Jump to contentJump to page navigation: previous page [access key p]/next page [access key n]
documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation / Virtualization Guide / Introduction / Introduction to KVM Virtualization
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2

3 Introduction to KVM Virtualization

3.1 Basic Components

KVM is a full virtualization solution for hardware architectures that support hardware virtualization (refer to Chapter 6, Supported Hosts, Guests, and Features for more details on supported architectures).

VM Guests (virtual machines), virtual storage, and virtual networks can be managed with QEMU tools directly, or with the libvirt-based stack. The QEMU tools include qemu-system-ARCH, the QEMU monitor, qemu-img, and qemu-ndb. A libvirt-based stack includes libvirt itself, along with libvirt-based applications such as virsh, virt-manager, virt-install, and virt-viewer.

3.2 KVM Virtualization Architecture

This full virtualization solution consists of two main components:

  • A set of kernel modules (kvm.ko, kvm-intel.ko, and kvm-amd.ko) that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and processor-specific drivers.

  • A user space program (qemu-system-ARCH) that provides emulation for virtual devices and control mechanisms to manage VM Guests (virtual machines).

The term KVM more properly refers to the kernel level virtualization functionality, but is in practice more commonly used to refer to the user space component.

KVM Virtualization Architecture
Figure 3.1: KVM Virtualization Architecture
Note: Hyper-V Emulation Support

QEMU can provide certain Hyper-V hypercalls for Windows* guests to partly emulate a Hyper-V environment. This can be used to achieve better behavior for Windows* guests that are Hyper-V enabled.