Kernel-based Virtual Machine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Kernel-based Virtual Machine
Latest release 84 / 2009-02-14; 48 days ago
Written in C
Operating system Linux kernel
Type Virtualization
License GNU General Public License or GNU Lesser General Public License

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a Linux kernel virtualization infrastructure. KVM currently supports native virtualization using Intel VT or AMD-V. Limited support for paravirtualization is also available for Linux guests and Windows in the form of a paravirtual network driver,[1] a balloon driver to affect operation of the guest virtual memory manager,[2] and CPU optimization for Linux guests. KVM is currently implemented as a loadable kernel module although future versions will likely use a system call interface and be integrated directly into the kernel.[3]

Architecture ports are currently being developed for s390,[4] PowerPC,[5] and IA64. The first version of KVM was included in Linux 2.6.20 (February 2007).[6] KVM has also been ported to FreeBSD as a loadable kernel module.[7]

A wide variety of guest operating systems work with KVM, including many flavours of Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows, Haiku, ReactOS and AROS Research Operating System[8] and a patched version of kvm is able to run Mac OS X[9]

By itself, KVM does not perform any emulation. Instead, a user-space program uses the /dev/kvm interface to set up the guest VM's address space, feed it simulated I/O and map its video display back onto the host's. At least three programs exploit this feature: a modified version of Qemu, Qemu itself since version 0.10.0 and, optionally, Virtualbox.

KVM's parts are licensed under various GNU licenses:[10]

  • KVM kernel module: GPL v2
  • KVM user module: LGPL v2
  • QEMU virtual CPU core library (libqemu.a) and QEMU PC system emulator: LGPL
  • Linux user mode QEMU emulator: GPL
  • BIOS files (bios.bin, vgabios.bin and vgabios-cirrus.bin): LGPL v2 or later

KVM is maintained by Avi Kivity and is funded primarily by Qumranet, a technology start up,[11] now owned by Red Hat.[12]


[edit] Graphical management tools

  • Virtual Machine Manager supports creating, editing, starting, and stopping KVM based virtual machines.
  • ConVirt supports creating, editing, starting, and stopping KVM based virtual machines, as well as live or cold drag-and-drop migration of VMs between hosts.
  • Proxmox Virtual Environment Free virtualization software including KVM and OpenVZ - bare-metal installer, management GUI and optional commercial support.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Personal tools