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Kernel Based Virtual Machine

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KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). It consists of a loadable kernel module, kvm.ko, that 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. Using KVM, one can run multiple virtual machines running unmodified Linux or Windows images. Each virtual machine has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc. The kernel component of KVM is included in mainline Linux, as of 2.6.20. KVM is open source software.
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KVM is proven to be far faster and smoother at running virtual machines than any other virtualization platform I have tried.

The only drawbacks are the complexity of setting up virtual machines and the necessity to use other applications to accomplish tasks like networking.

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