Kernel-based Virtual Machine
KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is virtualization software for
Linux. It is based on the hardware virtualization extensions provided
by Intel VT and AMD-V technologies. KVM kernel modules provide a
control interface at /dev/kvm which the qemu-kvm user-space program
uses to provide a hybrid emulated and actual hardware environment
sufficent to run various PC operating systems (guests) in unmodified
form, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
Since qemu-kvm is derived from the qemu processor emulator sources it
also is able to run guests using processor emulation mode, but with the
expected performance impact. Conversely, hardware virtualization
features outside the processor such as iommu and sr-iov are used by KVM
allowing for improved performance.
The seabios, vgabios and ipxe open source projects are also pulled from
to provide the firmware components included.
To increase performance over emulated hardware devices virtio drivers
are supported, and in the case of Windows, included.
KVM is compatible with various VM management solutions, including
libvirt, virt-manager and vm-install.