`multipass launch` command

The multipass launch command without any argument will create and start a new instance based on the default image, using a random generated name:

$ multipass launch
Launched: relishing-lionfish

You can then shell into that instance by its name:

$ multipass shell relishing-lionfish

The full multipass help launch output explains the available options:

$  multipass help launch
Usage: multipass launch [options] [[<remote:>]<image> | <url>]
Create and start a new instance.

  -h, --help                            Displays help on commandline options.
  --help-all                            Displays help including Qt specific
  -v, --verbose                         Increase logging verbosity. Repeat the
                                        'v' in the short option for more detail.
                                        Maximum verbosity is obtained with 4 (or
                                        more) v's, i.e. -vvvv.
  -c, --cpus <cpus>                     Number of CPUs to allocate.
                                        Minimum: 1, default: 1.
  -d, --disk <disk>                     Disk space to allocate. Positive
                                        integers, in bytes, or with K, M, G
                                        Minimum: 512M, default: 5G.
  -m, --mem <mem>                       Amount of memory to allocate. Positive
                                        integers, in bytes, or with K, M, G
                                        Minimum: 128M, default: 1G.
  -n, --name <name>                     Name for the instance. If it is
                                        'primary' (the configured primary
                                        instance name), the user's home
                                        directory is mounted inside the newly
                                        launched instance, in 'Home'.
  --cloud-init <file> | <url>           Path or URL to a user-data cloud-init
                                        configuration, or '-' for stdin
  --network <spec>                      Add a network interface to the
                                        instance, where <spec> is in the
                                        "key=value,key=value" format, with the
                                        following keys available:
                                         name: the network to connect to
                                        (required), use the networks command for
                                        a list of possible values, or use
                                        'bridged' to use the interface
                                        configured via `multipass set
                                         mode: auto|manual (default: auto)
                                         mac: hardware address (default:
                                        You can also use a shortcut of "<name>"
                                        to mean "name=<name>".
  --bridged                             Adds one `--network bridged` network.
  --mount <local-path>:<instance-path>  Mount a local directory inside the
                                        instance. If <instance-path> is omitted,
                                        the mount point will be the same as the
                                        absolute path of <local-path>
  --timeout <timeout>                   Maximum time, in seconds, to wait for
                                        the command to complete. Note that some
                                        background operations may continue
                                        beyond that. By default, instance
                                        startup and initialization is limited to
                                        5 minutes each.

  image                                 Optional image to launch. If omitted,
                                        then the default Ubuntu LTS will be
                                        <remote> can be either ‘release’ or
                                        ‘daily‘. If <remote> is omitted,
                                        ‘release’ will be used.
                                        <image> can be a partial image hash or
                                        an Ubuntu release version, codename or
                                        <url> is a custom image URL that is in
                                        http://, https://, or file:// format.

The only, optional, positional argument is the image to launch an instance from. See the multipass find documentation for information on what images are available. It’s also possible to provide a full URL to the image (use file:// for an image available on the host running multipassd).

You can change the resources made available to the instance by passing any of --cpu, --disk, --mem options, allowing for more CPU cores, disk space or RAM, respectively.

If you want your instance to have a name of your choice, use --name. It has to be unique, two instances can’t share the same name.

By passing a filename or an URL to --cloud-init, you can provide “user data” to cloud-init to customize the instance on first boot. See their documentation for examples.

The --network option allows launching instances with additional network interfaces. [since version 1.6.0]

Passing --bridged and --network bridged are shortcuts to --network <name>, where <name> is configured via multipass set local.bridged-interface. [since version 1.7.0]

The --mount option allows mounting several folders in the instance by calling the mount command after the instances is launched. It can be specified multiple times, with different mount paths. [since version 1.10.0]

Use --timeout if you need to change how long Multipass waits for the machine to boot and initialize. [since version 1.7.0]

8 posts were split to a new topic: Launch and --cloud-init on Windows

multipass launch执行报错了
错误信息不能连接multipass socket,请问是什么原因导致的?

On MacOS I get “launch failed: http and file based images are not supported” when trying to use a custom image I built with Packer using your documentation here: Building Multipass images with Packer. This works great on Ubuntu and CircleCI and I’m surprised doesn’t work on MacOS as your documentation doesn’t state there is a limitation in using file:// based images on MacOS.


is it possible to change the VM resources once it’s created? I have microk8s VM instance and need to add additional core to the VM. It’s possible to add this resource without re-creating whole VM?


Hi @jas02, that’s something we are working on right now and we intend to offer a proper way to do that soon. In the mean time, there are hacky ways that reach behind the scenes to achieve it. Have a look at this issue.

In the online documentation it is mentioned that the --mount option exists. However, for OSX multipass does not have that option. This also agrees with the built-in help which does not show a --mount option.

multipass 1.9.1+mac
multipassd 1.9.1+mac

Hi @johan162,

That option was recently added to the development version of Multipass and will be included in the upcoming 1.10 release. I’ll update the documentation to reflect the version this is being introduced in. Sorry for the confusion!