Kernel Based Virtual Machine

The Kernel-based Virtual Machine, or KVM for short, is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). KVM is open source software consisting of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, which provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module, kvm-intel.ko or kvm-amd.ko. KVM also requires a modified QEMU although work is underway to get the required changes upstream.

KVM has been developed to run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows images. Each virtual machine has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, and so on. The kernel component of KVM is included in mainline Linux, as of 2.6.20.