.04 and 16.10 uses version 0.15 of spice-vdagent. I tried installing version 0.17 from Ubuntu 17.04 on 16.10. It failed the same way.

I traced the problem to the function session_info_session_for_pid in file systemd-login.c.

It seems that the problem is related to systemd.

Grzegorz Żur (grzegorz-zur) wrote :

Meanwhile systemd changed from version 229 in Ubuntu 16.04 to version 231 in Ubuntu 16.10.

Grzegorz Żur (grzegorz-zur) wrote :

I found a partial workaround.

To make things work. Add "-X" to the daemon spice-vdagentd in "/lib/systemd/system/spice-vdagent.service" file.

This option disables systemd-login integration. The virtual machine is now able to set correct screen size but USB still integration fails for me.

Sebastian Geiger (lanoxx) wrote :

I can confirm that Grzegorz Zur workaround works for me. This is a highly annoying bug that cost me several hours of time today. Please fix this soon. Thank you.

Grzegorz Żur (grzegorz-zur) wrote :

Thanks to the answer on askbuntu.com I improved the workaround.

In /etc/default/spice-vdagentd

put the following line


then run

service spice-vdagent restart

This disables systemd-logind integration.

It is actually described in 'man spice-vdagentd'.


Grzegorz Żur (grzegorz-zur) wrote :

The bug also affects version 17.04 but the workaround still works in this version.

Maxlen (maxlen) wrote :

I tested with Ubuntu 10.07 worked perfectly, without the need for tweaking, but I was not successful with 16.04 and 17.10

Pavel Borecki (pavel-borecki) wrote :

Workaround is functional on Ubuntu 18.04 daily build - without it, BOOT PROCESS WILL FREEZE! after install spice-vdagent package on starting spice-vdagent(d) service.

But as spice-vdagentd in result hasn't information about sessions, so there is (in man documented) limitation on one instance of spice-vdagent client.

And there are two instances running - one for gdm, one for each user. Service spice-vdagent is complaining:

spice-vdagentd[540]: multiple agents in o ne session, disabling agent to avoid potential information leak
spice-vdagentd[540]: closed vdagent virtio channel

Workaround is to sudo killall spice-vdagent and then run spice-vdagent as a current user.

It would be very helpful to fix spice-vdagentd collision with systemd-logind, because it is destroying Ubuntu guest experience (seemingly unbootable system and even then very tricky to get decent interaction with vm working).

Rolf Leggewie (r0lf) wrote :

Found this in "journalctl | grep spice"

Aug 24 01:12:10 work gnome-session-binary[1973]: WARNING: App 'spice-vdagent.desktop' exited with code 1

Possibly related?

Grzegorz Żur (grzegorz-zur) wrote :

The error is raised against the daemon package 'spice-vdagentd'. Application 'spice-vdagent' is another package. Most probably it is a different issue.

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