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See also: How to manage instances, Mount

An instance is a virtual machine created and managed by Multipass.

Instance name format

A valid instance name must conform to a specific format. It can only include alphabetic letters, numbers, or hyphens. The initial character must be an alphabetic letter, while the final character must be alphanumeric.

Primary instance

The Multipass CLI provides a few shortcuts using one special instance, which is distinguished by name: the primary instance. By default, this is the instance named primary.

When invoked without positional arguments, state transition commands — start, restart, stop, and suspend — operate on this special instance. So does the shell command. Furthermore, start and shell create the primary instance if it does not yet exist.

When creating the primary instance, the Multipass CLI client mounts the user’s home directory automatically into it.

As with any other mount, it can be unmounted with multipass umount. For instance, the command multipass umount primary will unmount all mounts made by Multipass inside the primary instance, including the auto-mounted Home.

On Windows, mounts are disabled by default for security reasons. See local.privileged-mounts for information on how to enable them if needed.

In all other respects, the primary instance is the same as any other instance. Its properties are the same as if it had been launched manually with multipass launch --name primary.

Selecting the primary instance

The name of the instance that the Multipass CLI treats as primary can be modified with the setting client.primary-name. This setting determines the name of the instance that Multipass creates and operates as primary, providing a mechanism to turn any existing instance into the primary instance, as well as disabling the primary feature.

Last updated 11 days ago. Help improve this document in the forum.