How to install KVM on Ubuntu 14.04

KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a virtualization extension for the Linux Kernel. KVM requires a processor with hardware virtualization support which we will check later in this tutorial. There are many Operating systems that are supported by KVM, which include Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows and others. It also supports Android 2.2, GNU/Hurd (Debian K16), Minix 3.1.2a, all of these work just with some limitations.

This tutorial explains the installation of KVM on an Ubuntu Desktop 14.04 and how to create a Ubuntu guest VM.

KVM Tools Installation

Before you proceed with the installation you must confirm that your system supports KVM. As mentioned earlier, it requires hardware virtualization support in the CPU. Type in the following command to check the compatibility:

egrep -c '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo

If the output is 0, then KVM won't work as the system does not support VMX nor SVM hardware virtualization. If the output is 1 or greater than 1 it means your system is all set and ready to go for KVM installation.

Run the following commands to install KVM:

sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils

The above command includes installation of 4 packages kvm, libvirt-bin, ubuntu-vm-builder and bridge-utils. You are done with the installation for now. Just make sure your Ubuntu username is addded to the group libvirtd by typing:

sudo adduser `id -un` libvirtd

In the next step, I will install a GUI tool for ubuntu which makes the process of setting up a VM easier.

Installing a graphical user interface for KVM

Install the virt-manager application with apt..

sudo apt-get install virt-manager

Creating a KVM guest machine

From here on, we will be using the GUI to work with as the setup of a VM with the terminal is quite difficult and takes too long for the setup.

After you have installed virt-manager just go ahead and start it by typing:


This should start the virtual manager application for you.

Then start with creating a new virtual machine by hitting the new button.

Enter the name of your virtual machine. Select your installation media type and click forward. After that, select the ISO image file that contains the operating system to be installed in the VM or select the CD/DVD-ROM to start the installation.

After the above step, you will have to set the amount RAM and CPU's that will be available to that virtual machine.

Finally, you will get a confirmation screen that shows the details of your virtual machine where you can select the advanced network options. I will use a NAT network here.


There you go you are done with your Virtual machine with KVM.

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